Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (born 29 January 1945), or as he is often known, IBK, is a Malian politician who has been President of Mali since 2013. Previously he was Prime Minister of Mali from 1994 to 2000 and President of the National Assembly of Mali from 2002 to 2007. He founded a political party, Rally for Mali (RPM), in 2001. He was elected as President in the July–August 2013 presidential election and sworn in on 4 September 2013.
Early life and education
Keïta was born in Koutiala, in the former French Sudan. He studied at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly in Paris and Lycée Askia-Mohamed in Bamako, continuing his education at the University of Dakar, the University of Paris I and the Institut d’Histoire des Relations Internationales Contemporaines (IHRIC; Institute of the Modern History of International Relations). He has a Master’s degree in History.
After his studies, he was a researcher at the CNRS and taught courses on Third World politics at the University of Paris I. Returning to Mali in 1986, he became a technical consultant for the European Development Fund, putting together the first small-scale development program for the European Union’s aid activities in Mali. He went on to become Mali director for the French chapter of Terre des hommes, an international NGO aiding children in the developing world.
Keïta again ran for President in the July–August 2013 presidential election and was considered a front-runner. He won the election in a second round of voting, defeating Soumaïla Cissé, and he was sworn in as President on 4 September 2013. Keïta had vowed to prioritize ability rather than political considerations when appointing ministers, and on 5 September 2013 he appointed a technocrat, banking official Oumar Tatam Ly, as Prime Minister. After Oumar Tatam Ly’s resignation, Keïta appointed Moussa Mara (5 April 2014 to 9 January 2015) and later on Modibo Keita (9 January 2015 to 7 April 2017). Upon Keita’s resignation, Soumeylou Boubéye Maïga was appointed as Prime Minister (31 December 2017 – 18 April 2019) but resigned on 18 April 2019 amid public protests following the Ogossagou massacre. On 22 April 2019, President Keita named Dr Boubou Cissé as Prime Minister.
Keïta is married to Keïta Aminata Maiga, the First Lady of Mali, and has four children. His son Karim is a member of the National Assembly and married to a daughter of Issaka Sidibé, President of the National Assembly.