Wednesday, April 15, 2009


«L’Afrique est mon combat»

On Saturday, April 04, 2009, the major leaders of G4, Nicéphore Soglo, Adrien Houngbédji, Séfou Fagbohoun and Bruno Amoussou were in Paris. The reason for their presence in Paris is that the former Benin National Assembly Speaker, Bruno Amoussou released his book, whose title is «L’Afrique est mon combat»

Main source: blog dedicated to the book
Translated by Alfred Cossi Chodaton

The French title « L’Afrique est mon combat » might be translated, as «Africa is my fight»

A ceremony attended by distinguished guests

The ceremony took place at Club Press de France, rues Jean Goujon in Paris and was attended by journalists and many Beninese and African figures. One could find among the audience Adrien Houngbédji who is also a former parliamentary Speaker, the former Head of State, Nicéphore Soglo, the MADEP honorary Chairman, Séfou Fagbohoun, and other guests such as Nouréni Tidjani Serpos, Deputy Director General of UNESCO, Africa Department, or Agossou Albert, Ambassador of Benin in France. They all praised the book of Bruno Amoussou.

The ceremony started when Saliou Akadiri, the master of ceremonies, also Pobè Mayor, requested the attention of the hundreds of people who were beginning to lose patience. He greeted and thanked the attendance mainly African personalities who were present.

The former Congolese Prime Minister, current ambassador of Congo in France, Henri Lopès, who happened to be Bruno Amoussou’s classmate received special greetings and thanks. He had the task of presenting the book of his friend Bruno Amoussou, who is a «comrade, politician and author like me, » he said. Proud to have read the manuscript, Henri Lopès emphasized truth and sincerity in this book. The long speech of Henri Lopès pulled the book from its Beninese context to give it a continental scope. The audience was all captivated and seduced by the rhetoric of Henri Lopès, who is also a writer. The exercise of his friend Bruno Amoussou, retracing his route and political commitment, reminded Henri Lopès, « has something fictional »

The atmosphere was friendly. The author’s address added to this. Neatly dressed in a traditional cloth, a white booboo, Bruno Amoussou was not only the well-known politician of Benin. He brilliantly illustrated his book and the audience was impressed.

Bruno Amoussou tells Benin history

The book is made up of two hundred pages, which narrate the history of the former French colony Dahomey and one of Africa until 1972, the year of the last military coup in Dahomey. Dahomey and Africa are the « stem characters » which Bruno Amoussou talks about in his book.

What mainly prompted Bruno Amoussou to write, «L’Afrique est mon combat» is a combination of family circumstances. May 2006, Bruno Amoussou had a stop in Montreal for his children, Gilles and Olivier, students in Canada. Olivier and Gilles straightforwardly asked the right question to their Dad who always has an overloaded timetable. «Dad, as we are lucky enough today to have you with us, tell us a bit and more about who you are, and what you did. » It was the click. Bruno Amoussou complied, narrated his story and finally decided to write about himself, about what he has seen, done and suffered.

The structure of the book is modeled on the process of memory. The first chapters are related to a family investigation: his father, Ange Marie Balovi Amoussou, catechist valiant peasant and his mother Philomène Fangnon trader and especially pearls seller, his experiences at school and university, his years of militancy, decolonization, his first years in the political arena.

Bruno Amoussou talks about all his comings and goings, his trips. He gives details about his experiences and his commitments. It is two hundred (200) pages of memories, anecdotes and revelations. He provides us with a tasty and bitter series of political facts, which are a new confirmation that the 60’s has really been hectic in Dahomey. Regarding these episodes, the historical background is well organized and the truth comes out as bubbles of oxygen. The pleasure of reading is high and each reader will make up his or her mind about the role of these years’ majors actors: Christophe Soglo, Hubert Maga, Sourou Apithy Migan, Justin Ahomadégbé, Emile Derlin Zinsou, Biokou Solomon, Edmond Dossou-Yovo, Alphonse Alley, Maurice Kouandété, Philippe Aho, Téophile Paoletti, Jean Videhouenou, Nicéphore Soglo, Moïse Mensah, Albert Tevoédjrè, Expédit Viho, Adrien Degbey, Marius Akuesson and the author himself, Bruno Amoussou.

However, Bruno Amoussou falls short of talking about the years marked by the military regime of Mathieu Kérékou and Benin history beginning from the National Conference of Active Forces in 1990, which is the starting point of Beninese democratic era. The author neither mentions his influential role under the two terms of Mathieu Kérékou from 1996 to 2006.

Bruno Amoussou’s biography

Born in 1939, engineer in agronomy, Bruno Amoussou was the son of a peasant. Brilliant student, he was quickly noticed and continued his studies in Porto Novo, capital of Dahomey, then at the National Institute of Agronomy in the 1960’s, decade of decolonization in Black Africa.

This period marked his entry into politics. Modest first, he became the Association of Dahomey Students’ President in 1962. Therefore, he met African figures such as Kwame N’Krumah, the Algerian leader Ahmed Ben Bella, on different occasions, which pushed him gradually towards the front of the stage.

Current leader of Benin Social Democratic Party (PSD), Bruno Amoussou was Benin National Assembly Speaker from 1995 to 1999, then Planning and Development State Minister in Mathieu Kérékou’s government until 2005. Candidate in the last three presidential elections, he is an influential player on the political scene in Benin and Africa.

After the March 2006 presidential elections which he lost, Bruno Amoussou and his Party has now belonged since March 2008 to the opposition coalition G4 that intends to oust Boni Yayi in 2011.

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