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Cyril Daddieh

former diplomat, cabinet minister, president of the National Assembly, second president of Ivory Coast, and first president to be deposed by the Ivorian armed forces, was born in Dadiékro, in central Ivory Coast. A member of the Baulé ethnic group that dominated the Ivorian political economy since the early 1940s, Bédié was a favored protégé of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

He studied law and economics in France at the University of Poitiers, after which he joined the Ivorian civil service in the waning years of French colonial rule in 1960 and was sent to study at the French Foreign Ministry. Two months later, he was named councillor at the French Embassy in Washington. Only twenty-seven years old at independence in August 1960 Bédié became Ivory Coast s chargé d affaires and shortly thereafter ambassador to the United States He also established the Ivorian mission to the United Nations in New York ...


Richard A. Bradshaw

first president of the Central African Republic (CAR), was born on 24 March 1930 at Bouchia, Lobaye, then in the territory of Ubangi-Shari in French Equatorial Africa. His father, Joseph Iniabodé, and mother, Marie Okolania, belonged to the same ethnic group, the Mbaka (Ngbaka), as future CAR presidents Jean-Bédel Bokassa and Barthélemy Boganda. The grandfathers of Iniabodé and Boganda were “brothers” of the same clan, and Okolania was also a relative of Bokassa’s father and a “sister” of Bokassa’s mother.

Soon after Dacko’s birth his family moved to Boda, where his father worked in a store belonging to a European coffee planter at Bonini named Tancret. In 1937 his father became a Catholic, after which he kept one wife and sent the others away, including Dacko’s mother. In 1938 Dacko was sent to live with his uncle Jêrome Gaza in Mbaïki where he attended the École Regionale ...


Eric Young

During his first presidency of the Central African Republic, David Dacko relied on the support of a narrow elite backed by French troops; he repeated this pattern during his brief return to power fourteen years later. The son of a night watchman in Bouchia, Oubangui-Chari (present-day Central African Republic), Dacko attended local primary and secondary schools and went on to attend classes in neighboring Moyen-Congo, (present-day Republic of the Congo). After his graduation he taught school until he was named a school director in 1955. He became friends with the Central African politician Barthélemy Boganda and was elected to the territorial assembly In the self governing period prior to independence Boganda named Dacko minister of agriculture and later minister of interior and administrative affairs When Boganda was killed in an airplane crash Dacko succeeded him by claiming kin ties to Boganda despite the constitutional claim of ...


Richard Watts

Born into a lower-middle class Haitian family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, François Duvalier attended local primary schools and, later, the Lycée Pétion, where he was taught by his political mentor, Dumarsais Estimé. Duvalier subsequently attended medical school at the national university, earning a degree in 1934. He then turned to civil service, working for the Haitian government for the next ten years. During this time Duvalier became part of a collective known as the Griots, a group of intellectuals, inspired by the Négritude movement, who sought to glorify Haiti's African heritage.

In Le problème des classes à travers l'histoire d'Haïti (1946), Duvalier and Lorimer Denis rejected a Marxist analysis of class and claimed that the historical supremacy of the mulatto (of African and European descent) elite in Haiti was an ethnic rather than an economic phenomenon Many historians deem this work a vulgarization of the ...


Before he became president of Haiti, Dumarsais Estimé was elected deputy to the National Assembly in 1930 and later served as minister of education in the cabinet of President Sténio Vincent. In his education post, he funded or raised teacher salaries; mandated vaccinations in primary schools; made sports obligatory in all schools, both public and private; and initiated interscholastic sports competitions. In 1946 he was elected president by the National Assembly. Estimé was supported by the black intelligentsia and represented the return to power of the black elite, after the ouster of mulatto president Elie Lescot. Not widely liked at the time he took office, Estimé went on to become one of Haiti's most popular leaders.

As president Estimé launched populist and nationalist reforms in the areas of labor legislation education health care and sanitation He supported projects to attract tourism to the island notably the Universal ...


Nana Yaw B. Sapong

, teacher, diplomat, politician, and president of Ghana’s Third Republic, was born in Gwellu in the Upper Region of Ghana in 1934. His father was a blacksmith and farmer in a region noted for predominantly producing cereal, root crops, and legumes. Limann was an accomplished individual. After completing his elementary education at Lawra and Tamale, he earned a teacher’s certificate from the Tamale Government Teacher Training College in 1952 and the General Certificate Examination Advanced Level in 1957. This earned him a place at the London School of Economics, where he completed a bachelor of science in economics degree in 1960. He journeyed to France where he earned a doctorate in political science and constitutional law from the University of Paris in 1965 Limann also received a high diploma in the French language from the Sorbonne 1962 and a bachelor of arts in history from the ...