Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Super Women Leadership Conference 2017

The month of March is famous for ongoing celebrations dedicated to Women. From the 8th of March - during which we celebrate the worldwide day for the Defense of Women’s rights - to the 31st, many events do take place, showcasing inspirational leaders, women of all origins, in both ancient and modern societies.

JEADER (Young African Entrepreneurs working towards the Regional Economic Development) grabbed such an opportunity to celebrate women, once again, through the Super Women Leadership Conference (SWLC). This 3rd edition of the SWLC took place at Novotel Hotel on Saturday, March 18th starting 3:00 PM. They were more than 230 participants, to be part of this amazing journey, celebrating inspiring Senegalese women who delivered a pitch on the topic of this Year: TRANSFORM’ACTION.

The SWLC is an event organized during the “month of women”. It invites and acknowledges women who distinguish themselves in various sectors and is based essentially on the spirit of Entrepreneurship and Creativity. And for the second Year in a roll, the event was organized with the sponsorship of the Us Embassy in Dakar / Senegal and did reward 10 speakers with the “Jigeenindeer” Award, identifying them as leaders or pioneers in their area of expertise.

Knowing that JEADER is really focused in building the next generations of Leaders, we consider women as a key element in the development of our nation. Those amazing women speak about their motivations and the hindrances they went through. They are also invited to talk about how it feels to be a Female Leader. The event does not only convey famous people, but it also promotes Leadership by rewarding and giving the floor to anonymous, in a way to urge every woman, beside their age, their handicap or their level of literacy to believe in themselves and their abilities to bring some change for their communities.

Did I hear you say “TRANSFORM’ACTION”?

“Actions speak louder than words!” At JEADER, we profoundly believe that the impact of women empowerment goes beyond speeches or propagandas. We see it as a result of a combination of great ideas and courageous initiatives with visible impacts. It is according to this belief that we have chosen “TRANSFORM’ACTION” as the theme of this SWLC going into transforming women’s devotion and creativity to concrete actions that will foster the emergence of the country.

We then decided to promote Art and specifically Painting during this event, making sure that we highlight the tremendous work delivered by young Senegalese artist. First, with a mini fashion show meant to display and feature the latest collection of ABC-Aduuna Bul Comprendre, named ZEN’ART, handmade printed dresses designed 100% by ABC. We also had the participation of the genious KING MO who did paint a masterpiece inspired both by the Logo of the Super Women Leadership Conference, and a Butterfly, symbol of TRANSFORM’ACTION, designed by JEADER Members.

As a symbol of transformation, arts and crafts were also leveraged with handmade goodies from “Ngaay Mekhe” and some pottery inspired by SOURD’ART, Abdoulaye Diène et Mariama Fall, who are deaf, but yet did manage to make of their art, an anthem of Senegalese culture. As every year, a giveaway was offered to the top 100 women who would come on time!

The Speakers 

This edition has seen the presence of Mrs. Martina Boustani, Charge of the US Embassy in Senegal and Mrs. Oulimata Sarr, Regional advisor of UN Women in Senegal, as a Keynote Speaker. Not only, was speech driven by Women economic empowerment, but it was a celebration of outstanding capabilities of Senegalese women, should that be in manufacturing industry, agribusiness, education, health & Social care, technology, fashion, beauty and design. 

There was a panel with the topic “Female leadership and its role in the transformation of Africa” chaired by Mrs. Rokhaya Dièye, President of the NGO LEAD Senegal and with the the intervention of Mrs. Mame Mbayang Diome, Member of the Parliament, Mrs. Aissatou Diallo, YALI Fellow 2014 and Mrs. Oumoul Khairy Tandian, sociologist.

1.Mrs Martina Boustani (US embassy)
2.Mrs Oulimata Sarr (UN Women) 
3.Dr Mame Mbayang Dione (Senegalese Parliament) 
4.Mrs Aissatou Diallo (YALI Fellow 2014)
5.Mrs Oumoul Khairy Coulibaly-Tandian (Sociologist)
6.Mrs Rokhaya Ngom Ndiaye (MPS)
7.Mrs Randa Filfili (ZENA Exotic)
8.Mrs Astou Mbene Thioub (TFM/RFM) 
9.Mrs Amy Niang Dieng (ORTHOPRO) 
10.Miss Mboyo Sow (BAY TECH) 
11.Mrs Sophie Zinga Sy (SOPHIE ZINGA) 
12.Miss Tahicia Dior Gomez (TAHI LAND)
13.Miss Marie Therese Fatou Sall (EBEN ID)
14.Mrs Faty Ly (FATY LY CERAMICS) 


JEADER Team, could not celebrate this SWLC, without having some thoughts for Late Yoni Rassoul Diongue, one of the jigeenindeer of JEADER in 2016 and a true ambassador of Transform’Action!

