Tinubu present as 44-yr-old Faye is sworn-in as Senegal‘s youngest president

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, a passionate left-wing pan-Africanist, was officially sworn in as Senegal’s youngest president on Tuesday.

After being released from prison just 10 days prior, Faye managed to secure a first-round victory in the elections. His campaign was centered around a promise of implementing radical reforms in the country.

Tinubu present as Faye is sworn-in as Senegal‘s youngest president
Faye is sworn-in as Senegal‘s youngest president

Despite never having held an elected office before, the 44-year-old Bassirou Diomaye Faye managed to attract the attention of several African leaders like president Bola Tinubu.

The inauguration ceremony took place in the new town of Diamniadio, located near the capital city of Dakar.

Taking his oath of allegiance, Faye said, “Before God and the Senegalese nation, I swear to faithfully fulfil the office of President of the Republic of Senegal.”

He also vowed to “scrupulously observe the provisions of the Constitution and the laws” and to defend “the integrity of the territory and national independence, and to spare no effort to achieve African unity”.

The formal handover of power with outgoing President Macky Sall will take place at the presidential palace in Dakar.

Faye was among a group of political opponents freed from prison 10 days before the March 24 presidential ballot under an amnesty announced by Sall, who had tried to delay the vote.

Faye’s campaign was launched while he was still in detention.

The former tax inspector becomes the West African state’s fifth president since independence from France in 1960 and the first to openly admit to a polygamous marriage.

Working with his populist mentor Ousmane Sonko, who was barred from the election, Faye declared their priorities in his victory speech: national reconciliation, easing a cost-of-living crisis and fighting corruption.

The anti-establishment leader has vowed to restore national sovereignty over key assets such as the oil, gas and fishing sectors.

Faye wants to leave the regional CFA franc, which he sees as a French colonial legacy, and to invest more in agriculture with the aim of reaching food self-sufficiency.

But he has also sought to reassure investors that Senegal “will remain a friendly country and a sure and reliable ally for any partner that engages with us in virtuous, respectful and mutually productive cooperation.”

On the international stage, Faye seeks to bring military-run Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger back into the fold of the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc.

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