Romuald Wadagni: our solutions in Benin in the face of inflation and shortages

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Published on : 10/06/2022 – 18:31

The Grand Guest of the economy RFI/Jeune Afrique has packed his bags in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) on the occasion of the Africa CEO Forum, the major meeting of African economic decision-makers, back after the parenthesis of the Covid. And it is a rising figure on the politico-economic chessboard that we come back to in the person of Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance of Benin, a country for which he has many ambitions.

For more than 45 minutes, Romuald Wadagni details his vision of the economy, the future of Benin and Africa: the fight against inflation, food, agricultural, energy, industrial issues, monetary issues (the reform of the CFA franc), the financing of African economies, employment, the development of the private sector, education… At the end of the program, it is also a question of the personal future of this close friend of President Patrice Talon.

Portrait of Romuald Wadagni by Julien Clémençot (Young Africa) :

Romuald Wadagni was appointed in April 2016 by Beninese President Patrice Talon to take charge of the Economy and Finance portfolio. 6 years later, he is one of the pillars of the Beninese government, one of the only two Ministers of State with the experienced Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, in charge of Development and Coordination of Government Action.

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Born of a senior civil servant father and a merchant mother, Romuald Wadagni is a member of a family of 5 children, brought up in the culture of work. In his youth, the minister worked in masonry, mechanics, and even earned a rabbit breeder’s diploma.

He then left Benin for France where he carried out brilliant studies:

a master’s degree from the Grenoble Institute of Business Administration and an MBA from the prestigious Harvard Business School. He then gained experience in business, mainly in the private sector, of which he is a fervent defender. A partner in the audit and consulting firm Deloitte, he works in France and the United States. He became responsible for French-speaking Africa.

In recent years, Romuald Wadagni has stood out by leading a policy of refinancing the debt of his country very offensive. In 2018, he launched Benin’s first bond loan on the international market. It does it again in 2021 by issuing two new Eurobonds, one of which has a maturity of 31 years. Another first, but this time on a continental scale. Rating agencies validate this policy and improve Benin’s rating.

At 45, Romuald Wadagni is close to President Talon who, according to his statements, is serving his second and therefore last term which ends in 2026. Some see him as a possible successor at the head of Benin.

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