Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal’s Youngest President, Sworn in at 36 | Great News for Africa!

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal's Youngest President, Sworn in at 36

Bassirou Diomaye Faye, Senegal’s Youngest President, Sworn in at 36

Bassirou Diomaye Faye has been inaugurated as Senegal’s president, becoming the country’s youngest president at the age of 44. Faye, a left-wing pan-Africanist, was sworn in on Tuesday after winning the March 24 elections in a first-round victory.

He campaigned on promises to fight corruption and reform the economy, pledging to clean up corruption and better manage Senegal’s natural resources.

Faye’s ascent to the presidency was a dramatic one, having been released from prison less than two weeks before the vote.

He was granted a political amnesty announced by outgoing President Macky Sall along with popular opposition figure and mentor Ousmane Sonko.

Faye’s victory was seen as reflecting the will of young people frustrated with widespread unemployment and former colonial ruler France, seen by critics to be using its relationship with Senegal to enrich itself.

The election tested Senegal’s reputation as a stable democracy in West Africa, a region that has experienced coups and attempted coups.

It followed months of unrest ignited by the arrests last year of Sonko and Faye and concerns that the president would seek a third term in office despite constitutional term limits.

Rights groups said dozens of people were killed in the protests and about 1,000 were jailed.

Faye’s inauguration was a day of celebration for many of his supporters. Aissata Sagna, a factory worker who worked on Faye’s campaign, said, “It’s the culmination of a long struggle for democracy and the rule of law.”

However, according to Aljazeera, she also acknowledged the loss of young people killed during the demonstrations.

In his first speech as president-elect, Faye promised to fight corruption and reform the economy.

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

Faye’s assets declaration before the election showed transparency, listing a home in Dakar and land outside the capital and in his hometown. His bank accounts totalled roughly $6,600.

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

Faye’s two wives, both of whom were present on Tuesday, are expected to play a role in his presidency.

As a practicing Muslim from a small town, Faye’s presidency is expected to reflect his values and beliefs.

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