Youssou Ndour handed post in Senegal govt
Dakar - Senegal's newly elected President Macky Sall has named his first government, handing the finance ministry post to former banker Amadou Kane and the culture and tourism ministry post to music star Youssou Ndour, state television reported late on Wednesday.
The pair are among a host of newcomers to the cabinet, which Sall has trimmed down to 25 posts, from about 40 under his predecessor Abdoulaye Wade.
The new government comes three days after Sall, a former prime minister under Wade, was sworn in and 24 hours after he named Abdoul Mbaye, a former banker without party affiliation, as the new prime minister.
Grammy Award-winning Ndour put his singing career on hold to try and challenge Wade in the election earlier this year, but Senegal's legal body blocked him from standing. Ndour backed Wade's rivals.
Kane previously headed up BICIS, the Senegalese arm of BNP Paribas. Alioune Badara Cisse, a close ally of Sall, is the new foreign minister, state television reported.
Parties allied to Moustapha Niasse and Idrissa Seck, who also were former prime ministers under Wade but threw their weight behind Sall, have also been given several posts.
Sall, 50, ran for a seven-year mandate but has pledged to reduce the presidential term to five years and to stick to an existing two-term limit.