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Susan Shepler

Sierra Leone's fourth elected president and a former insurance company boss, was born in Makeni, Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone, 2 October 1953. His father, Sylvanus Fornah Koroma, commonly known as “Teacher,” was of Loko and Temne ethnicity, and served as a bible teacher at the Wesleyan Church in Makeni for many years. He was a strong supporter of Siaka Probyn Stevens's presidency and of the All People's Congress (APC) political party. His mother, Alice Rosaline Koroma (1932–2012) was ethnically Limba, and spent her career as a primary school teacher in Makeni. Madam Koroma served in the Makeni City Council in the 1960s, also as a member of the All People's Congress (APC).

Koroma attended the Sierra Leone Church Primary School in Makeni, and the Government Secondary School in Magburaka. In 1976 Koroma graduated from Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone with a degree ...


Cyril Daddieh

an economist and international banker-turned-politician in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), was born in Dimbokro on 1 January 1942. This birthplace and his subsequent claim to Ivoirian nationality is highly contested in Abidjan, the Ivoirian commercial capital. He attended secondary school in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and then proceeded to the University of Pennsylvania on a Fulbright scholarship as a national of Burkina Faso. He received his bachelor’s degree (BA) in mathematics, followed by an MA and a PhD in economics, awarded in 1967 and 1972. respectively.

“ADO,” as Ouattara is popularly known to his supporters, has had an illustrious career in international banking and finance spanning nearly four decades. He first joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April 1968 as chief economist Ouattara left five years later to join the Central Bank of West African States BCEAO as head of mission in Paris where he ...


Peter J. Duignan

fifth president of the Republic of Liberia, was born in Newark, Ohio, the son of John Roye, a wealthy merchant. His mother's name is unknown. His father died in 1829, leaving some personal property and land to Roye. He went to public schools in Ohio, attended Oberlin College, and taught for a few years in Chillicothe. He also tried his hand as a sheep trader and shopkeeper in various parts of the Midwest. After his mother died in 1840 he was influenced by the emigration movement to escape American prejudice. He rejected the idea of going to Haiti and instead traveled to Liberia in 1846 just before an independent republic was installed there in July 1847, taking with him a stock of goods.

At the time of Roye s arrival the new republic faced a variety of ills The dominant Americo Liberians remained a small minority threatened ...


Jeremy Rich

president of Benin, was born on 1 July 1952 in the central Beninese town of Tchaourou. His father belonged to the Nago ethnic community, a Yoruba-speaking group that long lived in what became the independent country of Benin. Boni’s mother belonged to the small Bariba ethnic group from the northern part of the country. Boni’s family was Muslim, but he later converted to Pentecostal Christianity. He later married Chantal De Souza, a member of the very wealthy De Souza family from the coastal city of Whydah. The couple had five children.

He began his studies in 1959 at the École Publique in Tcharourou. Later, he attended secondary school at Lycée Mathieu Bouke in the northern Beninese town of Parakou, where he ultimately passed his baccalaureate examinations in 1972 He received a master s degree in economics from the National University of Benin He received several other graduate degrees from ...