Global Upfront Newspapers
Africa Cover Life

Tribute: Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly

By Akinwumi A. Adesina

July 8 was all like every normal day, focused on work. I had no inkling there would be a storm, even though we have weathered many storms and floods in Abidjan in recent times.

Like a jolting bolt of thunder, everything changed when my wife, Grace, called my attention to a news item that the Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly had died. I told her this couldn’t be true as he just came back and as far as I knew he was fine. I quickly went to look at the news. I had not seen any official confirmation.

I made frantic calls. Alas! Amadou Gon had died indeed. What a tragedy! This was a storm with massive lightening like no other. I couldn’t control my sadness. This man who had served his nation so loyally and with such dignity has passed on, while at work. My thoughts went to his dear wife and family who have been thrown into sorrow, suddenly.

My mind went to President Alassane Ouattara, to whom he was a beloved son, a loyal partner and confidant for some 30 years. My mind went to the government of Côte d’Ivoire, and the nation where I lived for 5 years in the 1990s and now for another 5 years so far as President of the African Development Bank. A beautiful nation whom Amadou Gon served dutifully, diligently, passionately and faithfully until his last breath.

Amadou Gon was an exemplary leader. He was my friend. I remember calling him while in Paris. I was concerned about him and although we had exchanged messages, I still was not satisfied. I wanted to hear his voice. We spoke. I was very happy he was well. Amadou Gon deserved to be well.

He was such a great champion of programs to accelerate the development of his country. He carried the vision of the President and the government wholeheartedly into every meeting, into every discussion. We met very often, and every time I was always amazed at how this very humble and serious-minded public servant always put the development of his country first.

He worked very closely with the African Development Bank. He visited the Bank several times and took great interest in all matters that affect the Bank. He worked so hard with the Bank and several development partners to bring life to the social development policy of the government.

A humble man. A selfless man. A faithful man. A shining light. We met and spoke together on several forums around the world: on the plane, at airports, in high level forums and summits. My impression of him was the same: calm; wise; insightful.

A man of few words, whose every word was always well honed for impact. He spoke always from his heart. And he had a heart of gold. My heartfelt condolences go to his dear wife and family, and his aged mother. May God comfort them.

My heartfelt condolences go to President Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. Mr. President, you have lost your closest ally and confidant, who served you and his nation faithfully until his last breath, working for the good of Côte d’Ivoire. May God comfort you, the government and good people of Côte d’Ivoire.

My dear brother, Amadou Gon, thank you for your friendship. I was looking forward to us meeting again, in our usual warm brotherly embrace, to chat on your favorite topic: development of Côte d’Ivoire. But Alas! That is no longer to be. I guard emotions and memories of your life -your great life; and dedication and contributions to your nation.

Thank you Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly. Thank you my dear friend and brother, Amadou Gon. Rest well. You will be sorely missed.

Akinwumi A. Adesina is President, African Development Bank

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 10 July 2020

Advertize With Us

See Also

Anglophone Crisis: Cameroon Needs an AFCON Ceasefire, says International Crisis Group

Global Upfront

A well-connected Republican party strategist is helping Kanye West get on the ballot in Wisconsin

Global Upfront

India: 11 militants killed in Kashmir Valley in first week of 2022

Global Upfront

Court Discharges, Acquits Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Umar of Illegal Diversion of NAF Funds

Global Upfront

Obi Cubana abroad with wife, says ‘This Year Remains Our Best’

Global Upfront

EndSARS: End street protests, dialogue with govt on police reforms, Buhari begs Nigerian youths

Global Upfront

Olu Jacobs, my husband, battling ‘Dementia with Lewy bodies,’ veteran actress Joke Silva opens up

Global Upfront

Standby President Urgently Needed Here, By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Global Upfront

World Bank announces $500 million to fight locusts, preserve food security and protect livelihoods in Africa, Middle East

Global Upfront

Civil Defence unveils popular musician, D’banj, as Agro-Rangers’ brand ambassador

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More