Why growth? Tribute to an African captain of industry

By Mamadou DIALLO, President (2015-2019), Sciences Po Alumni Ivory Coast.

I will commemorate Mr. Pathe Dionne by mentioning his contribution to an event organized by young leaders with no budget but ideals. We wanted to discuss a topical, “high added value” and strategic topic for our region. It was about the launch of the “Po Alumni of Sciences in Côte d’Ivoire”, an avatar of the discreet “Alumni Association”, created more than 30 years ago. After approaching its founder, Serge Thiemele, he challenges us to innovate independently and with his full support. On January 11, 2017, Habi Niakate and I met with an elder from rue Saint-Guillaume in Franco-Malagasy, which was then located in Abidjan. Ambassador Georges Serre is interested. After recalling the memory of a common acquaintance – Georges Balandier, the conversation turned to “state policy, development and infrastructures; We are “rebuilding the world” and providing a room in the French Residence free of charge to continue the discussion. A few months later, armed with a concept note and recommended by our influential fellow student, Jean-Louis Billon accepted the principle of moderate debate with him. For a candid and challenging conversation about ‘growth’, we want the views of a businessman to complement those of a diplomat and a minister. Two criteria are important: economic leadership in Abidjan (“economic capital of WAEMU”) and “conquest of markets” on a pan-African scale. We think SUNU Group, dreamy but determined. Let’s approach the direction of communication. Then wait until the message arrives. Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm: “Bjr Mamadou. M Dione has agreed to attend your demonstration in Abj. Mohamed Bah” (then deputy managing director). Then, professional and demanding, the founder of SUNU Group makes himself available. An interview with the General Staff (part) is held. Short questions, agreement on the terms of his participation, then instructions and… “execution”! On Thursday, June 15, at the conference opened by Serge Thiémélé and moderated by Haby Niakate, the dean of panelists conveys the vision of a mathematician and speaks confidently of being a self-made man. A man of numbers and ideas, he shares his (strategic) reading of our economic situation. Dispatch from the Ivory Coast Press Agency (AIP) – June 18, 2017: “For SunU Group CEO and Founder Pathe Dione, questioning quality is important. [et ] the content of growth, given that growth based on a rentier economy is “poor” growth. He noted that the volatility of commodity prices does not ensure sustainable growth for economies that depend on these speculations. Article from “La Diplomatique d’Abidjan” – June 24, 2017: “Development should not be based only on building infrastructure. We definitely need local processing of our raw materials locally,” he forcefully told an audience that included several members of the government. Finally, he urged “above all, Africans to rely on local potential, following the example of his company, which is present in fifteen countries in West and Central Africa.” At a modest level, I keep the memory of a person, a professional meeting, a social event, and the time I left Yayla Mosque. The last time, three years ago, was on a busy Friday when the faithful took the steps of the building leading to Avenue Crosson Duplessis. I saw a tall, slender, hieratic man walking with measured steps. He seems to be reciting his rosary with his haughty, concentrated mind as he returns to his group’s headquarters a few hundred meters away. Alone, simple and “sovereign” – he went on his way and taught the young man that I was a lesson in modesty and modesty. It is a fleeting image of this man whose work is an example and reminds me of his creator. In Pular language we say “Ya Allah yaafo bhe, rokka malal e alcanna” – may Allah grant him forgiveness, eternal happiness and paradise! Amina. Finally, as a sign of respect to his personality, for those who like to “think with their feet on the ground”, “grow up, why?” we present some elements of his answer to the question. : https://www.jeuneafrique.com/453733/economie/croissance-quoi-faire/.

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