* Cabinet slashed from 39 to 28 ministers
* Other changes minor in cabinet of top cocoa grower
ABIDJAN Nov 22 Ivory Coast announced a new
government on Thursday in which newly appointed Prime Minister
Daniel Kablan Duncan will also take the finance and economy
Ivory Coast, which is recovering from a 2011 civil war,
holds a defaulted $2.3 billion bond and recently came to an
agreement with investors on rescheduling missed coupon payments
over the next two years.
President Alassane Ouattara named Duncan, a member of his
allied PDCI party and foreign minister in the previous cabinet,
as prime minister on Wednesday, after dissolving his government
last week over a lack of coalition solidarity.
Charles Koffi Diby, the former finance minister who has been
the lead figure in Ivory Coast's efforts to renegotiate its
bond, will take over the foreign ministry, a statement from the
president's office said.
Niale Kaba, an economist who served as minister of housing
promotion in the previous cabinet, will serve as minister
delegated to the prime minister responsible for the economy and
Many people in Ivory Coast had predicted sweeping changes to
the cabinet after the surprise dismissal of the ministers last
week. Though the number of cabinet positions was slashed to 28
from 39 in the reshuffle, other changes were minor.
There were no changes at the defence or agriculture
ministries in the West African state, which is the world's
largest cocoa grower and also a significant coffee producer.
Duncan's nomination ensures Ouattara is sticking to a deal
that saw the PDCI throw its weight behind him during a 2010
election run-off in return for the prime minister's job.
Duncan, an economist, has served as prime minister once
before under former president Henri Konan Bedie and was economy
and finance minister under Ouattara's premiership in the early
"Overall I think there's no earthquake. What's interesting
is that Daniel Kablan Duncan is the new prime minister and will
also assume the economy and finance portfolios," Samir Gadio,
emerging markets analyst with Standard Bank, said.
"One could even argue that the reform-minded duo who
attempted to stabilise the faltering Ivorian economy in the
early 1990s has been reassembled," he said.