A fundraising was organized during the event, with the great leadership of the Sokhna Mbathio Ndiaye, YALI Fellow 2015. More than 480.000 XOF were taken from few of her books sold, 3 paintings of her and fundraising from the crowd. Part of this money is meant to support his family, and another part is meant to be invested in his Association HANDYCAPABLE to serve as a capital for the recipients of her association. Exceptionally, the 2017 jigeenindeer trophy was inspired by the famous drawing of our dearest Yoni Rassoul.


Mandela Washington Fellow 2014

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Meet Fadieye Loum, founder of KABIO

Fadieye Loum, founder of KABIO and 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders (YALI), sits down with The Iveoma Show
She discusses how she started KABIO (clothing line) with no money, her dreams for Senegal, and her advice for young Africans who dream of starting in fashion.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

15 Lessons learnt from Dangote...

Couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to be among the Young entrepreneurs who had the opportunity to meet with Dangote Aliko, known as "the richest man in Africa", one of the most renowned and biggest influencer in Africa. It was a unique moment,going beyond a typical pitch. Indeed, it was 30 crutial minutes when this great man deeply took his time to respond to questions and share his beliefs. And as I had taken note of 30 things I have learnt from such an interlock… After a moment of brainstorming, I narrowed it down and finally came up with the 15 things to capture the essence of this meeting with M. Dangote...

1. Dare to share
The first lesson was taught by the man who invited us to discover the amazing city of Marrakech. Amadou Diaw, the Founder of the Biggest Private University in Francophone West Africa decided to gather all of us together, in order to discuss about the "St Louis Forum". He has always believed in African Youth and has a strong belief in the power of sharing. And this unique opportunity he gave me to speak on behalf of the team, demonstrates such a statement.

2. Don’t lose opportunities
To the question asked by one of the entrepreneurs, regarding how he became such an influential entrepreneur, Dangote's answer was straight. He does believe that Entrepreneurship is all about opportunities. I bet most of the influential people would just tell you how “great they are” instead, he just mentioned that his secret was his capability to identify opportunities not only to invest, but to establish the Dangote Group at the age of just 20, moving it from a small trading firm, to one of the biggest conglomerates in Africa, with branches in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal …

3. Everything happens for a reason!
Between the young boy who would buy and and sell boxes of sweets just to make money and the business man he became, there is food for thoughts. He did not just wake up and start doing business, even if his family used to be wealthy, he actually work hard to reach his success... He mentioned many times the how important it was to set the pace to success as everything happens for a reason…

4. What got you here, won’t get you there …
I mentioned earlier that it all started with a small company, then the organization focused on food industry, on cement manufacturing, on sugar trade and later on soft drinks… And he emphasized many times on the word “diversification”. Definitely because when you want to survive in an extremely competitive environment, you have to analyze the trends of the market, of course identifying opportunities as mentioned earlier, but most importantly, you need to understand that “whatever you start today, your competitor can do, even better, tomorrow”. So the more you get into diversification, the more you tend to have a competitive advantage…

5. Always have your vision in mind
“Because you have a long way to go, you cannot afford not to have a vision”. This was the whole thing I took from this interlock. In fact, it happens that from time to time, we lose focus. At the question what’s the piece of advice you’d give to the next generation of entrepreneurs, M. Dangote repeated “do not lose focus on what your vision is…” 

6. Africa’s future is in your hands
Surprisingly enough, the richest man of the world did insist in the fact of having a “healthy life, and sleeping enough”. Sincerely, that’s not something I was expecting, I was quiet surprised actually. But then he later explained that as the next generation of leaders, we did not have the right to be “compromised”. What else could we add to that, in a world where “rumor has it”. Having such a man believing so much in us being the next generation of leaders, and get him referring to the fact that one of the reason why he was investing that much in Africa was because, the future is here…

7. Be bold, Think Big.
“If you don’t thing big, you can’t grow” is one other sentence he did repeat. The one thing he considers our generation is lacking of, is to dare to create. At the era of Internet and new technologies, his suggestion is to dare to use our brain to create something which can benefit the community- thinking out of the box and setting the trend. But, and of course there is a “But” he insisted in the fact of identifying our own strengths and weaknesses, in order to address them.

