Abdou Diouf, former President of Senegal, was born in Louga in 1935 He completed his general education at the Lycee Faidherbe, studied Law at Dakkar University, and Political Sciences and Law at the Sorbonne in Paris. He is a prominent African leader with an impressive record of achievements in terms of political and socio-economic development in Africa. He is also an ardent supporter of Islamic communities in the Senegal and West Africa.
A protégé and close ally of Senegal’s Leopold Senghor, Mr. Diouf was entrusted with senior political positions after his return from Paris, including a governor’s position and three ministerial offices: Defense, Commerce and Finance. He became Senegal’s Prime Minister from 1970-1980 and its first Muslim President between 1981-2000. From 2003, he became the Secretary-General of La Francophonie.
During his presidency, Mr. Abdou Diouf made significant contributions at Islamic summit meetings and other international forums relating to the Islamic world. He played a pivotal role in mending relations between Senegal and Mauritania following the 1989 hostilities between these two Muslim countries, and actively pursued cooperation between Senegal and the rest of the Islamic world. He encouraged the study of Arabic in Senegalwith a view to enhancing the appreciation of Islamic writings.
In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam, Mr. Diouf received 11 honorary doctorates and several prestigious medals in recognition of his outstanding services to Senegal and other parts of Africa and the Muslim world.
From 2003, Diouf became the Secretary-General of La Francophonie.