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Alassane Ouattara

Alassane Ouattara , in full Alassane Dramane Ouattara, byname Ado (born January 1, 1942, Dimbokro, Côte d’Ivoire, French West Africa), Ivoirian economist and politician who was elected president of Côte d’Ivoire in 2010. Despite Ouattara’s victory, the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down, and the two established parallel administrations that both claimed legitimacy—until Gbagbo’s arrest in April 2011 effectively removed him from power.

Ouattara was born to a Muslim family of the Dioula people. There were claims that at least one of his parents hailed from neighbouring Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso); this would prove to be a contentious issue during his political career. Ouattara received his primary education in Côte d’Ivoire and his secondary education in Upper Volta. He then continued his studies in the United States, earning a B.Sc. (1965) in business administration from Drexel Institute of Technology, Philadelphia, and an M.A. (1967) and a Ph.D. (1972) in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ouattara was employed as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1968. He left the IMF in 1973 to begin working at the Central Bank of West African States (Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest; BCEAO), where he held various positions, including that of vice-governor, before returning to the IMF in 1984 to serve as director of the African department. In 1987 Ouattara also assumed the title of counsellor to the managing director of the IMF. He left the IMF in 1988 to become governor of the BCEAO, a position he held until December 1993, when he was made honorary governor.

In April 1990, as Côte d’Ivoire was in the grips of an economic crisis, Pres. Félix Houphouët-Boigny appointed Ouattara to chair a special commission on economic recovery. Ouattara accepted this appointment while maintaining his position as governor at BCEAO. That November Ouattara also assumed the newly created post of prime minister under Houphouët-Boigny, although economic recovery still remained