Ahmed Sékou Touré

Touré, Ahmed Sékou (sāˈkō tōrāˈ) [key], 1922–84, Guinean political leader, president (1958–84) of the republic of Guinea. From a poor family, Touré was labor union activist, becoming general secretary of the postal workers' union (1945). He organized the Union Générale des Travailleurs d'Afrique Noir in 1956. Touré was politically active beginning in 1946 when, with other African nationalist leaders, he was a founder of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain. In 1956 he was elected Guinea's deputy to the French national assembly and mayor of Conakry. Winning the referendum for independence, he led Guinea out of the French Community (1958) becoming Guinea's president and an example to the rest of Africa. A Marxist, he sought aid from the Soviet bloc. In 1978 he abandoned Marxism, led economic liberalization, and reestablished trade with the West. Running unopposed, Touré was reelected in 1982.

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