Paramanga Ernest Yonli

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Paramanga Ernest Yonli with President Bush after presenting his credentials, January 22, 2008

Paramanga Ernest Yonli, also known as Ernest Paramanga Yonli (born December 31, 1956[1]), is a Burkinabé politician and diplomat who was the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso from November 7, 2000[2] to June 11, 2007.[3] Yonli was the Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the United States from January 2008[4] to August 2011. He is a member of the ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party.[1]


Yonli was born in Tansarga in Tapoa Province.[1][5] He attended secondary school in Ouagadougou, and from 1976 to 1979 he studied economics at the University of Ouagadougou. After graduating from that university, he attended the University of Benin in Lomé, Togo, obtaining a master's degree in economics, specializing in planning and development, in 1981. He then continued his studies in France, attending the Sorbonne; he obtained a diploma in international economy and development in 1984 and a doctorate in agricultural development in 1985. Subsequently he worked as a researcher on agricultural development and food security, based in Ouagadougou.[5] He obtained his PhD degree at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Groningen in February 1997 with a thesis entitled "Stratégies paysannes en matière de sécurité alimentaire et commercialisation céréalière - le rôle des banques de céréales dans le Nord du Plateau Central du Burkina Faso" ("Agricultural strategies in the field of food security and the commercialisation of cereal production – the role of cereal banks in the North of the Central Plateau of Burkina Faso").

He was Director of the Prime Minister's Office from February 1996[2][5] to September 1996, under Prime Minister Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo.[2] He then served as Minister of the Civil Service and Institutional Development[5][6] before being appointed as Prime Minister by President Blaise Compaoré on November 7, 2000, replacing Ouedraogo. His government, named on November 12, included 36 members, with seven opposition parties participating; three of these parties—the African Independence Party, the African Convention for Democracy, and the Panafrican Sankarist Convention—had already participated in Ouedraogo's government, while four were new to the government, including the Alliance for Democracy and Federation–African Democratic Rally (ADF-RDA).[2]

Yonli was elected to the National Assembly from Tapoa Province as a CDP candidate in the May 2007 parliamentary election.[1] Following the election, he submitted his government's resignation to Compaoré on June 3, 2007, and Tertius Zongo was appointed as his successor the next day.[7][8] Zongo succeeded Yonli on June 11.[3]

Yonli also resigned from the National Assembly, leaving his seat to a substitute, and he was expected to be appointed to a diplomatic post after leaving office as Prime Minister.[9] Several months later, he was appointed as Ambassador to the United States on December 5, 2007.[4] He presented his credentials to US President George W. Bush on January 22, 2008.[4][10]

On 31 August 2011, Yonli left the United States and returned to Burkina Faso; his replacement as Ambassador, Seydou Bouda, arrived the next day.[11]

Yonli is married to a daughter of former president Saye Zerbo.


  1. ^ a b c d List of candidates elected to the National Assembly in 2007, National Assembly website (French).
  2. ^ a b c d "Nouveau Premier ministre, Nouveau gouvernement avec une participation accrue de l'opposition", Afrique Express, N° 217, November 15, 2000 (French).
  3. ^ a b "Passation de pouvoirs au Premier Ministère", government website, June 12, 2007 (French).
  4. ^ a b c "Burkina-Etats-Unis : P. Ernest Yonli a présenté ses lettres de créance",, January 26, 2008 (French).
  5. ^ a b c d Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders (2003), page 78.
  6. ^ "Le gouvernement du Burkina Faso, formé le 14 janvier 1999", Afrique Express (French).
  7. ^ "Burkina Faso: Tertius Zongo, ancien ministre, nommé Premier ministre", AFP (, June 5, 2007 (French).
  8. ^ "Tertius Zongo appointed new Burkinabe Prime Minister", African Press Agency, June 5, 2007.
  9. ^ "Redistribution des cartes : Les ambassades seront-elles le repaire des ministres débarqués ?",, 10 July 2007 (French).
  10. ^ "Photo: President Bush With Ambassador Paramanga Ernest Yonli of Burkina Faso", U.S. Department of State website, January 22, 2008.
  11. ^ "Etats-Unis : Les adieux de l’ambassadeur Yonli à ses hôtes", Sidwaya, 9 September 2011 (French).