Ivory Coast PM in ‘good shape’ after return from France

People walk past a newspaper stand a day after the death of Ivory Coast's Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast March 11, 2021. The newspaper title (L) reads "Ivory Coast in mourning, Goodbye Hambak"

Ivory Coast Prime Minister Patrick Achi said he was in “good shape” after returning home to Abidjan on Friday, following reported medical treatment in France.

Achi, 65, spent five days in France undergoing tests for “severe fatigue” suffered since his appointment in March, two sources told Reuters.

A close confidant of President Alassane Ouattara, Achi was named prime minister following the death of the West African cocoa producer’s second premier in less than eight months.

He replaced Hamed Bakayoko, who died of cancer at 56. Bakayoko had replaced Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who died following cardiac issues last July.

State television showed Achi deplaning and being greeted by ministers on the tarmac in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan on Friday night.

“I feel very good. I came back in good shape to go back to work. We have a lot of things to do,” Achi said.

Achi is a key figure in discussions to resolve a large power generation deficit that has strained electricity supplies in urban areas for several weeks.

He visited France for health reasons last week but left prematurely to participate in discussions about the power problems, the sources said. He then returned to Paris on Tuesday, cancelling a tour of hydroelectric dams.

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