Senegal’s Youngest President, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, sworn in

His victory was seen as reflecting the will of young people frustrated with widespread unemployment.
Bassirou Diomaye Faye speaks after being sworn in as Senegal's president at a ceremony in Diamniadio, near Dakar.
Bassirou Diomaye Faye speaks after being sworn in as Senegal's president at a ceremony in Diamniadio, near Dakar.John Wessels/AFP

Senegal has sworn in Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye as its new president, rounding off the previously little-known opposition figure’s dramatic ascent from prison to the palace in just weeks. Reports say he is Senegal’s youngest president.

Faye, 44, was sworn in on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, after sweeping to a first-round victory in the March 24 elections on a pledge of reform. 

“Before God and the Senegalese nation, I swear to faithfully fulfil the office of president of the Republic of Senegal,” Faye stated in Diamniadio, near the capital, Dakar.

He also pledged to “carefully observe the provisions of the constitution and the laws” and defend “the integrity of the territory and national independence, and to spare no effort to achieve African unity."

Faye was freed from prison less than two weeks before the vote, along with popular opposition figure and mentor Ousmane Sonko, after a political amnesty announced by Sall.

The election tested Senegal’s reputation as a stable democracy in West Africa, a region that has experienced coups and attempted coups. 

Faye campaigned on a pledge to eradicate corruption and better manage Senegal’s natural resources. His victory reflects the will of young people frustrated with widespread unemployment and former colonial ruler France, seen by critics as using its relationship with Senegal to enrich itself.

Bassirou Diomaye Faye exchanges a handshake with a government official during his swearing in as Senegal's President at Diamniadio, near Dakar.
Bassirou Diomaye Faye exchanges a handshake with a government official during his swearing in as Senegal's President at Diamniadio, near Dakar.John Wessels/AFP
Bassirou Diomaye Faye with some government officials during his swearing in ceremony
Bassirou Diomaye Faye with some government officials during his swearing in ceremony Zohra Bensemra/Reuters
Newly sworn-in President Faye stands with his two wives, Marie, right, and Absa, during his inauguration ceremony.
Newly sworn-in President Faye stands with his two wives, Marie, right, and Absa, during his inauguration ceremony. Jerome Favre/EPA

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