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Senegal singing star is country's new culture minister

Youssou N'Dour appointed to cabinet by new Senegal President Macky Sall.
Youssou ndour culture minister senegal 2012 04 05Enlarge
Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour, who last year announced he would quit music to become a full-time politician in Senegal, has been appointed culture minister under the government of newly elected President Macky Sall. (Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images)

Mali is reeling from sanctions over its coup.

Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika is reportedly in a coma from a heart attack.

How about some good news from Africa?

World music singing star Youssou N"Dour is Senegal's new culture minister.

Senegal is already celebrating the victory of its democracy with the swearing in earlier this week of Macky Sall, the newly elected president. In fact N'Dour performed at a concert to mark Sall's victory.

The appointment of N'Dour — a Grammy-Award-winning artist best known for his hit "Seven Seconds," and his singing with Peter Gabriel on "In Your Eyes" — adds to Senegal's feelgood factor.

In recent years N'Dour has branched out from singing to become a media magnate in Senegal, owning radio stations and other businesses.

Last year he said he would stop singing in order to concentrate on politics. N'Dour had been a supporter of former president Abdoulaye Wade, but he became a critic when Wade decided to seek a third term. N'Dour decided to run against Wade, but he was disqualified from running from president, by a court decision that said his nomination papers lacked enough valid signatures. So N'Dour threw his support behind opposition candidate Sall.

It will be interesting to see if N'Dour can carry his talent for great music over to being a good culture minister.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/senegal-singing-star-countrys-new-culture-minister