Marcel Alain de Souza

Marcel Alain de Souza (30 October 1953 – 17 July 2019) was a Beninese politician and banker. He served as President of the ECOWAS Commission from April 2016 until February 2018. He was Minister for Development, Economic Analysis and Forecast of Benin from May 2011 until June 2015.

Marcel Alain de Souza
President of the ECOWAS Commission
In office
8 April 2016 – 28 February 2018
Preceded byKadré Désiré Ouédraogo
Succeeded byJean-Claude Brou
Minister for Development, Economic Analysis and Forecast
In office
May 2011 – June 2015
PresidentThomas Boni Yayi
Prime MinisterPascal Koupaki
Personal details
Born(1953-10-30)30 October 1953
Pobè, Benin
Died17 July 2019(2019-07-17) (aged 65)
Paris, France

Early life and careerEdit

Marcel Alain de Souza was born on 30 October 1953 in Pobè.[1] His family was originally of Portuguese descent and centred around Ouidah.[2] He had 10 siblings.[3] His younger sister Chantal later married Beninese President Thomas Boni Yayi, after having met through him.[2] De Souza was a nephew of Archbishop Isidore de Souza.[4] He obtained a master's degree in economics from the University of Dakar. De Souza later obtained a further master's degree in banking and management from the West African Training Centre for Banking Studies. He received further training at the International Monetary Fund.[1]

From the 1970s de Souza worked for the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) in Cotonou as internal controller and later as national director for Benin. He later became Director of Administration at the headquarters of the institute in Dakar.[1][4] During his time at BCEAO de Souza was colleagues with later President Thomas Boni Yayi.[3]

Political careerEdit

In 2009 de Souza became chairperson of the Republican Front of Benin.[1] Administratively he held the position of Head of Department of Economic and Financial Affairs in the Office of the President. He later was Special Adviser to the President on Monetary and Banking Affairs.[1] He was spokesperson for President Thomas Boni Yayi for the 2011 Beninese presidential election.[2] From May 2011 until June 2015 he was Minister for Development, Economic Analysis and Forecast under him.[1] De Souza was elected to the National Assembly during the 2015 Beninese parliamentary election.[5]

On 17 December 2015, during the 48th Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, the post of President of the ECOWAS Commission was allocated to Benin and de Souza was nominated.[6] De Souza publicly disagreed with President Boni Yayi's decision to have Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou be the candidate for the Cowry Forces for an Emerging Benin during March 2016 Beninese presidential election.[2] De Souza ran as a candidate himself in the election for the Republican Front of Benin, but received only 0.13% of the vote and was not elected.[4][1] He subsequently supported candidate Patrice Talon in the run-off.[4] Having won the elections, Talon confirmed Boni Yayi's decision to have de Souza be Benin's nominee as President of the ECOWAS Commission.[2] On 8 April 2016 de Souza took over the position from Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo.[1] De Souza subsequently laid down his seat in the National Assembly and was succeeded by Justin Adjovi.[5]

As President of the ECOWAS Commission he had to deal with the poor financial situation of ECOWAS and immediately temporarily suspended travel of staff members to missions, seminars and workshops outside of the Abuja ECOWAS headquarters. He also limited the staff attendance to statutory ECOWAS meetings.[1] During his time in office he had to deal with the 2016–2017 Gambian constitutional crisis.[3] In October 2017 he showed hesitation about the pace of ECOWAS its goal of having a single currency by 2020.[4] His term in office ended on 28 February 2018.[6] He was succeeded by Jean-Claude Brou.[7]

He died of cardiac arrest on 17 July 2019 in Paris, France, aged 65.[4][6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Mr Marcel Alain de Souza, the President of the ECOWAS Commission". ECOWAS. Archived from the original on 22 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Vincent Duhem (20 April 2016). "Bénin : Marcel de Souza, à la fois proche de Thomas Boni Yayi et de Patrice Talon" (in French). Jeune Afrique. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Marcel de Souza, ancien Président de la Commission de la Cédéao, est décédé" (in French). RFI. 18 July 2019. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Matthieu Millecamps (17 July 2019). "Bénin : décès de Marcel de Souza, ancien président de la Commission de la Cedeao" (in French). Jeune Afrique. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b Simon Poty. "Parlement béninois : Marcel de Souza cède son fauteuil à Justin Adjovi" (in French). La Nouvelle Tribune. Archived from the original on 2 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Marcel Alain De Souza, Former President of The ECOWAS Commission Passes Away". ECOWAS. 17 July 2019. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Marcel Alain de Souza". West Africa Brief. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by
Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo
President of the ECOWAS Commission
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Jean-Claude Brou