Tinubu, Other African Leaders Present As 44-Year-Old Faye Gets Sworn In As Senegalese President

The 44-year-old opposition candidate, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, has been sworn in as the fifth Senegalese president.

NewsTimes reports that Faye has become the youngest elected president on the African continent.

The new president took over from the immediate past president, Macky Sall, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, in an event witnessed by African leaders in the new town of Diamniadio, near the capital Dakar.

Nigeria’s President and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government, Bola Tinubu, also witnessed the historic event.

1. Faye was born in Ndiaganiao, M’Bour, Thies, Senegal, on March 25 1980.

2. He previously held the position of General Secretary in the now-defunct political party PASTEF (Patriotes Africains du Sénégal pour le travail, l’éthique et la fraternité), which translates to African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics, and Fraternity. The party was established in 2014 by Ousmane Sonko.

3. After obtaining his baccalaureate in 2000, Faye achieved a master’s degree in law. He successfully passed both competitive exams and was admitted to the National School of Administration (ENA) and the magistracy in 2004.

4. Following his graduation, he joined the Tax and Estates department as a tax inspector, where he crossed paths with Sonko, a fellow alumni from the same school.

5. In 2014, Faye and Sonko’s bond strengthened within the Taxes and Estates Union, initiated by Sonko. During this period, Faye actively advocated for simplifying the process of homeownership for tax and property agents.

6. As the leader of PASTEF and Senegal’s primary opposition figure, Sonko publicly endorsed Faye as a presidential candidate in November 2023. This endorsement came amidst uncertainty surrounding Sonko’s own potential candidacy, despite the dissolution of PASTEF a few months earlier.

7. Faye endured more than 11 months of imprisonment due to a Facebook post that authorities considered subversive. Remarkably, he regained his freedom merely 10 days before the presidential election and still emerged victorious.

8. On March 15, 2024, Faye attracted hundreds of supporters at his initial public appearance as a presidential candidate, following an endorsement from Sonko and his release from jail.

9. On the same day, the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) and former President Abdoulaye Wade also backed Faye, enhancing his chances of winning the election.

10. Throughout his presidential campaign, Faye pledged to tackle unemployment, strongly opposed corruption, and promised to review energy agreements, all under the slogan “Diomaye mooy Ousmane” in Wolof, aiming to appeal to Senegal’s youth with Sonko’s popularity.

11. Faye, a close ally and friend of Sonko, gained popularity among Senegalese youth who sought a change from Sall’s administration.

12. Faye was arrested on April 14, 2023, outside his office in Dakar. The police detained him on charges of “spreading false information, contempt of court, and defamation of a legal entity” following a social media post.

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