Amadou Toumani Touré

President of the Republic of Mali (2002 - 2012)

Date and place of birth:

4 November 1948 in Mopti (5th Region of Mali).

Education:

He attended the primary and elementary schools in Mopti, Timbuktu and Sofara and went on to study at the “Ecole Normale Secondaire” in Badalabougou - Bamako, from 1966 to 1969.

Attracted by a military career, he followed an ongoing vocational training path:

  • 1969 - 1972: Officer Cadet at the Combined Military Academy (EMIA) in Kati, Mali;
  • 1974 - 1975: Academy for Airborne Troops in Riazan, USSR;
  • 1978: National Commando Training Centre (CNEC) in Montlouis, France;
  • 1989 - 1990: School of Combined Arms Operations (17th graduating class) in Paris, France;
  • 1990: Higher School of Combined Arms Operations (42nd graduating class) in Paris, France.

Military and political career:

Sub-Lieutenant on 1st October 1972, Amadou Toumani Touré, was promoted successively to:

  • Lieutenant on 1st October 1974;
  • Captain on 1st October 1978;
  • Battalion Commander on 1st January 1984;
  • Lieutenant - Colonel on 1st October 1988;
  • Brigadier General on 8 June 1992;
  • General on 1st October 1996.

He was appointed Commander of the Presidential Guard on 28 April 1981 until 30 March 1984.

He was twice given command of the Commando Paras Battalion, in January 1984, then on 14 March 1991.

On 26 March 1991, Amadou Toumani Touré supervised the military operation that put an end to the 23-year regime of Moussa Traoré (Revolution for Democracy).

That day, he was elected President of the Committee for National Reconciliation (CRN), made up of officers, and on 29 March 1991 was made President of the Transitional committee for the Salvation of the People (CTSP) which was a merger between the CRN and the Coordination of Democratic Movement Associations.

He successfully presided over the Transition, which lasted 14 months. This period of confusion and uncertainty, combined nevertheless with hope, was to produce significant results for the future of Mali’s young democracy, including:

  • The holding of the National Conference, of which he was elected President (unique in Africa). He ran this democratic forum in masterly fashion and in a record time of 15 days (29 July to 12 August 1991), producing texts of capital importance, such as: the draft constitution, the Electoral Code, the Charter of the Political Parties and the State of the Nation.
  •  His effective participation in the 6th Conference (Palais de Chaillot, France) at the Summit of Heads of State and Government for French-speaking countries (19 to 21 November 1991).

As a result of his foresight and methodical, rigorous organising talents, the election schedule for setting up the 3rd Republic institutions was completed successfully in a calm, serene atmosphere:

  • 12 January 1992, Constitutional Referendum;
  • 19 January 1992, Municipal elections;
  • 23 February 1992 and 8 March 1992, first and second round of the Parliamentary elections;
  • 12 and 26 April 1992, first and second round of the Presidential election.

At the Summit for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OCI) in Dakar, on 9 to 12 December 1992, his qualities as a negotiator enabled him to persuade his peers to adopt the Resolution on “Islamic solidarity towards Mali for the return of peace and development in its Northern regions”.

The following are some of the personal initiatives undertaken by His Excellency, Mr. Amadou Toumani Touré:

  • The consolidation of the independence of the Magistracy, through the adoption of a status of the Judiciary, which guaranteed the tenure of judges;
  • The suppression of special courts, such as the Special Security Court, which was a violation of the sacred rights of defense;
  • A presidential pardon was granted to approximately 150 people (particularly women and children whose prison conditions were an affront to human conscience);
  • Support for the development of the free, private press, the setting-up of free, private national and foreign radio stations - RFI and Africa no. 1, and the authorisation of private TV channels;
  • Mali joined Air Afrique as an example  of sub-regional economic integration;
  • The organization, for the first time in Mali, of the Trade, Industry and Crafts Forum and the Rural Areas Forum;
  • The signature of the National Pact: the Tuareg ethnic group had been in rebellion against the national government since June 1990. The signature, on 11 April 1992 in Bamako, of the National Pact ratifying the settlement of the conflict in Northern Mali after the Ségou and Mopti consultations in Mali, from 25 to 28 November and 15 to 19 December 1991, then those of Algiers I, II, III during March - April 1992, is considered not only as a victory for the people of Mali but also as a personal triumph for Amadou Toumani Touré and his policy of openness and dialogue.

