Ali Badjo Gamatié

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Ali Badjo Gamatié
Ali Badjo Gamatie, IMF 62ph020928hl.jpg
Prime Minister of Niger
In office
2 October 2009 – 18 February 2010
President Mamadou Tandja
Preceded by Albadé Abouba (Acting)
Succeeded by Mahamadou Danda
Personal details
Political party National Movement for the Development of Society

Ali Badjo Gamatié is a Nigerien politician and civil servant who served as Prime Minister of Niger from October 2009 to February 2010. He was Finance Minister of Niger from 2000 to 2003 and then served as Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) before being appointed as Prime Minister by President Mamadou Tandja. Gamatié was Prime Minister for only a few months, however, as Tandja was overthrown in a February 2010 military coup.

Political background[edit]

In the first government of Prime Minister Hama Amadou, which was named on 5 January 2000, Gamatié was included as Minister of Finance.[1] As Finance Minister, Gamatié was an international advocate for the total cancellation of foreign debts[2] of Niger and other Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). He was involved in IMF negotiations on the debt status of these nations.[3][4] As Finance Minister he also raised questions about the accountability and representativeness of non-governmental organizations and civil society groups operating in Niger and elsewhere.[5] During his term as Minister, Gamatié oversaw a period of major government cutbacks during a 2002 finance crisis.[6]

In July 2003, journalist Mamane Abou of Le Républicain newspaper in Niamey was arrested for defamation after he wrote an article accusing Gamatié and Hama Amadou of using unauthorized Treasury funds to pay for government contracts.[7][8] The Finance Minister was also criticized by the opposition for sponsoring 2001 legislation which would dramatically raise taxes on private newspaper publishers, which they feared would bankrupt the opposition press.[9] In October 2003, Gamatié was replaced as Finance Minister by Ali Lamine Zeine. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Gamatié was close to Prime Minister Amadou, then seen as a potential rival of President Tandja.[10] Foreign analysis concluded that because of his relationship with the Prime Minister, Gamatié's removal "...may have involved political considerations".[11]

In October 2003, Gamatié was appointed Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). In 2006 he was on a short list of four candidates to replace Charles Konan Banny as Governor of the bank.[12]

The Nigerien press reported that opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou had in 2007 proposed that Gamatié—rather than eventual Prime Minister Seyni Oumarou—lead a government of national unity when President Tandja sought opposition involvement in the new government following Hama Amadou's removal.[13] During the corruption court cases against Hama Amadou in 2008, Gamatié testified that the 100 million CFA francs Amadou was charged with taking from the treasury were diverted without the Finance Minister's knowledge.[14]

In 2008, Gamatié served as Special Adviser to the President for Mineral Affairs and as chief government negotiator with French uranium mining company Areva, leading to a deal which saw a 1 billion Euro investment in Niger's Imouraren mining site.[15][16]

In August 2009 the Nigerien press reported that Gamatié was a supporter of President Tandja's drive to extend his mandate and create a new constitution.[17] Tandja's constitutional referendum, which established a presidential system and reduced the importance of the office of Prime Minister by making the President the head of government, was successful; Gamatié was subsequently appointed as Prime Minister on 2 October 2009.[18]

Tandja was ousted in a military coup on 18 February 2010 and his government was dissolved. Gamatié was one of only three ministers who were not promptly released from house arrest in the days after the coup.[19] According to one of the junta leaders, Colonel Djibrilla Hamidou Hima, the ministers "still under surveillance" had held "very sensitive portfolios" and therefore it was necessary "to ensure their security". The MNSD called for the release of Gamatié, Tandja, and the others.[20]

Suffering from high blood pressure, Gamatié was released from house arrest on 4 March and was promptly hospitalized at the National Hospital of Niamey. After three days there, he was taken to Paris for medical treatment early on 8 March and since did not return to Niger to answer the many allegations he is accused of.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PREMIER GOUVERNEMENT DE LA 5ème REPUBLIQUE. LES MINISTRES (Décret 2000-001 du 05/01/00). Website of The Presidency of Niger.
  2. ^ Des pays africains préfèrent plus d'aide à l'annulation totale de la dette. Afrique Express. N° 228, 30 April 2001.
  3. ^ Africa: IMF, Bank Are Finally Listening, Say African Finance Ministers. Charles Cobb Jr., allAfrica.com. 29 April 2001
  4. ^ Africa: Africa Needs New Debt Approach Say Finance Ministers. Charles Cobb Jr., AllAfrica.com. 30 September 2002.
  5. ^ Tell me: Who are those guys? To whom are they accountable? DILEMMAS FOR REPRESENTATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY. William Reuben, The World Bank. Working Paper #2002-01. Cornell University Workshop on Transnational Contention. February 22, 2002.
  6. ^ NIGER: Economic woes spark government cutbacks. IRIN. 23 September 2002.
  7. ^ NIGER: Journalist freed after two months in jail. IRIN. 6 January 2004.
  8. ^ Niger: Editor finally gets bail after two months in prison. Pambazuka News. 2004-01-15, Issue 139.
  9. ^ Nouvel impôt sur les entreprises de presse: Le projet de loi mis en veilleuse. H.B.Tcherno Journal Alternative Niger, No. 252, 27 June 2001. Archived 2009-10-25.
  10. ^ Niger: Key figures. February 26th 2007. COUNTRY BACKGROUND FROM THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT
  11. ^ Niger: transformation. BERTELSMANN TRANSFORMATION INDEX (BTI). 3 October 2009.
  12. ^ BANQUE CENTRALE DES ÉTATS DE L’AFRIQUE DE L’OUEST : Quatre candidats pour remplacer Konan Banny. Le Soleil, Dakar. 2006
  13. ^ Mahamadou Issoufou préfère Ali Badjo Gamatié. S.K. Enqueteur (Niamey) N°325 du 5 août 2008 (p. 7)
  14. ^ Affaire des 100 millions de la presse Ali Badjo Gamatié entre le marteau et l'enclume. B. Diouga. Enqueteur (Niamey) N°325 du 5 août 2008 (p. 7)
  15. ^ Niger state to increase direct sales of uranium. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters. 15 January 2008.
  16. ^ Niger Says Uranium Pact With Areva to Boost Revenue 14-Fold. Abdoulaye Ibbo-Daddy and Antony Sguazzin, Bloomberg News. 15 January 2008.
  17. ^ INVESTIGATIONS FINANCIÈRES À L’ASSEMBLÉE NATIONALE. Mahamane Ousmane sur les traces de Hama Amadou. Ibrahim Elhadj dit Hima. La Roue de l'histoire. N° 468 du 12 Août 2009.
  18. ^ "Ali Badjo Gamatié nommé Premier ministre du Niger", Temoust, 3 October 2009 (French).
  19. ^ "Niger coup leaders promise fresh elections", BBC News, 21 February 2010.
  20. ^ Fiacre Vidjingninou, "Niger junta pledges new constitution", AFP, 21 February 2010.
  21. ^ "Ousted Nigerien PM flown to France for medical treatment", African Press Agency, 8 March 2010.
Political offices
Preceded by
Albadé Abouba
Acting
Prime Minister of Niger
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Mahamadou Danda