PRESIDENT Macky Sall’s pick as Senegal’s new prime minister, Aminata Toure, held consultations Monday to form a government that will have to tackle the country’s economic problems, according to media reports.
Toure, 50, was appointed Sunday to replace Abdoul Mbaye, 60, after his government was dismissed and she immediately started meeting prospective ministers.
No reason for the dismissal was given but many Senegalese said Mbaye, during his 17 months at the helm of the government, failed to improve the lives of the country’s 13 million people, with the cost of living rising in a difficult international economic and financial environment.
Given the situation in Senegal, “Mbaye should have quit long ago,” editorialist and political scientist Abdoulaye Bamba Diallo told Agence France Presse (AFP).
Sall “had to change policy and to change policy, you must change the people” in charge, he added.
Sall was elected president in March last year after predecessor, Abdoulaye Wade’s last years in office were marked by political and social unrest.
Toure “is smart, stands up for her convictions and can deliver (even if she faces) a gigantic workload”, added Diallo.
Toure is the second woman to occupy the post of prime minister in Senegal, after Mame Madior Boye who headed a government between March 2001 and November 2002.
She pledged after her nomination Sunday that she would press on with the work that “has been undertaken since last year (to) develop and improve the conditions” of the people.
Today, “the Senegalese face multiple priorities” and for the new prime minister “the task is challenging, the social and economic needs are nagging”, said the pro-government daily, Le Soleil.
The paper identified “access to health services, a high-quality education, substantial purchasing power, a healthy environment, a decent home and fair justice” as top priorities.