| Hamed Bakayoko |
(politician, COVID-19/Premature death)
|Born||8 March 1969|
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
|Died||10 March 2021 (Age 52)|
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Cause of death
|Alma mater||University of Ouagadougou|
|Victim of||premature death|
There was no clear explanation for the sudden deterioration in his state of health, and even less for his death. Bakayoko, who was hit by Covid-19 twice and also by malaria, was not in the best of shape but "in excellent spirits". During the 2020 Christmas and New Year spent at his home in Assinie, Bakayoko didn’t display any signs of illness. While not himself believing he was poisoned, he mused “What’s strange is that Nestor [his butler] fell ill at the same time as me. We thought it was malaria. He lost more than 10kg.” They both ate the same food.
He had previously served as the country's Minister of New Technologies, Information and Communication, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Defense.
In 1990, Bakayoko started working as a journalist for Radiodiffusion Television Ivoirienne. In 1991, he founded the newspaper Le Patriote, and interviewed Alassane Ouattara at his wedding. He later worked for Radio Nostalgie and Nostalgie Afrique. He worked as the head of the Ivorian branch of Radio Nostalgie. In the 1990s, he was a founder member of the student branch of the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast – African Democratic Rally. Later that decade, he joined the Rassemblement des Républicains. During the First Ivorian Civil War, he worked in mediation.
Between 2007 and 2011, Bakayoko was Minister of New Technologies, Information and Communication in Guillaume Soro's government. In 2011, he became the Ivory Coast's Minister of the Interior in Alassane Ouattara's government. He supported Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in the 2015 Burkinabé general election. In 2016, he remained as Minister of the Interior in Daniel Kablan Duncan's new government. In 2017, he became Ivorian Minister for Defence. at a time when the Army had been facing many mutinies. That year, he worked as a mediator in negotiations with Togo. In 2018, Bakayoko became mayor of Abobo district of Abidjan.
In May 2020, Bakayoko became Acting Prime Minister, when Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly went to France for a heart exam and rest. Coulibaly returned on 2 July and resumed his duties, but less than a week later, he became unwell during a cabinet meeting and died. Bakayoko took over on an interim basis and was confirmed to the position on 30 July 2020. On 8 March 2021, he was replaced by Patrick Achi as interim prime minister and President Ouattara’s younger brother Téné as interim defence minister.
Health and death
Bakayoko announced on 6 April 2020 that he had tested positive for COVID-19, followed on 17 April by an announcement that he had made a full recovery. He subsequently suffered a second coronavirus infection and severe malaria.
He received lengthy treatment in France, at the American Hospital of Paris, twice in early 2021. On 6 March 2021, he was transferred to University Medical Center Freiburg for a further experimental treatment. He was said to undergo cancer treatment there and was said to be "in critical condition". Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara announced via Twitter that Bakayoko died on 10 March 2021, two days after his 56th birthday.