Youssou N'Dour appointed Senegal's Tourism and Culture Minister

By BBC
By BBC

4/5/2012 9:32:04 AM -

Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour has been appointed Tourism and Culture Minister in the cabinet of new President Macky Sall.

The singer threw his weight behind Mr Sall in elections earlier this year after being disqualified from running as a candidate himself.

Mr Sall, 50, was sworn into office on Monday, becoming the country's first new leader in 12 years.

He beat the incumbent, Abdoulaye Wade, in a run-off vote last month.

Mr Wade, 85, was criticised for competing for a third term in power, but was credited after the poll for peacefully accepting defeat.

Mr N'Dour is one of 25 new appointees to the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye.

Senegal's Constitutional Council had barred him for running in the polls on the grounds that he had failed to provide enough valid signatures to back his application.

The BBC's Thomas Fessy in Dakar says Mr N'Dour is very popular in Senegal, where he owns an influential media group, a night club and a music studio.

Earlier this week, in celebration of Mr Sall's victory, Mr N'Dour performed live in one of the main squares in the capital, Dakar, where opposition supporters often clashed with security forces during the election campaign.