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Popular Senegalese Musician Named Tourism-Culture Minister

4/5/2012 2:25 AM ET

Popular Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour has been named the country's Tourism and Culture Minister.

N'dour was included in the Cabinet of new President Macky Sall after his bid to challenge incumbent Abdoulaye Wade was prevented by the Constitutional Council, which barred him on the grounds that he had failed to provide enough valid signatures to back his application.

Wade, who sought a controversial third term in the Presidential elections, was beaten in a run-off vote last month by Sall. The 50-year-old was sworn into office on Monday, becoming the country's first new leader in 12 years.

N'Dour, who broke into the North American and European charts with his renowned fusion of traditional Senegalese music with salsa, jazz and hip-hop, is one of the 25 new appointees to the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye.

He has also long been involved in humanitarian causes and is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund.

Despite not having a university education, N'Dour says he "studied at the school of the world," and that "travel teaches as much as books."

N'dour is very popular in Senegal, where he owns TFM (Television Futurs Medias) radio and television station, a night club and a music studio.

by RTT Staff Writer

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