Professor Alpha Oumar Konaré Professor Alpha Oumar Konaré served as president of Mali from 1992 to 2002. Konaré was president of the Economic Community of West African States – Ecowas – from 1999 to 2000. He chaired the African Union Commission from 2003 until 2008. Konaré served as president of Mali from 1992 to 2002. He’s credited with boosting his country’s poor economy and fostering its democratic processes during his tenure. Konaré studied in Poland in the 1970s, where he obtained his doctorate from the University of Warsaw. When he returned to Mali he was appointed as the minister of sport. He also lectured as a professor of history and archaeology at his alma mata, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Bamako. In 1989, he launched the newspaper Les Échos, and in 1991 began Mali’s first free radio station, Radio Bamakan. He is known as a Pan-Africanist who implemented economic reform in Mali. He is credited with playing a role in protecting Mali’s archaeological, cultural, and academic histories, and curbing the spread of illegal arms in Africa.