Published on 27 September 2016

Ibrahima Diawadoh N'Jim, French PM's Africa man

 Manuel Valls and Ibrahima Diawadow

On December 5, former French prime minister Manuel Valls announced that he would be standing in the primaries to find a candidate to represent the Left in France's 2017 presidential elections. This seemed to us to be the right time to present a special report on Ibrahima Diawadoh N'Jim, his adviser on African affairs but also one of the most listened to of all his advisers. Much of the press seems to have only just learned of the existence of this secretive and enigmatic figure but West Africa Newsletter has been scrutinising him for several months already. A former security guard, he arrived in France from his native Mauritania in the 1980s and today is the key figure in the team surrounding Valls, formerly mayor of Evry in the Paris suburbs, for everything to do with the African continent.

The two men, who met in 2001, trust each other completely. Now, away from the official diplomatic circuit, Diawodah N'Jim is opening up access to his contacts and friends throughout sub-Saharan Africa, among them Ivorian interior minister Hamed Bakayoko, Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and businessman Seydou Kane, so as to enable Valls to strengthen his credentials as a potential future president.

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