Diadié SANKARÉ, NATIONAL PATRONATE COUNCIL OF MALI
"My election is simply indisputable, I'm now the boss of bosses"
Meeting with Amadou aka Diadié Sankaré, newly elected president of the National Council of Employers of Mali (CNPM), a renewal of the office of the employers' association of Mali contested by the outgoing president, Mamadou Sinsy Coulibaly who is calling for a new election. This change at the head of the employers' association comes in a difficult economic context, marked by the pandemic linked to the Covid-19, and by a period of political transition that no one could have imagined.
54 STATES: At the time of this interview, your predecessor, Mamadou Sinsy Coulibaly is not taking off. And for good reason, he considers that there were irregularities and argues that the general election of September 26 was cancelled because your list was incomplete, following the withdrawal of certain members who claim not to have been consulted and who therefore expressed their disagreement. Mr. Sankaré, under what conditions did these elections take place?
Diadié SANKARÉ: I can confirm that these elections took place under normal conditions. After an elective assembly convened by the CNPM bureau which met on 3 July and established a calendar, the last stage of which was the meeting of 26 September.
Everything took place in very good conditions. We arrived in the morning at 9:00 a.m. in front of the CNPM headquarters. Our surprise was to find the offices closed. The building was padlocked, as I said when I appeared on national television. Out of 155 registered delegates, there were 107 votes cast (out of a quorum of 104), including 17 blank ballots. Subsequently, I won the vote with 89 votes to 1 for Mamadou Sinsy coulibaly. With 2/3 of the delegates present, we decided to hold the election in accordance with the CNPM statutes.
Inchallah, I will be installed at the end of the mandate of this office, from October 10.
My election is simply indisputable! Today I am the boss of bosses
54 STATES: Why does Mamadou Sinsy Coulibaly's camp claim that the Statutory Committee has no authority to organise elections?
Diadié SANKARÉ: Who has quality then? One wonders. The bureau has no quality, the statutory committee has no quality, so only one person has quality? We are wondering. One person is a whole. The president holds the offices and the by-laws and the internal rules and regulations allow the functioning to be managed.
54 STATES: Has the CNPM board tried to negotiate?
Diadié SANKARÉ: Negotiations were attempted even before the election date. We even tried mediation at the meeting last Tuesday. It did not succeed.
54 STATES: And, to close the debates of your detractors who argue that you were badly elected, would you be in favour of another election being held under the statutory conditions by 10 October?
Diadié SANKARÉ: I was elected by the delegates, so I think I was well elected.
54 STATES: Your answer is no?
Dadié SANKARÉ: Absolutely. It is no.
54 STATES: With this unprecedented political turning point, and this embargo that has just been lifted but which has affected trade and financial exchanges, Malians are confused. Can Mali raise its head?
Dadié SANKARÉ: Absolutely. You know, Mali is a resilient people. We are going to raise our heads very quickly. Mali has been going through crises for 30 years. Despite this, the economic indicators are good. What we lack is real leadership.
I really believe in Mali. I believe in our potential. I believe in Mali's future.
Mali is a resilient people
54 STATES: What will be your economic recovery plan for the private sector?
Dadié SANKARÉ: The economic recovery plan already consists of reviving the private sector. We need to bring the private sector together so that we can all speak with one voice. We must also ensure that between "private sector" we can dialogue. We need to optimise the value chain of this private sector. It is essential that companies know each other and achieve a significant turnover among themselves.
54 STATES: You announce 5 priority projects based on the words: bringing together, modernising, integrating, sharing. Can you expand on them?
Dadié SANKARÉ: By modernising, I mean optimising the business model.
The CNPM can lead this reflection to enable Malian economic operators to adapt to new technologies. For me, this is the way to modernise.
It is also essential to modernise our local raw materials in order to stop abruptly exporting them.
The transformation of our raw materials must be done from Mali. Let's build modern slaughterhouses, for example.
There are many things we can do in Mali, instead of always being dependent on the Ivory Coast and Senegal.
There is a lot that can be done in Mali, instead of always being dependent on the Ivory Coast and Senegal. We also need these countries in the sub-region to be our clients.
54 STATES: Taking advantage of globalisation, new technologies and the digital revolution, is this in your plans Mr. Sankaré?
Dadié SANKARÉ: Africa today is one of the most connected continents. Even Malians from the most disadvantaged social class have a smartphone
54 STATES: Have you spoken with the Transitional Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane?
Dadié SANKARÉ: Not yet, but it is on the agenda.
54 STATES: Are you aware that it is difficult to be a young entrepreneur in Mali?
Dadié SANKARÉ: Of course. I am aware of that. The urban youth, the rural youth, the Malian diaspora, the "repats" who return to Mali so convinced of its potential.
54 STATES: Many young people are struggling to shine in entrepreneurship on the labour market without public aid. And for the "repats", there are so many challenges: cultural, structural, administrative and financial.
54 STATES: You are known as the "Serial entrepreneur". In fact, you own about thirty companies operating in several countries in the West African sub-region, particularly in the HR, finance, mining, security, agribusiness and so on, and you represent several international companies such as SNC Lavallin, Razel, Bouyues, Hydro GEO Canada. With 24-hour days, how do you manage your time?
Dadié SANKARÉ: The secret of a good manager? He delegates. He prepares his replacement. I only see the results of these companies. I am not the actor of all this. I prepare the next generations.
54 STATES: So you will have the time to invest yourself fully in the employers?
Dadié SANKARÉ: Absolutely. I have decided to devote more time to the macro-economic environment.