New Niger President Picks His Predecessor’s Son as Oil Minister

Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, who promised continuity, named his predecessor’s son, Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, to become the country’s new oil and energy minister.

The new government also includes Ousseini Hadizatou Yacouba, leader of the women’s wing of the ruling party, as mining minister in one of the world’s leading producers of uranium.

Alkassoum Indatou, a ruling party leader, was made defense minister, while Ahmad Jidoud, a former International Monetary Fund economist, is the new finance minister, according to a government statement Wednesday.

The cabinet announcement comes after Bazoum picked former President Mahamadou Issoufou’s chief of staff as his prime minister. Issoufou stepped down at the end of his second term last week in the West African nation’s first transfer of power through the ballot box. Bazoum’s predecessor and close ally took office in 2011 following years of political instability, including four coups since independence from France in 1960.

One of Bazoum’s biggest challenges is to stem insecurity in Niger, where Islamist violence has surged this year.

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