The prime minister of Ivory Coast said he hopes his fellow countryman, Tidjane Thiam, outgoing chief executive of the Prudential, will return to the country of his birth to serve the government rather than spend the remainder of his career working in the corporate world.
Like footballers Didier Drogba of Chelsea and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said Thiam was a good ambassador for the African country, but that, as a former minister in a previous Duncan government, he should return to share the benefits of his experience.
Thiam earlier this month announced that he was quitting his job running the Prudential to take over at Credit Suisse.
However, some observers had hoped that he would go on to help his country continue its recovery from a decade of strife and unrest.
Speaking to the Evening Standard at the African CEO Forum in Geneva, Duncan said: “He is still young. He should gain experience and then come back to Cote D'Ivoire.”
Drogba famously returned to the country during its recent years of political strife to call for calm and also invested in the country’s gold industry.
“It showed Ivoreans are investing in Cote D’ivoire again,” Duncan said.