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Ivory Coast: President Ouattara keeps promise to reduce cabinet in new appointments, but reappoints core of old ministers

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As promised last week, President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast has named a reduced number of appointees of 32 ministers on Wednesday, from an initial 41.

The President however reappointed the head of the defence, finance and foreign affairs ministries, and appointed fresh hands as mines minister, as released in a statement.

Following the resignation of former Prime Minister Patrick Achi last week, President Alassane Ouattara reiterated plans to slim down the size of the cabinet. He indicated that he would reduce the government to around 30 ministers from the current 41, with new appointments to be made next week to govern the world’s top cocoa producer.

The presidency also revealed that the president’s brother, Tene Birahima Ouattara is the new head of defence while almost all of Ouattara’s former ministers retained their portfolios after the reshuffling.

The minister of mines and energy was relieved of his appointment, as former Minister of Agriculture, Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly became the substantial minister. Other reshuffled ministers are the ministers of culture and private sector investment.

The nine ministries that no longer feature on the new government list have been integrated into other offices.

Ouattara is expected to step down at the end of his third term in 2025 when presidential elections will be held.

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Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

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An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and the military.

The arrangement is toward elections and ends a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

The power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition was delayed due to the absence of a Prime Minister after a coup in 2021.

The military under the new arrangement agreed it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilians should control politics and guide foreign policy. Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Recall that Sudanese politician, Wagdi Salih was released from prison on Sunday ahead of the discussion surrounding the coalition agreement.

Meanwhile, the transition plan does not seem to have sat well with some session of the public as security officers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters about 1-1/2km from the presidential palace on Monday over the development.

One of the protesters, 36-year-old state employee Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman, said. “We want justice for our martyrs, trial for the military, and civilian rule.” “We will defeat this agreement because it is an extension of the coup.”

Will the arrangement lead to lasting progress in the political crises facing the East African country?

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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