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20.12.2005 General News

Kufuor attends inauguration of Burkinabe President

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From: Kwaku Osei Bonsu, GNA Special Correspondent, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou, Dec. 20, GNA - President Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso was on Tuesday sworn into office for a third five-year term under his country's Fourth Republic, pledging to push a three-pronged development agenda to improve the life of his people. These, he said, were the expansion of opportunities for wealth and job creation, human capital development and the building of infrastructure to support production.

He was speaking after taking the Oath of Office to the Constitutional Council at a brief but colourful ceremony held at the Ouagadougou Conference Centre. In attendance were several African leaders, including President John Agyekum Kufuor.

The others were President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, President Mathieu Kerekou of Benin, President Mamadu Tandja of Niger and Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberian President-elect.

The rest were President Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali, the President of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Joao Bernardo Viera. President Campaore, won presidential election held last November and contested by 11 other candidates, polling over 80 percent of the votes cast.

His closest rival had less than five percent of the votes. Voter turn out was 57.5 percent.

It was his third election victory after seizing power in a bloody military coup in 1987.

President Campaore said the march of his country to a society of hope would not be without obstacles, but expressed optimism of success. "The objectives to be achieved are within our reach," he added. He told his people that the November 13 election was a confirmation of the progress they were making to anchor the rule of law, which, they were building together with devotion, faith and hope. "After many decades of trials and tribulations which sprinkled the political history, Burkina Faso honours Africa by offering to the world the picture of a nation in continuous progress".

Burkina Faso with a population of 13.8 million and land area of 274,200 square kilometres has a per capita income of 360 dollars and is one of the least developed countries in the world. It has been grappling with recurring drought. Cotton is the mainstay of its economy.

President Kufuor's entourage, including Foreign Minister Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of the Interior, and Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, has since returned home.

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