Lansana Kouyaté

Lansana Kouyaté (born 1950) is a Guinean politician and diplomat who served as Prime Minister of Guinea from 2007 to 2008. Previously he was Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from 1997 to 2002.

Background and Emerging Career

Kouyaté was born in Koba , Guinea , then a French colony. He studied administration at the University of Conakry before joining the civil service . In 1976, he was appointed as Director of Labor, then the following year, moved to become Director of Trade, Prices and Statistics. [1]

In 1982, Kouyaté worked on a rice development project, then moved to the diplomatic service, joining Guinea’s delegation in Cote d’Ivoire . In 1985, he returned to the Foreign Ministry in Conakry as head of the African Unity Affairs Organization . Two years later, he became Guinea’s ambassador to Egypt , Jordan , Lebanon , Sudan , Syria and Turkey . In 1992 he est devenu Guinea’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations , Where he est devenu Vice President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council . [2]

In 1993, he was appointed as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Somalia for the UNOSOM II mission. [3] In June 1994, he became the Assistant Secretary-General in the UN Department of Political Affairs, [4] one of his first missions being a member of the ECOWAS member states to discuss the situation in Liberia . The first Liberian Civil War . [5] He left this job in September 1997 to become the Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS)

During his time at ECOWAS, Kouyate was awarded the Legion of Honor (Commander), the African Star of Liberia and was made a Commander of the Mono Order of Togo. [6]

Prime Minister

As a result of a general strike in early 2007, Kouyaté was nominated for the post of Prime Minister of Guinea on 26 February 2007. He was selected by President Lansana . [1] On 1 March, he was sworn in as Prime Minister at a ceremony in Conakry ; Conté was not present. [2] His government was named on March 28, consisting of 19 ministers and three secretaries of state; It contained none of the members of the old government. [3]

On December 5, 2007, a decree restructuring ministries increased the powers of the Secretary-General of the Presidency to the expense of those of the Prime Minister, and on January 3rd, 2008 Justin Morel Junior , the Minister of Communication and Government Spokesman , Without consulting Kouyaté. On 4 January, Kouyaté demanded that Morel be restored to his position and said that he would not sit at the Council of Ministers with Morel’s replacement. Labor unions announced plans to begin a new “unlimited general strike” on January 10, requiring that the agreement be made. [4] Kouyaté ‘s government to try to resolve the situation through dialogue with the hopes of maintaining peace. [5] On 9 January, the unions withdrew their call for a strike. [6]

Tensions between Kouyaté and Conté, Kouyaté’s government to repatriate Chantal Cole, Conté’s advisor in charge of communications at the presidential palace, to France; In addition, they disagreed over Kouyaté’s decision to allow Libyans to manage luxury hotels. [7]

Dismissal and subsequent events

Kouyate was dismissed by Conté and replaced by Ahmed Tidiane Souaré . [8] [9] [10] This was considered surprising; It had been widely believed that Kouyaté would be dismissed prior to the planned December 2008 parliamentary election . [11] Following the announcement, protests were reported in Conakry and Kouroussa , although the cities were reportedly calm again by 21 May; [10] protests were also reported in Kankan on 20 May and 21 May. [12]

Kouyaté was widely considered a disappointment in his role as Prime Minister, and his unpopularity meant that he was not greeted with major unrest of the kind that led to his appointment a year earlier; In particular, his time in office was associated with rising food prices, deepening the country’s economic problems. He was also accused of having presidential ambitions. Because he had not consulted with the opposition when forming his government and had not allowed opposition politicians to take part in it, the opposition welcomed his dismissal and urged Souaré to avoid his mistakes. The Secretary-General of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), Amadou Oury Bah, described Kouyate as “a danger to the democratic process”. [13] One union leader, Rabiatou Serah Diallo, said that until the composition of Souaré’s government was announced, she had nothing to say. [10] Souaré was sworn in on 23 May; Kouyaté was not present at the ceremony, [14] [15] as he was unable to leave his home due to a crowd of supporters outside of it. [14]

Many soldiers, dissatisfied over their failure to receive wage arrears, were unhappy with Kouyate’s dismissal, feeling that they could address their grievances. On 26 May 2008, unrest broke out among the soldiers as they demanded their wage arrears. [16]


  1. Jump up^ “Guineans back to work after deal”, BBC News, 27 February 2007.
  2. Jump up^ “Kouyate takes his oath in Conakry”, AFP (IOL), 2 March 2007.
  3. Jump up^ “Guinea PM appoints new government”, Al Jazeera, 29 March 2007.
  4. Jump up^ “Tensions in Guinea: general strike notice from January 10”, AFP, January 4, 2008(in French).
  5. Jump up^ “Guinea: Government favors dialogue with Conté”, Panapress, 5 January 2008(in French).
  6. Jump up^ “Guinea: general strike order lifted, according to a trade unionist”, AFP, 9 January 2008(in French).
  7. Jump up^ “Guinean Prime Minister removed from office”, African Press Agency, 20 May 2008.
  8. Jump up^ “Guinea: Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté sacked by President Conté” Archived22 May 2011 at theWayback Machine., AFP, 20 May 2008(in French).
  9. Jump up^ James Butty,”Guinea’s Consensus Prime Minister Sacked”ArchivedMay 25, 2012, VOA News, 20 May 2008.
  10. ^ Jump up to:c “Guinea’s president fires prime minister” , Associated Press, 21 May 2008.
  11. Jump up^ “Guinea: New Threat to Stability with Dismissal of PM”, IRIN, 21 May 2008.
  12. Jump up^ “Some Guinean Youths Protest Premier’s Removal”, African Press Agency, 21 May 2008.
  13. Jump up^ “Dismissal of Lansana Kouyaté, unions and opposition in waiting”, AFP, May 21, 2008(in French).
  14. ^ Jump up to:b “New Guinean Prime sworn in Friday” , African Press Agency, 23 May 2008.
  15. Jump up^ “policy: In the absence of Lansana Kouyaté, Tidjane Souaré installed at the head of the Prime Minister by the Secretary General of the Presidency” Archived28 May 2008 at theWayback Machine, Guineenews, 23 May 2008.(In French).
  16. Jump up^ “Angry soldiers embark on rampage in Guinea”, Sapa-AFP, 28 May 2008.

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