Echappa au moins deux fois à la détention au Camp Boiro
Civil servant, politician, joined the inter-territorial Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA) and its Guinean section the Parti Démocratique de Guinée (PDG). When he was elected to the Guinean National Assembly in 1957 he became its first President. Since then he remained prominent, and powerful in Guinean politics, always close to the first President of the Republic, Sékou Touré.
Né en 1923 à Diary (Labé)
Décédé le 25 septembre 1981 à Conakry
Député de la Guinée de 1956 à 1958
Saïfoulaye Diallo, né en 1923 à Diary dans le cercle de Labé est, comme beaucoup d'élites africaines, diplômé de l'Ecole normale William Ponty de Dakar. Il devient commis-comptable des trésoreries de l'A.O.F. à Niamey, Conakry, Bobo-Dioulasso et à Mamou où il décide de se présenter aux élections législatives dès 1956. Il figure en seconde place sur la liste du Rassemblement démocratique africain (R.D.A.) conduite par Sékou Touré. Le R.D.A. se déclare "seul parti politique authentiquement africain" en protestant contre l'élection de candidats qu'il considère comme officiels. Il se prononce pour une orientation fédérale de l'Afrique dans l'Union française, le collège unique, une politique sociale, agraire et artisanale, une accélération des carrières des auxiliaires de la fonction publique. Son appel aux travailleurs, aux femmes et aux marabouts est entendu par 346 716 électeurs ce qui permet l'élection de deux députés. La liste du Bloc africain guinéen n'a que 146 543 voix et un député.
Le nouveau député de la Guinée est membre de la Commission de la marine marchande et des pêches, membre de la Commission des affaires économiques et membre suppléant de la Commission des finances. Il ne prend part qu'à la discussion du projet de loi-cadre concernant les territoires d'outre-mer en mars 1956. Il reconnaît que c'est l'honneur du gouvernement français d'avoir compris combien les peuples africains sont acquis aux idées lancées à la conférence de Bandoeng. Cette attitude justifie la confiance du R.D.A. Il se félicite de voir la France prendre des initiatives qui vont dans le sens des événements et se prononce à nouveau en faveur de la suppression du double collège.
Saïfoulaye Diallo ne prend pas part au vote sur la loi-cadre présentée par Félix Gaillard pour l'Algérie en janvier 1958 mais il soutient la révision constitutionnelle de Pierre Pflimlin le 27 mai 1958. Le 1er juin 1958 il ne prend pas part au vote sur le programme du général de Gaulle mais le 2 juin, il vote le projet relatif aux pleins pouvoirs. (Notice biographique. Assemblée nationale France.
Saifoulaye Daillo was born in 1923 in Diari near Labe into a noble Fulani family in the Foutah Djallon, the waterhouse of West Africa. His father, Alfa Bakar Diari, was a local chief, and Diallo was educated in Labe. He had his postprimary education at the Camille Guy School in the Guinean capital, Conakry. Following in the footsteps of his contemporaries in French-speaking West and Central African regions, he completed his education at the prestigious Ecole William Ponty in Dakar, and like many of them joined the French colonial administration. He served as a clerk first at Niamey in Niger from 1947 to 1949, then at Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) between 1949 and 1955, and lastly at Mamou in his native Guinea in l955 for one year.
Never promoted to a responsible position in those years, he was frequently transferred from one station to another because of his militant activities in the RDA. He gave up his job in the colonial service in 1956 to devote himself to full-time politics.
His political activities were, of course, important to the RDA which he had helped to found in October 1946. At the inaugural congress in Bamako that year, when he was only 23, Saifoulaye Diallo was elected secretary-general of the Niamey branch. He then became the political secretary of the Conakry branch and joint secretary-general of the Bobo-Dioulasso branch, and finally the administrative secretary of the Mamou branch. In January 1956 he was elected with Sékou Touré as Deputy for his country to the French National Assembly, coming closely behind the latter on the electoral list. In November of the same year he was elected Mayor of Mamou.
In March 1957 he was voted into the Guinean Territorial Assembly of which he became the first President. This was followed three months later with his election to the Grand Council of French West Africa.
When Guinea was voting in General de Caulle's referendum (1958) on whether Guineans preferred complete independence to limited autonomy, Saifoulaye Diallo threw his influence behind Sékou Touré's campaign for independence. And the result was the massive vote which led to French withdrawal from Guinea in 1958. Following that he played a prominent role as political power broker, rallying Guinea's various ethnic groups and their leaders behind the Government of President Touré.
At independence in 1958 he was reappointed President of the National Assembly, in addition to holding the post of Political Secretary of the PDG which at the time was the policy-making body of the country. He was appointed to the Cabinet in 1963 as Minister of State for Finance and Planning. This was a difficult posting at a time when Guinea's choice for total independence led to France's hasty and punitive retreat which left the new Republic without funds and economic foundation. But Saifoulaye Diallo directed the economy to offset the large credit repayments which had accoumulated after five years of extensive foreign borrowing. Three years later he was moved to the ministry of Foreign Affairs where he replaced Louis Lansana Beavogui as Minister of State.
Ill-health caused him in later years to be less active. But in 1972 President Toure made him Minister at the Presidency, and from then until his death on 25 September 1981 he held other ministerial ranks in the administration.
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Fulbright-Hayes & Rockefeller Foundation Alumnus. Pioneer member, The Internet Society. Smithsonian Institution Research Associate.