Alpha Oumar Konaré
His Excellency Dr Alpha Oumar Konaré is a former President of Mali. He served as President from 1992 to 2002 and was Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission from 2003 to 2008.
He is credited with boosting Mali’s economy and fostering its democratic processes. The fifth of 14 children born to a schoolteacher in western Mali, Dr Konaré earned a doctorate at Warsaw University. After returning to Mali, he served as the country’s sports and culture minister, then as a university professor of history and archaeology. In 1991, he started Radio Bamakan, Mali’s first free radio station.
Dr Konaré was elected President in 1992 and was re-elected in 1997. He was the first democratically elected leader in Mali’s history to relinquish power to another democratically elected leader.
As President of Mali, Konaré was known as a pan-Africanist who implemented economic reforms supported by the donor community and helped resolve a rebellion in the country’s north. He is also credited with protecting Mali’s archaeological, cultural and academic histories, with curbing the spread of illegal small arms in Africa and with bringing information technology to Mali.