Edem Kodjo

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Edem Kodjo (2011)

Edem Kodjo (born May 23, 1938 in Sokodé as Édouard Kodjovi Kodjo ; † April 11, 2020 in Neuilly-sur-Seine ) was a Togolese politician and writer .

Political career

Edem Kodjo was Togo's finance minister from 1973 to 1976 under President Gnassingbé Eyadéma , then foreign minister until 1978. From 1978 to 1983 he was Secretary General of the OAU, the Organization for African Unity (now the African Union ).

In the course of the upheaval after the end of the East-West confrontation and the bloc politics that had dominated African politics until then, he broke with Eyadema in 1990 and founded the Togolese Union for Democracy (UTD).

As chairman of the small opposition party UTD, he was appointed Prime Minister for the first time on April 22, 1994 by President Gnassingbé Eyadéma . In the previous parliamentary elections, the UTD had only seven seats in the National Assembly (one of them through Kodjo), while the larger opposition party CAR won 36 of the 81 seats, and the ruling party RPT lost a majority. Both opposition parties belonged to the so-called “moderate opposition”, which could be persuaded by intensive efforts of France , Germany , the USA and Burkina Faso to take part in the elections, while the parties of the “traditional” or “radical” opposition boycotted the elections.

Edem Kodjo formed a coalition government from members of the UTD, the former unity party RPT and independents. The most important acts of his government included the passage of an amnesty law for politically motivated crimes in December 1994 and the release of many political prisoners. When the RPT recorded large gains in by-elections in August 1996, Edem Kodjo resigned; the occupation of the key positions remained unchanged under his successor Kwassi Klutse . The cooperation with the RPT had led to a certain isolation of Kodjo within the opposition.

Edem Kodjo was later chairman of the Convergence Patriotique Panafricaine (CPP), which emerged from the merger of the small opposition parties PAD, UTD, UDS and PDU.

On June 8, 2005, the newly elected President Faure Gnassingbé named Edem Kodjo Prime Minister. In the run-up to the presidential election, Kodjo had proposed the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission based on the South African model . He was succeeded as Prime Minister in September 2006 by Yawovi Agboyibo .

Literary work

Kodjo has published several books, including Et demain l'Afrique and Port Mélo . For these works he was awarded the Grand Prix littéraire de l'Afrique noire in 1985 and 2006 respectively. His works also include the novel Au commencement était le glaive (2004) and the essay Lettre ouverte à l'Afrique cinquantenaire , published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the “ African Year ” in 2010 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The International Who's Who 1992–93. Taylor & Francis, London, 56th edition, 1992, ISBN 0-946653-84-4 , p. 886 (preview in Google Books) .
  2. ^ Togo: décès de l'ancien Premier ministre Edem Kodjo. In: Jeune Afrique . April 11, 2020, accessed on April 12, 2020 (French).