In a historic moment for Senegal, 44-year-old Bassirou Diomaye Faye was on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, sworn in as the country’s fifth and youngest president since independence.

At 44, Faye, whose victory can be described as a journey from prison to palace, is also Africa’s youngest president.

Faye, a left-wing pan-Africanist, took the oath of office in Diamniadio, near Dakar, a ceremony which was graced by prominent African leaders including Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Raised in Ndiaganiao, Senegal, Faye, whose political journey can be described as one that was marked by adversity, was only released 10 days before the presidential ballot under an amnesty announced by outgoing President Macky Sall. He reportedly launched his campaign while still detained, and won the ballot despite never having held elected office before.

Related News

In his inauguration speech, Faye pledged to uphold the constitution, defend national independence, and pursue African unity. He emphasized priorities of national reconciliation, addressing the cost-of-living crisis, and combating corruption, working alongside his mentor Ousmane Sonko.

The newly elected president also outlined his vision for Senegal, aiming to regain control over key sectors such as oil, gas, and fishing, while advocating for agricultural investment to achieve food self-sufficiency. Despite his populist stance, Faye has reassured investors of Senegal’s commitment to productive cooperation.

The president’s democratic victory has garnered widespread praise, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing a keen interest in deepening the partnership between the United States and Senegal. As Senegal’s fifth president since independence, Faye’s presidency has inspired hope for a new era of reform and progress in the West African nation.