Guinea president names ex-finmin Yansane as mines minister

by Reuters
Monday, 20 January 2014 23:23 GMT

(Adds details on other ministries)

CONAKRY, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Guinea's President Alpha Conde on Monday named Kerfalla Yansane, a former finance minister, as the country's new minister for mines, according to a statement issued by the president's office.

The appointment came as Conde unveiled a new 35-member cabinet tasked with pushing through reforms and concrete development in the mineral-rich country, which has just been through a hotly-contested legislative vote and is due to hold presidential elections in 2015.

Yansane, a technocrat and former central bank governor, was widely respected while serving as Conde's finance minister.

Underscoring the importance of the role, Yansane has been named a minister of state, a rank above cabinet posts. One of his first tasks will be to renew investor confidence in the country after several years of political and contractual uncertainty.

François Louceny Fall remains foreign minister. Mohamed Diare, a former deputy minister in charge of the budget, has been named minister for finance and the economy.

A source in Conde's office, who asked not to be named, said the reshuffle was aimed at given new impetus to his administration, three years into his presidency. There are 15 new arrivals into the cabinet.

With the next presidential vote due in late 2015, Conde's new government will be under pressure to make swift progress in the country, which has vast iron ore reserves and has attracted large-scale mining projects in recent years but has long been bogged in political instability and poverty.

Conde's ruling RPG party took 53 seats in the Sept. 28 election but fell short of an absolute majority in the 114-seat parliament. Over 50 people were killed in the run up to the vote, underscoring tensions that mark Guinean politics. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Bernard Orr)

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