Ivorian Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko dies at the 56-year-old German hospital

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko, who was seen as a possible successor to President Alassane Ouattara, has died at a hospital in southwestern Germany, two days after his 56th birthday, the government said on Wednesday.

Bakayoko was a former media chief who turned to politics and acted as a negotiator and intermediary between warring factions when a protracted civil conflict shook Côte d’Ivoire from the early 2000s.

A close ally of Ouattara, he was appointed Prime Minister in July 2020 following the sudden death of his predecessor Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who had been hand-picked by Ouattara to succeed him.

He was flown to France on February 18 for medical check-ups and later to Freiburg in Germany.

The government said in a statement on Friday that Ouattara had met Bakayoko during a visit to France last week, and given the minister’s state of health, it was recommended that his hospital stay be extended.

On Monday, Ouattara appointed his close confidant and chief of staff Patrick Achi as interim prime minister.

( Jowharwith REUTERS)