Henri Lopes is a Congolese writer, diplomat, and political figure. He was Prime Minister of Congo-Brazzaville from 1973 to 1975, and became the Congo-Brazzaville's Ambassador to France in 1998. After working as political director of Etumba from 1975 to 1977, Lopes was reappointed to the government as minister of finance on 5 April 1977; he served in that position until December 1980 Subsequently, he worked at UNESCO as Assistant Director-General for Culture and Deputy Director-General for Africa from 1981 to 1998.
In addition to his distinguished political and diplomatic career, Lopes has earned distinction as a literary author. Perhaps his most acclaimed work is the satirical novel Le Pleurer-rire ("The Laughing Cry", 1982). Other works include the short-story collection Tribaliques ("Tribaliks," 1971), as well as the novels La Nouvelle romance (1975) and Sans tam-tam (1977). His most recent novel, Le Méridional (2015), has been praised as "a fine portrayal of the life of an African long residing in France, narrated by a writer whose life bears some resemblances to Lopes's own".
Tribaliques received the Grand Prix Littéraire de l'afrique noire in 1972 and in 1993 Lopes received the Grand prix de la francophonie of the Académie française for his entire body of work.
In November 2015, he delivered the keynote address at the 22nd International African Writers' Day Conference, organized by the Pan African Writers' Association (PAWA) on the theme "Celebrating the life and works of Chinua Achebe; the coming of age of African Literature?", in Accra, Ghana. During the conference Lopes received the award of Honorary Membership of PAWA, alongside other honorees who included the late Kwame Nkrumah, Emeritus Professor Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, Dr Margaret Busby, James Currey, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Dr Joyce Rosalind Aryee and others.