Yayi Boni, Thomas

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Thomas Yayi Boni, 1952–, Beninois political leader, president of Benin (2006–), b. Tchaourou. He studied at the National Univ. of Benin, in Senegal at Cheikh Anta Diop Univ., and in France at the Univ. of Orléans and the Univ. of Paris, where he received a doctorate in economics in 1976. Yayi served as deputy director of the Central Bank of States of West Africa (1980–88) in Dakar, Senegal, deputy director of the West African Center for Banking Studies (1988) in Dakar, adviser on monetary and banking policy for Benin (1991–94), and head of the West African Development Bank (1994–2006) in Togo. Running as an independent, he was elected Benin's president in 2006 after a runoff; he was reelected in 2011. He survived an assassination attempt in 2007 and an attempted poisoning in 2012, and another coup plot was foiled in 2013.