Benin mourns on Wednesday the death at 90 of the man of letters and politician Albert Tevoedjrè. Major craftsman of the wind of democracy that blew on Benin at the beginning of the 1990s, the man was also a mediator in the African crises, but also a defender of a free Africa, politically and economically.
From the Hubert Maga regime, under which he marked his first years in politics at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s, to his support for Boni Yayi’s candidacy in 2006, and the democratization of the forceps imposed on Mathieu Kérékou’s regime. 1990, the one nicknamed « the fox Djrègbè » knew how to play his card in the different political seasons that followed one another in Benin.
Secretary of State for the Presidency in charge of information since the 1960s, he was also the rapporteur of the sovereign national conference of 1990 which will lead to multiparty politics in Benin. Minister under Mathieu Kerekou between 1996 and 1999, the politician has ensured in parallel a career full of international which has led for example to the leadership of the International Labor Office (ILO) or the Pan-African Foresight Center (CPPS) of which he is the founder.
Cradled by the theories of Aimé Césaire’s negritude and anti-imperialist discourses, Albert Tévoédjrè plunged his pen into his certainties demonstrating that Africa should free itself from its colonial pressures as well as the diktat of the multinationals in order to to finally reach true independence. Result of the analysis, a work of immediate success published in 1958: Africa revolted. In 1978, he puts the cover back with Poverty, a wealth of peoples who is an ode to a better conceptualization of North-South relations, called to be more equitable.
His commitment also leads him to mediation. First mediator of the Republic of Benin, he also represented the UN in the military-political crisis that shook Côte d’Ivoire in the early 2000s. At the announcement of his death, this Wednesday in a clinic of Porto-Novo at the age of 90, the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat hailed the memory of a « big son » of Africa.