For more than three decades, President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO has been an active public servant of the Republic of Congo. Born in 1943 in Edou, Oyo district, President SASSOU NGUESSO joined the army in 1960 and received military training in Algeria and Saint Maixent, France.
A distinguished Military General, H.E Denis SASSOU NGUESSO is known as a reformist. During his first presidency from 1979 to 1992, he progressively helped usher a market-oriented economy. After announcing a relaxation of state control laws, President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO worked to improve the economic situation of the country by privatizing state enterprises and tackling high levels of corruption. In 1990, he introduced new political reforms in Congo by abandoning the one party political system and setting the country on a path to democracy. Top among his efforts was encouraging the entrance of new political parties and overseeing Congo’s widest free, transparent and fair elections in 1992. These elections saw President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO step down as president and concede defeat to Pascal Lissouba, who became the new democratically elected president of the Republic of Congo.
Unfortunately, the Republic of Congo soon descended into political tensions in the mid 1990's. Although President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO became president following the 1997 conflict and prepared to allow a return to democracy, renewed fighting by rebels led to the collapse of the endeavor in 1998. With the aid of the international community, however, peace agreements were signed in 1999 and, a new constitution was approved by the people of the Republic of Congo in a national referendum in January 2002. Democratic elections were held in March 2002 and H.E Denis SASSOU NGUESSO was elected for a seven-year term as President of the Republic of Congo.
Under his new term, President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO initiated a process of transition and reconciliation, He granted amnesty to former militia fighters, brought political opponents into his cabinet and began programs for the economic development of war affected regions.
In addition to his work within Congo, H.E Denis SASSOU NGUESSO chaired the Organization of African Unity ( OAU) in 1986 and has since played a prominent role in Africa’s international affairs. During his tenure as the President of the Organisation of African Unity in the late 1980’s, he chaired negotiations that helped put an end to colonialism in Namibia. In 2006, he chaired the African Union and helped lead the organizations efforts to stop the violence in Darfur, Sudan. He also worked to normalize relations between Chad and Sudan and urged for a rapid solution to the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. President SASSOU NGUESSO has been a strong voice for sustainable development in Africa, encouraging the African Union and other regional bodies to improve access to education, preserve the environment, combat HIV/AIDS and to improve transportation and trade links between African states. He has also be a key actor in the peace talks of the Democratic of Republic conflict and the Central African Republic crisis.
On July 12th, 2009, H.E Denis SASSOU NGUESSO was democratically re-elected as President of the Republic of Congo. His administration has since moved forward its agenda of economic reforms. The administration had made significant progress in rehabilitating the country’s infrastructure, furthering privatization efforts and opening up the business climate with the introduction of new investment codes. The administration has also initiated new programs to develop Congo’s long neglected agricultural sector and to improve nationwide access to education. In addition to building the economy, President Denis SASSOU NGUESSO continues to promote good governance and transparency in Congo.