Source : Lesinfos.ma
Third term, assessment, program, tensions with the opposition or even relations with international partners … A few days before the presidential election of October 18 in Guinea, Rachid Ndiaye, Minister of State, special advisor to President Alpha Condé answers our questions to the hilt. Exclusive interview.
Lesinfos.ma : What is your assessment of the first two terms of President Alpha Condé?
Rachid N’diyae: Since the conversion of Guinea to the democratic experience in 2010, we must recognize President Alpha Condé, the merit of having kept Guinea on this path. The country then came a long way: Twenty six years of one-party rule under President Ahmed Sékou Touré from 1958 to 1984. 24 years of President General Lansana Conté’s regime and two years of military transition between 2008 and 2010, between Captain Moussa Dadis Camara and General Sékouba Konaté.
For ten years, Guinea has lived under political pluralism, with political parties, associations, civil society movements, each playing its role, like justice. The National Assembly plays its role of counter-power, the media have found their place in the democratic game, freedom of the press and of opinion allows private radio and television to exercise their mission with unparalleled freedom of tone in the region ? No politician is deprived of his civic rights, knows the prison or forced into exile for his ideas. Elections have been held since 2010 in a framework of total openness.
What about the economic aspect?
On the economic front, to the President’s credit, we can put the re-establishment of the major macroeconomic balances which made it possible to reconnect with the IMF and the World Bank with access in September 2012 to the Heavily Indebted Poor Pats Initiative ( HIPC). In 2010 the indicators were red, the Central Bank did not even have three months of foreign exchange reserve to cover imports. At the time, the country recorded more than 21% inflation rate, 14% budget deficit, an economic growth rate of around 3%.
Today, even in a time of slowdown in economic activity due to the Coronavirus, Guinea is experiencing an economic growth rate of 6%, inflation of less than 10%, the budget deficit reduced to 2% of GDP. Support for the agricultural world and local communities which benefit from 15% of mining revenues, i.e. 700 billion Guinean francs. When $ 70 million is mobilized for economic and social inclusion and significant funds raised for the empowerment of youth and women. The government concluded a framework agreement for road and road infrastructure of 20 billion dollars, etc … In 2010, the energy capacity of the country was 100 mgw, this was multiplied by three by the construction of the Kaleta dam ( 240 mgw) Souapiti (450 mgw) and the launch of Amaria ‘300 mgw).
What prompts him to run for a third term despite opposition challenges?
President Alpha Condé is running for the first term of the fourth Guinean republic, because, in a decade, he has a record which is recognized as positive by the majority of Guineans who have decided to entrust him with a new mission. This is not a strictly personal ambition, but that of a team united around a large number of political parties, associations, social organizations and ordinary citizens. He is a candidate in a ballot which takes place in a context of total inclusiveness which offers each Guinean political actor the freedom to make his political offer, in an election whose transparency is ensured by a sovereign independent national electoral commission whose members belong on an equal basis to the political majority and the opposition, with a president from civil society.
The other reason is that President Alpha Condé also defends a political, economic and social program which has been translated into national languages. The opposition is contesting, you say, it is in its role, but this challenge can only be done at the ballot box, not outside the law or in the streets. The main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, challenged the new constitution adopted by referendum, the last legislative elections, before taking part in this October 18 poll which is based on the same new constitution, retroactively validating , the new fundamental law and the candidacy of President Alpha Condé. While adding later that he would not recognize the results that would be unfavorable to him! There are too many inconsistencies …
What are the main axes of its program for this new mandate?
In short, the program of the shared prosperity campaign is based on improving the daily life of Guineans, that is to say, redistributing the fruits of economic performance. Reduce the disparity between cities and the countryside by dedicating, for example, 15% of the country’s mining revenues to financing local communities, i.e. 700 billion Guinean francs. $ 70 million will be allocated to the National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion. Also included in the priorities is the strengthening of water and electricity supply to citizens, the rehabilitation of infrastructure and roads, preparing the country’s access to technology for future generations. As well as the empowerment of young people and women.
How do you see the candidacy of the former prime minister, Cellou Dalein Diallo?
It is a candidacy that is part of the democratic game. As long as it moves away from violence, we should be happy about it. The ballot allows him to submit his project of society to the people of Guinea, it is his third candidacy. It is not simply a question of opposing one’s adversary or wishing for his departure, it is necessary to make a substantial political offer, without falling into the blackmail with the violence which consists in speaking; if I am not elected, I take the street. Or, I will count the votes myself, while the election is organized and supervised by an independent national electoral commission composed on a parity basis between the majority and the opposition.
The UN is worried about a resurgence of tensions, especially sectarian tensions. Is there a risk of overflow and violence?
The UN is in a role of conflict prevention, whether they are confessional as you say, political, social or community. But the real response to violence lies in the search for solutions to the problems of the fight against poverty, the development of education in the fight against obscurantism and fanaticism. In France, it is said that from education the greatness of nations is born. In Guinea, there are no confessional-type conflicts, it is to our credit, religions coexist without major crises, we should be delighted.
What is President Condé’s position regarding developments in the region? What role can Guinea play in this direction?
The president is involved in efforts to preserve peace in the region through multilateral and bilateral peace mechanisms, with a view to strengthening regional institutions. Do not forget that President Condé is the first African president to have drawn the attention of the G20 countries to the Deauville summit on the consequences of the destabilization of Libya which would be detrimental to the region. The rest is known.
What relations does it maintain with international partners? How can these relationships evolve during a possible new mandate?
President Alpha Condé’s fundamental principle is to maintain what he calls major relations with international partners in a balanced and uninhibited framework. It is the same message that he defended in 2007, when he was President in office of the African Union, namely that the continent takes charge of itself for its economy, its development and its security. It is not in a logic of exclusion, but of partnership with others. Today, it is for him to stay the course on democracy and good governance to promote the rigor and attractiveness of the country, to attract investors. As such, Guinea maintains excellent relations with the Kingdom of Morocco, which is a development partner. You know, Morocco welcomes a lot of Guinean students and even participates in the training of some of our Guinean ulama.
Interview by Aziz Saidi