8. Know your limits and go beyond…
"Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them". Albert Einstein said. People are often hedged in by boundaries, most of which are mental barriers that they themselves create. Mr Dangote's advice is to identify our limits and go beyond them!

9. Anticipate , dare to innovate
When you’re imaginative, even if you are lacking resources, you can still predict future trends in the market and propose something worth the investment. For example, back in 1990, Dangote did ask to the Central Bank of Nigeria to allow his transport company to take care of their fleet of vehicles. At that time and at that age, not only it was challenging, but it took some risks and couple of investments, but the end result was a successful and worthy initiative that paid off.

10. Make the best out of limited resources
From a family living in Kano, and a grandfather who was an influencer, he used to be challenged. This is the reason why he encourages Youth to make the best out of limited resources, as not everyone has the chance to find an investor. And in fact, because you’re able to get the best out of such a limited investment, a VC would be more willing to invest in you, rather than in your project. It’s all about sustainability....

11. Education is the basis
Don’t get tired of learning. Never get tired of learning. He calls out the fact that most of young people are eager to finish their studies and start a business, not knowing that you have to learn how to handle a business and how to deal with Human resources. Management is not just about assets, it’s about making sure that you have the right skills to stand in front of your team and tell them something which is worth the respect they will give you. If you have nothing to teach them, people will quickly step back. As he repeated several times, “Education is the pillar”.

12. Life is made of Up & Downs
He mentioned something spiritual. Life is not just about Ups, you also need to foresee the issues and threats, coming up your way. And you need to plan for that not only in terms of finance but in terms of resources. Life is not all perfect, you have Ups and Downs and you need to deal with it. You need to save money as you get at your peak, because there might be days where you may not get enough to sustain your entrepreneurial journey.

13. Failing is ok, as long as you realize why you did fail...
Of course he made bad decisions, and because he learnt from it, he was able to apply his learning in the other businesses he would start. Here is what he answered to an Entrepreneur asking what it is to fail as a entrepreneur. Not only, there is a need to understand why you failed, but you definitely need to do it quickly, as your competitor won’t give you the time to come back….

14. To whom much is given, much is expected
Mr Dangote invited us not to forget our community. In other words, he wants us to help the others as much as we have been supported at some point of time. In his vision, if we were meant to help each other in Africa and not always reach at foreigners, if we were willing to invest in our continent, rather than putting our investments outside of our countries, we would help Africa make a huge shift economically.

15. Be Humble ….
Is there was one thing to take away, that’s humility. A man worth Billions taking such a time to talk about FOREX issues in Nigeria, and vision for next generation of leaders, without complaints, and always with a smile, make me respect this man, beyond his fortune and the commit he has to develop his business, leaving a legacy as a leader, a true entrepreneur, a pioneer…

#NAG #entrepreneur #afrique #forum_de_saint_louis #dangote #aliko

Mandela Washington Fellow 2014

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Yali 2017: le recrutement est lancé

Hello les amis,

Comme vous le savez déjà l'appel à candidature pour la promotion des "Mandela Washington Fellows" a été lancé il y a quelques jours. A cette occasion l’ensemble des MWF Alumni se tiendra à vos côtés afin de répondre à vos questions préoccupations, et autant que faire se peut, vous accompagner tout au long de ce processus.

