Blaise Compaoré's younger brother and economic adviser, François, is involved in all strategic questions at the presidential palace. He is particularly close to Lamoussa Salif Kabore, Minister of Mines, Quarries and Energy. Technical issues apart, all the major decisions taken by Kaboré have to be pre-approved by François Compaoré, who, in his turn, runs them past his brother for his validation.
Within the head of state's inner circle, the head of the Presidential Investment Council, Djibrina Barry, is a former mines minister, while, in the private sector, the powerful head of the Burkina Faso Chamber of Mines, Elie Ouedraogo, is another member of the mines ministers' club.
Mining consultancy, the industry's holy of holies, is home to the greatest number of former ministers. François Ouedraogo was mines minister from 1992 to 1993, Pierre Claver Damiba, who also had other portfolios, from 1960 to 1966, and the ubiquitous Abdoulaye Abdoulkader Cisse from 2000 to 2011. All serve as strategically placed representatives of the interests of foreign mining investors in the country. Because they are all friends of Blaise Compaoré, they reinforce the latter's hold not only over the Burkina Faso mining industry but also that of other countries, since they are called in from time to time to advise neighbouring governments as well.