Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and former President of the Republic of Senegal
Abdou Diouf served as Director of Cabinet of President Léopold Sédar Senghor in 1963, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal in 1964, and was then appointed Minister of Planning and Industry from 1968 to 1970. On February 26th, 1970, he was appointed Prime Minister, a position that he held for 11 years.
He became President of the Republic of Senegal on January 1st 1981, following the resignation of President Senghor. He was re-elected in 1983, 1988, and 1993. Abdoulaye Wade took over the State of Senegal after the presidential polls in March 2000. Diouf's various terms of office were marked by political openness and multi-party politics, including gradual liberalization of the economy and decentralization.
Abdou Diouf contributed to making Senegal's voice heard internationally and fought for greater African unity by serving as Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU, which is now called The African Union) and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He also served as Chairman of the third Summit of the Francophonie organized in Dakar in 1989, right before the next Summit organized in Paris in 1991.
Having succeeded Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Abdou Diouf was elected Secretary General of the Francophonie during the ninth Summit of the Francophonie on 20 October 2002 in Beirut. He was re-elected for a second four-year term on September 29th, 2006, during the 11th Summit of the Francophonie organized in Bucharest, Romania.