January 6, 2016 / 1:27 PM / in 2 years

Ivory Coast president vows 'more efficient government', reappoints PM

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara promised “a new departure” for French-speaking Africa’s largest economy on Wednesday as he started to reshuffle the government following his landslide re-election last October.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara speaks during his inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, November 3, 2015 REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Ouattara, who won a second five-year term with nearly 84 percent of the vote, reappointed Daniel Kablan Duncan as prime minister and called for greater unity within the government.

“We have started a new mandate that must mark a new departure in the direction of state affairs,” Ouattara said at a meeting attended by journalists. “The objective is to establish a more unified government so that it can be more efficient.”

Earlier on Wednesday the government had handed in its resignation. A senior official said ministers would be named over the coming week.

Ouattara has promised to reduce poverty, promote ethnic and political reconciliation, write a new constitution and share the benefits of an economic boom more widely following nearly a decade of crisis that culminated in a civil war in 2011..

Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa grower but many say they have not shared in wealth generated by economic growth rates of around 9 percent in each of the past three years.

While more jobs are available and the minimum salary has increased, the cost of living remains high.

Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Gareth Jones

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