More women in new Ivory Coast government

January 13, 2016, 4:20am

Chair of the Ecowas mediation and security council on Mali, Daniel Kablan Duncan (Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP)  

AFP on News24

Abidjan - Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan appointed more women on Tuesday to his new government, tasked with accelerating economic growth in the world's top cocoa producer and west African powerhouse.

Handing one out of four portfolios to women and changing the key justice, defence and foreign affairs posts which remain in male hands, the 73-year-old economist premier said "this is a fighting government with a mission."

There are a total nine women among the 36-member cabinet, whose aim is to propel Ivory Coast to "emerging country" status by 2020 by investing €44bn, the premier said.

Their briefs include health, urban planning and education.

President Alassane Ouattara, who late last year was re-elected for a second term in a ballot seen as cementing the country's return to stability after years of turmoil, has pledged more jobs for the young, a fairer distribution of wealth and good governance.

Now 74, the former high-flying economist won a solid victory in the October elections.

Kablan Duncan is a respected member of Ivory Coast's Democratic Party (PDCI), which was founded in the 1940s. He took over as prime minister in November 2012.