Under his authority, the Social Pact for the improvement in working conditions and the lives of workers was signed in Bamako on 7 May 1992 between the Government of Mali and the National Union of Workers in Mali (UNTM).

Humanitarian action and mediation

Convinced that he could be of use, even without being President, General Amadou Toumani Touré dedicated himself to social initiatives in favour of the most disadvantaged:

  • In September 1992, at the request of President Jimmy Carter, he accepted the patronage of the Program for the Eradication of Dracunculiasis in Mali, which became the agreement on the eradication of the guinea worm and the fight against blindness between the Government of the Republic of Mali and Global 2000 INC.
  • In August 1993, he set up the Children’s Foundation to “pay off a debt” towards children (his lifelong friends and companions).
  • On 14 May 1994 in Dakar (Senegal), ATT was elected President of the Inter-African “Street Children” Network,
  • In November 1995, the summit for the Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region met in Cairo (Egypt) and chose him as the facilitator for the settlement of the conflict in the region;
  • In 1996, he headed the OAU observation mission for the Algerian elections;
  • On 12 July 1996 in Lomé, Togo, he was awarded the “Diploma for the Promotion of Democratic Culture in Africa” by the Pan-African Observatory for Democracy (OPAD);
  • 1996-1997 Mediator in the Central African Republic (Chairman of the Bangui agreements monitoring committee (African Forces MISAB))
  • In July 1996, the WHO appointed him as a member of the International Committee for a polio-free Africa;
  • He was appointed Chairman of the Steering Committee for the National Vaccination Days (JNV) against poliomyelitis, by decree no. 305/PRM of 22 October 1997;
  • 1998: Founder of the Mothers’ and Children’s Hospital, “Le Luxembourg”;
  • 1998: Appointed Chairman of the Committee for the fight against Trachoma, by decision no. 595/MSPA- SG of 15 October 1998;
  • 1999: Member of the OAU PANEL (an International Group of Eminent Personalities to investigate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and its consequences).
  • 2000: Appointed by the International Organization for the French-speaking World (OIF) as the Special Envoy for the Secretary General of the OIF, Mr. Boutros Boutros Ghali, to the Heads of State, OIF members, who had not yet signed and/ or ratified the Ottawa Convention;
  • 2001: Member of the Board of Directors of OSIWA; - 2001: Appointed in the Central African Republic as the Special Envoy for the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Koffi Annan, dated 5 June 2001.

An independent candidate, Mr. Amadou Toumani Touré was elected President of the Republic on 24 May 2002 (introducing the notion of government by consensus).

He was re-elected on 12 May 2007 for a second term as Head of State. This decade spent as head of the government will remain in independent Mali’s history as one of the greatest socio-economic transformations of a country after independence.

The most significant gains were:

  • Government by consensus to establish the foundations of participative and responsible democracy and shared citizenship (all the key players in politics and civil society were invited to participate in the running of the Republic’s institutions (government, national assembly, council of local government authorities and economic-social and cultural council);
  • Ongoing improvements to the living conditions of workers and retired people in Mali;
  • The social housing policy (nearly 12,000 units built in ten years);
  • Free treatment for certain diseases or medical procedures (ARV against HIV/AIDS, cataracts, malaria in children and pregnant women, caesareans…) and the introduction of Compulsory Health Insurance to provide greater access to healthcare;
  • Major road infrastructure projects throughout the country (including the Bamako-Ségou motorway, still in progress), the 3rd bridge in Bamako, the Wabaria bridge in Gao, the Bamako multiple interchange, the new Bamako airport as part of the Millennium Challenge, the Modernisation of Dag Dag airport in Kayes, the Talo dam, the Djenné dam, still in progress, and the Taoussa dam project;
  • The increased energy offer via the Balingé power station and the support given to the SOPAM project, the Felou hydro-electric dam project, still in progress, and the proactive public lighting and urban roads programme in most of Mali’s secondary towns;
  • Arts and culture facilities (30 auditoriums);
  • Sports facilities (Bougouni, San and Sikasso stadiums), the exponential development of basketball courts;
  • Women and children’s Centres in the 6 regions and 2 in the Bamako district;
  • Health facilities: the Yirimadio, Sikasso and Mopti national hospitals, the extension and renovation works to the Point G, CHU Gabriel TOURE and KATI hospitals and health centres;
  • Workers’ living conditions: increased salaries, pensions, minimum wage and monthly pension payments; 
  • Winner of the Millennium Challenge award (USA).

