Awaited since September 22 and the confirmation of Anatole Collinet Makosso as Prime Minister, which he has held since May 2021, the composition of the new Congolese government was unveiled 48 hours later. If a brief press release had been read on Télé Congo to announce the renewal of the head of government, his team was the subject, on the evening of September 24, on this same antenna, of a more solemn presentation on the part of Florent Ntsiba, the director of cabinet of the presidency, as if to better recall the importance of the mission entrusted to this new government: to apply the development plan which served as a program for President Denis Sassou Nguesso (DSN) for his re-election in March 2021 .
Congo: an “absolutely” Sassou Assembly?
To switch to l’action, the Head of State seems to have closed ranks around himself and Anatole Collinet Makosso. The extension of the functions of the latter is not a surprise, even if a certain concern had seized his entourage: since the proclamation, on August 2, of the results of the legislative elections of July, weeks passed without any announcement being made about him.
The Prime Minister will be supported by pillars of the regime, who have retained their prerogatives and their protocol order: Firmin Ayessa in the Civil Service, Labor and Social Security; Alphonse Nsilou, Trade and Consumer Affairs; Pierre Oba, Mining Industries, and Pierre Mabiala, Land Affairs. These Ministers of State, all from the three northern regions of the country, were joined by Jean-Jacques Bouya, another close friend of the President, who also retains his portfolio of Regional Planning and Infrastructure.
If Charles Richard Mondjo retains National Defense and Jean-Claude Gakosso Foreign Affairs, Zéphirin Mboulou returns to the Interior, after having taken care of Security in the previous government. The former holder of the office, Guy Georges Mbaka, was placed in a much less sensitive position: river economy.
More spectacular was the dismissal of Roger Rigobert Andély, until then Minister of Finance and Budget. The government’s “father-of-rigour”, known for the Bic rouge which made his colleagues shudder and reassured international donors, was fired, as during his previous stint in the same ministry between 2002 and 2005. sacking which somewhat surprised Brazzaville and which occurs at a time when an IMF delegation is staying in the Congolese capital.
It was Jean-Baptiste Ondaye, a discreet and little-known economist outside the Congo, originally, like the outgoing, from Boundji, in the North, who took over a large Ministry of Finance and the Economy (he was until then secretary general of the presidency). As for Ludovic Ngatsé, until then Minister Delegate for the Budget, becomes holder of the post.
Congo: Sassou Nguesso takes stock
In a grand game of musical chairs, Émile Ouosso moves from Special Economic Zones (ZES) to Energy, Jean-Marc Thystère Tchicaya from Transport to ZES, and Honoré Sayi, the only minister from the opposition, from Energy to Transport.
Ingrid Ebouka-Babackas leaves the Economy to keep only the Plan and Regional Integration. Despite her defeat in the last legislative elections, Jacqueline Mikolo was reappointed to Small and Medium Enterprises. Bruno Itoua retains Hydrocarbons, Thierry Moungalla Communications, and Arlette Soudan-Nonault* Environment, to better prepare for the next COP to be held in Egypt. Another confirmed minister, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, who keeps International Cooperation and the same protocol rank (23rd) than previously.
In addition to Jean-Baptiste Ondaye, this more retouched than reshuffled government has also sought two personalities hitherto attached to the presidency. Lydie Pongault, former adviser for Culture, inherits the ministry of the same name, to which Tourism was attached; Juste Désiré Mondélé, political adviser, becomes Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior.
* Also wife of the director from the editorial staff of Jeune Africa.