The dark side of a $100bn industry where enslaved children work in cocoa fields for the chocolate we all love to eat.
Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara named his close confidant and chief of staff, Patrick Achi, as interim prime minister on Monday in place of Hamed Bakayoko.
“State minister Patrick Achi will take over the functions of prime minister and head of government in an interim capacity,” the presidency said in a statement.
Tene Birahima Ouattara, presidential affairs minister and the younger brother of President Ouattara, was appointed interim defence minister, also replacing Bakayoko in that position.
Bakayoko, 56, travelled to France on February 18 for health reasons and has just been transferred to a hospital in Germany, a source close to the presidency told the AFP news agency, without specifying exactly when.
The nature of Bakayoko’s health issues has not been made public.
“Given the state of his health, he should remain in hospital for some time,” Ouattara said on Saturday, asking people to pray for Bakayoko.
Bakayoko, also known as “Hambak”, took over as prime minister in July 2020 from Amadou Gon Coulibaly who died after returning to Ivory Coast after two months in France, where he had been treated for heart problems.
Achi’s appointment as interim prime minister comes as the results of the presidential election held on Saturday are scheduled to be announced later on Monday.