 The works

  • Greater accessibility to the outside world

- Two international roads, Bamako – Dakar (South – West)

- The Bamako – Conakry road (Guinea)

- Gao – Niamey (Niger)

- Sikasso – Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso)

  • Greater internal accessibility

- Several roads and bridges

  • Reforms, school and university infrastructures
  • The fight against corruption (independent auditor general)
  • Political and institutional reforms
  • Gender promotion (appointment of a woman PM and other higher national functions)
  • The Personal and Family Code
  • The great Economic and Financial reforms

- Growth rate + 5% in 2011

- GDP 5.4% in 2011

  • Agriculture:

- Over 200,000 hectares developed in 10 years (total and partial irrigation)
- The promotion of agricultural research, livestock rearing and fishing
- The Agricultural Policy Act
- 15% of the budget associated with agriculture (2nd biggest budget heading after education)
- Cotton (One of Africa’s top 3 growers 400 to 600 tons a year) 

  • Energy:

- The promotion of bio-fuel and solar energy
- The promotion of domestic energy and rural electrification (AMADER)

  • Water: Water coverage rate

- 75% urban
- 73.5% rural

  • Jobs: 50,000 jobs in 10 years

 - Youth Employment National Employment Agencies, etc. (especially for young people and women)

  • Mines: the diversification of mining resources

- Gold (Mali is the 3rd biggest producer in Africa and the 19th biggest in the world)
- Iron, manganese and phosphate (expanding rapidly) 
- Oil drilling to begin in Q1 2012

  •  Commerce and industry:

- Private sector Policy Act
- New sugar refinery (NSUKALA in Niono, investment of 75 million francs CFA)
- WACEM Cement works (investment of 63 billion)
- Tractor assembly factory
- Car assembly factory
- Steel-making project with SANDEEP ENERGY (investment of 150 billion)
- Agro-industrial complex project (CEDIAM)
- At the forefront of reforming countries in the WAMU zone (in the 2011 business rapport).

  • …. The list is not comprehensive.

Decorations and distinctions
Below are listed just some of his many decorations and distinctions:

Malian

  • Knight of the National Order of Mali (1981);
  • Gold Medal for the Independence of Mali (1992); 
  • Grand Cross of the National Order of Mali (1992-2002-2007); 
  • Chaba SANGARE Prize (2001) for his Humanitarian Action in Commune IV of the Bamako District; 
  • Rotary International ’Paul Harris Fellow’ Prize, Bamako, Mali; 
  • “Ciwara d’Exception” Prize, Bamako, Mali (1997); 
  • Gold Medal awarded by the Consular Chambers of Mali (Feb. 2011)

Foreign

  • Life-saving Medal (USA) – 1973 campaign against famine in Mali; 
  • awarded the “Diploma for the Promotion of Democratic Culture in Africa” by the Pan-African Observatory for Democracy (OPAD) - 12 July 1996 in Lomé (Togo); 
  • The international “Juste d’Or” prize awarded by the SOS Injustice International Association (1994);
  • Commander of the Legion of Honour - France (1994); 
  • Awarded the 10th Africa Leadership Prize for permanently eliminating famine (1996); 
  • Grand Officer of the Central African Order of Merit (1996); 
  • MISAB Campaign Commemorative Medal, Bangui (CAR), 1997; 
  • Grand Officer of Merit, Chad (1997);
  • Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, France (1998); 
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, International Euro-American University of Panama (2005);
  • Grand Medal of the International council of Jurists (2005);
  • Associate member of the Overseas Academy of Science, Paris (2007); 
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Lyon III (2007);
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Moncton, Canada (2008); 
  • Medal of the José Marti Order of Cuba, Sept-Oct. 2009;
  • Kébé MBAYE Prize for Ethics, Senegal, April 2011; 
  • Grand Cross of the National Order of Liberia, April 2011;
  • Grand Cross of the Saint Charles Order of the Principality of Monaco, February 2012.

Amadou Toumani Touré is married to Mrs. Touré Lobbo, née Traoré. He is the father of three daughters.

He enjoys reading and sport, which he practices regularly.