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Thread: Meet Cheick Modibo Diarra Mali's new Prime Minister

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    Taj
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    Thumbs up Meet Cheick Modibo Diarra Mali's new Prime Minister

    Profile: Mali's Cheick Modibo Diarra - Africa - Al Jazeera English



    Mali's new prime minister, Cheick Modibo Diarra, is an accomplished astrophysicist who has worked on five NASA missions and became a US citizen, but he says he has never forgotten the Malian town of his birth.

    Diarra earned degrees from universities in France and the US, where he later taught mechanical and aerospace engineering before returning to Mali to found a political party ahead of an aborted presidential run.

    He had planned on running in Mali's April 29 election, but that vote was scrapped following a coup by junior army officers on March 22.

    On Tuesday, he was named prime minister by interim President Dioncounda Traore, charged with heading a transitional government which aims to organise fresh elections and restore civilian rule in a country where Tuareg and Islamist rebels now control more than half the territory.

    Before joining Malian politics, Diarra was appointed the Africa chairman for computer software giant Microsoft in 2006.

    Diarra was also designated a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1998.

    Malian values

    Born in 1952 in the small central Malian town of Nioro du Sahel, Diarra graduated from Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris in 1976 and in 1987 earned a PhD from Howard University in Washington DC, according to a biography on Microsoft's company website.

    He taught at Howard, then joined the US space agency NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and worked as an interplanetary navigator on the Magellan mission to Venus and the Ulysses mission to the poles of the sun, among others.

    But, in his 2000 book "Interplanetary Navigator", Diarra wrote that long before his prestigious career began, he was shaped by the values of his ancestors in central Mali.

    "I am an heir to hard workers of the land, who instilled in me a work ethic and a love for the work of the countryside," he wrote.

    The married father of three said he was driven to run for the Malian presidency by his desire to better the lives of the country's rural poor.

    "I returned to my country to cultivate my land in Segou from 2003 to 2006.... I cultivated the land of my fathers until 2007, before owning and cultivating my own land," he wrote on his campaign website.

    "My top concern today is the promotion of the rural world, the development of agriculture and livestock and fisheries," the former UNESCO goodwill ambassador further wrote.

    During his time as goodwill ambassador, Diarra implemented the Scientific and Technology Formation Centre in Africa/Mali project, which aimed to transfer knowledge and skills to invent solutions appropriate to the African continent, UNESCO's website said.

    Microsoft role

    Diarra was awarded the African Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, the same that had been awarded to former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1997.

    He was also voted by the African public as one of the 100 leading Africans of the 21st Century in Jeune Afrique magazine.

    While in Mali and working on his land, finding solutions to the continent's challenges with food security, Diarra was approached by Bill Gates to serve as Microsoft's Africa chairman, the Microsoft biography said.

    He assumed that role the following year in 2006, working to devise business models that would accelerate growth and industrialisation in Africa, Microsoft's website said.

    When Diarra launched his political party, the Rally for Development, in Mali in the capital Bamako on March 2011, he said that "politics must not only be a matter for professionals".

    Diarra has taken over as prime minister of Mali following a political transition agreement brokered by the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc.

    The April 6 plan earlier saw fomer President Amadou Toumani Toure step down and the military junta cede power to interim President Traore.

    According to Mali's constitution, Traore must ensure elections are organised within 40 days, but ECOWAS has said it could take longer.
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

  2. #2
    Earth Angel dollbabi's Avatar dollbabi is offline
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    Hopefully he will lead the nation to make great strides. Mali has so much to offer the world and is so full of important history that relates to West Africa and others.

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    DSP
    Heri DSP's Avatar DSP is offline
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    yes he's accomplished but seems like a familiar formula I see over and over.. after some coup or internal governmental break down, America finds an academic(who may not even want to lead) to make prime minister so their interests are served. I would not be surprised one bit if he was forced to be the country's leader.
    dollbabi and Oneshot like this.

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    Taj
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSP View Post
    yes he's accomplished but seems like a familiar formula I see over and over.. after some coup or internal governmental break down, America finds an academic(who may not even want to lead) to make prime minister so their interests are served. I would not be surprised one bit if he was forced to be the country's leader.
    yea, thanks for giving that perspective
    “A sharp knife never proclaims it’s sharpness to the world…but the first to fall against it becomes it’s advocate.”

    You can put any face behind a mask but be careful cos someone else might be pretending. You might not be the only one with a secret -- Cassie/Gretel

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