the priorities of Lancine Condé, new Minister of Economy and Finance – Jeune Afrique

To register between break and continuity. This is the delicate balance point for the new Guinean Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning, Lanciné Condé, to find. If the September 5 putsch put an end to the economic reforms initiated by former President Alpha Condé, and if the murderer, Mamadi Doumbouya, promised the break, we are in fact witnessing the renewal, at least in part, of politics of recent years.

The relevant reforms that have been implemented must succeed, the others will be rectified

It is in this context that the actions of the minister, a 48-year-old macro-economist, trained in particular in Guinea and France, officially appointed at the end of October should be read.

If his entourage avoids the term “continuity,” he nevertheless admits that all past actions should not be thrown out. “A major reform has been launched, namely the computerization of public accounts, with the technical support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the financial support of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The equipment has already been ordered. Should we reject this mature project because a change has taken place? No”, confides a close associate of the minister. “All reforms that are relevant must succeed, and those reforms deserve to be successful,” he adds, summarizing Lanciné Condé’s roadmap.

work capacity

The latter, married and father of three children, hardly got this job. According to our information, it was Yaya Sow, who was eventually appointed Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, who was preferred by Prime Minister Mohamed Béavogui to take the helm of the Economy, Finance and Planning strategic portfolio.

Lanciné Condé’s choice was supported by Facinet Sylla, former of the Central Bank of Guinea and the ADB, now deputy administrator at the IMF and a moment when he would become prime minister, who made the trip to Conakry to convince Mamadi Doumbouya of the interest of “not breaking the economic dynamism” he inherited, he confides: Young Africa a ministerial source.

We need to strengthen our control functions and streamline our spending

Known for his accuracy and his ability to work, Lanciné Condé knows well the workings of a ministry, where he took office as a research officer in 2006, after teaching macroeconomics courses at the University of Gamal-Abdel-Nasser in Conakry . Three years later, he was appointed deputy national director of economic studies and forecasting before being promoted to director in 2016 with the arrival of Malado Kaba as head of the ministry (2015-2018).

Subsequently, while Condé was tipped to be appointed as Guinea’s deputy representative to the IMF, Mamadi Camara, Kaba’s successor at the ministry, preferred to keep him as an adviser in charge of relations with development partners.

Diplomat

However, Condé will leave the ministry briefly (for a year from October 2020), to become special advisor to GIZ, a German cooperation institution, of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as part of the implementation of the 2050 vision of the sub-regional organization. A position he left upon his appointment as minister.

“It is clear that he has been appointed by the chairman of the transition, continues the close to Condé. It is also clear that he would not have been elected had the prime minister been fundamentally against him. In his speech when he took office on November 2, the new minister, as a good diplomat, expressed his gratitude to the two authorities, Mamadi Doumbouya and Mohamed Béavogui.

“We need to strengthen our control functions, rationalize our spending and improve its impact on the well-being of the population. Public procurement controls should be strengthened in coordination with the Treasury and legal services to avoid unnecessary delays and promote compliance with specifications,” he insisted. “Public investment still suffers from the weaknesses reported in the latest PIMA [Public Investment Management Assessment, évaluation menée par le FMI],,That has to change soon”, he promised.

Collaboration with the budget?

Welcoming the combination of Economy, Finance and Planning in one ministry, the minister’s entourage sees it as a guarantee of efficiency. “The missions were spread across different ministries and different directorates, which led to the retention of information,” it is noted.

As a reminder, Mohamed Béavogui’s government includes 25 ministries and two general secretariats as against nearly 40 portfolios in that headed by his predecessor, Ibrahima Kassory Fofana. In the old version, the Plan and the Economy were directed by Mama Kanny Diallo and Mamadi Camara respectively.

As in many countries, the budget portfolio remains segregated, led by Moussa Cisse, a diaspora executive recalled by the former government in 2016 who became a lawyer in the presidency’s office. The latter and Lancine Condé worked together for five years at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Cissé was a legal adviser at the time. “Their relationships are known for being cordial, which bodes well for a healthy partnership between the two,” a former Alpha Condé minister says optimistically.

Reform in continuity

Several voices plead with the junta for a certain continuity of economic activity. According to our information, Facinet Sylla, promoter of Lanciné Condé in economics, also defended together with Mamadi Doumbouya the retention of Louncény Nabé as governor of the Central Bank of Guinea. Madikaba Camara, former Alpha Condé special adviser in charge of economic and financial issues, is on the same page. In a “summary note on the economic and financial situation of Guinea”, sent to Mamadi Doumbouya and consulted by Jeune Afrique, he insists on the need to continue the reforms implemented, including control of mining companies, telecommunications, the financial sector and banking contracts, production and sale of thermal energy.

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