He educated at primary school in Mali, before entering the Lycee Faidherbe at St Louis, Senegal. In 1947 he started preparing his entry examinations to the French National Overseas School, which he passed successfully in 1951. Later he took a degree in law and a diploma in Political economy at Paris University.
Following a distinguished public service career in Senegal he went to Mali in 1961, where he was appointed managing director of the Banque Malienne de Credit et de Depots, 1961-2, and also of the Banque de la Bepublique du Mali, the central bank (1962-4). In 1964 Keita made him Governor of the Central Bank and he retained this post when he also became, m September 1966, Minister of Finance and charge of the Plan and Economic Affairs.
He took over an economy that was heavily in debt and hampered by Keita’s Political policies.
In November 1966, after his government had explored unsuccessfully all Possible resources of financing, from the to Communist China, he went again to Paris for help. By then, the situation had become impossible and he was forced to agree to the stringent conditions imposed by the French in return for monetary and financial agreements, finally signed in February 1967.
He has had experience as a banker, under the socialist Modibo Keita and the military government which followed. He is also recognised as the pragmatu economist, who organised Mali’s financial recovery, following Keita disastrous policy of maintaining an independent Mali franc. After tough negotiations, he persuaded the French to mount a rescue operation. But he had by no means a typical central banker. He was thought to have been dismissed as Finance Minister because he refused to transfer state enterprises to private hands, and refused to increase the number of French advisers in his ministry. At first his personal integrity and practical attitude to financial prolems commended him to the soldier, but later he showed that, within restrictions of the Mali economy, he ha socialist leanings.