Ousmane Tanor Dieng
|First Secretary of the Socialist Party of Senegal|
|Assumed office |
|Vice-president of the Socialist International|
|Assumed office |
|Political party||Socialist Party of Senegal|
Born in 1948 in Ngueniéne, Senegal, Dieng attended the Koranic school between the ages of 3–7. He hails from the "Sérére" ethnic group which constitutes about 15 per cent of the Senegalese population.
He began his primary education in 1955, in Ngueniene. In 1961, he attended the Andre Peytavin secondary school, St. Louis and later continued at the Maurice DELAFOSSE secondary school in Dakar where he finished his secondary education. He studied law at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar where he majored in International Relations. He obtained a bachelor's degree in Public Law as well as a master's degree in Political Sciences and Constitutional Law. He had a direct entry into the Ecole Nationale d’Administration et de Magistrature (ENAM) at a period the school was not very competitive because of very few prospectives. He chose Diplomacy and spent 2 years to qualify for ENAM.
In 1976, he finished his studies at the ENAM and was thereafter posted to the foreign office where he performed various functions being in charge of the International Affairs (Africa Division and UNO) until 1978.
In October 1978, he was appointed as the Diplomatic Advisor of Leopold Sedar Senghor (President of the Republic at that time) who was in search of somebody with an international background who can write. For Ousmane Tanor Dieng, it was a privilege to work with Senghor who was one of his idols. He handled the scientific and literary domain. In January 1981, Abdou Diouf (the former President of Senegal) became president according to article 35 of the Senegalese constitution; Ousmane Tanor Dieng continued in the presidency as the Diplomatic Advisor of Abdou Diouf till 1988. In 1988, still in the Presidency, he became Director of departmental staff until 1993. And in 1993 he was appointed minister in charge of presidential services and affairs until 2000.
Parallel to this administrative career, he had a political career. Since 1988, he developed interest in politics as a result of being the President's speech writer; thus, he began to invest so much in his village. He then became the Secretary General of coordination in the authorities of the party.
Consequently, he was eventually chosen by President Abdou Diouf as the First Secretary of the Socialist Party of Senegal. He became responsible for the day-to-day management of the party. He took advantage of his position in the Party, and came tops in the list of candidate for the general elections and was consequently elected Representative. However, he subsequently had to resign because the function of Minister was conflicting with the function of Representative.
Currently a vice-president of the Socialist International, Dieng thinks that without integration, Africa has no future. He believes Africa has to become integrated, or else it will perish. Although integration is difficult, Dieng seems optimistic, and has been encouraged by the theory of "the concentrated circles", an idea of Leopold Sedar Senghor. In a sense, he feels that Africans have no choice on the question of integration. The Socialist International encourages international participation in conflict resolution in Africa, as well as promoting and strengthening democracy in the continent. It also favors African integration.
Dieng ran for President of Senegal in the February 2007 election. His platform included:
In a sense he campaigned for changes to the economic, political, institutional, cultural and social structure, with the goal of reducing the rate of unemployment in Senegal.
Dieng came in third place in the election with 13.56% of the vote, behind the winner, incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade, and Idrissa Seck. Claiming irregularities, Dieng filed an appeal regarding the election with the Constitutional Council, but it was rejected. Shortly after the election, Wade mentioned Dieng as one of several opposition leaders who would be facing prosecution for alleged corruption. Dieng was accused of illegally selling fishing licenses in 1992.