En effet, une série de rencontre est prévue durant le mois d'Octobre à Dakar, Thiès, St-Louis, Louga, Ziguinchor, Kaolack et Tambacounda. Shuuttttt !! Je n’en dirais pas plus pour le moment ;-)

Mais pour commencer, ci-dessous un ensemble d'informations qui vous seront utiles à ce stade:

Le programme Mandela Washington Fellowship est ouvert à tous les jeunes leaders africains qui remplissent les conditions suivantes :
  • être citoyen et résident d’un pays d’Afrique sub-saharienne ;
  • avoir entre 25 et 35 ans au moment de la soumission du dossier de candidature, encore que certains candidats exceptionnels âgés de moins de 25 ans seront pris en considération ;
  • ne pas être citoyen américain ou résident permanent des États-Unis ;
  • pouvoir prétendre à un visa J-1 des États-Unis ;
  • ne pas être un employé ou un membre direct de la famille d’un employé du gouvernement des États-Unis ;
  • savoir lire, écrire et parler couramment anglais ;
  • ne pas être un ancien participant au programme Mandela Washington Fellowship (malheureusement … sniff !)


  • posséder de solides antécédents de leader qui illustrent votre rôle moteur et ce que vous avez accompli dans les domaines du service public;
  • de l’entrepreneuriat ou de l’engagement civique ;
  • s’être engagé dans les domaines du service public ou du service à la collectivité, du bénévolat ou du mentorat ;
  • être capable de coopérer au sein de groupes hétérogènes et de respecter l’opinion des autres ;
  • être un bon communicateur et être très sociable ;
  • avoir des connaissances, un intérêt et une expérience professionnelle établis dans le domaine sélectionné ;
  • être dynamique et positif ;
  • s’engager à retourner en Afrique et, à son retour au pays, à mettre au service du pays, de la collectivité ou de l’école du candidat les compétences
  • et la formation en leadership qui auront été acquises.


Dans le dossier de candidature, les candidats devront fournir des informations de base et répondre à des questions à propos de leurs antécédents professionnels et scolaires, tels que leur expérience professionnelle, leur expérience académique, leurs distinctions honorifiques, leurs activités parascolaires et bénévoles, et leur niveau d’anglais. Dans le cadre de la candidature, les candidats devront également répondre à des questions à l’écrit, sous forme d’essais. Les documents supplémentaires tels que les lettres de recommandation ou les relevés de notes universitaires sont FACULTATIFS.


21 septembre 2016 ouverture des candidatures
26 octobre 2016 fermeture des candidatures
Janvier-février 2017 les demi-finalistes passent un entretien dans les ambassades et consulats des États-Unis dans leur pays
Fin mars 2017 les résultats des candidatures sont annoncés
Avril - mai 2017 préparation des visas des finalistes
Juin 2017 le programme MW Fellowship débute aux États-Unis

Pour en savoir plus sur le processus de candidature et de sélection, n'hésitez pas à vous rendre sur

Mandela Washignton Fellow 2016

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

My visit at St.Helena Island Beaufort

It was a blessing for me to visit and meet with with the Executive Director of the Penn Center where the first school for freed slaves took place in the Unites States in 1862.

Most fascinating I met Gullah people for the first time ever. Had lunch in a Gullah restaurant and been offered a Gullah Music CD. These people were so kind and had so much love for me. Seeing someone coming from the motherland warmed their hearts and I was so happy I made them happy. They are entrepreneurs, they are historians, they are artists, they are chefs but they all have a common goal which is to preserve their culture!

For your information:

'The Gullah are the descendants of enslaved Africans who lived in the Lowcountry regions of Georgia and South Carolina, which includes both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands.

Because of a period of relative isolation in rural areas, the Gullah developed a culture that has preserved much of the African linguistic and cultural heritage from various peoples, as well as absorbed new influences from the region. The Gullah people speak an English-based creole language containing many African loanwords and influenced by African languages in grammar and sentence structure.'

If you get a chance, please visit this Island where Dr Martin Luther King would stay and write most of his speeches!

Mandela Washignton Fellow 2016
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Monday, August 15, 2016

The Imperialism of Feminism

In the Western history, women were expected to stay at home, where they were taught how to be good wives and good mothers, and of course how to stay pretty and silent. They felt dominated and oppressed economically, politically, and in their own bodies. They decided to speak up and fight for equality.

They got released from home and went to school. They now occupy positions their grandmothers and mothers never dared dream about. They boast economic independence, now able to afford everything a consumer society creates to anticipate their wildest desires. They contribute to the full functioning of the capitalist machine, just like the other half of humanity, with the exception of certain wives of well-to-do men.

They are involved in political activities – some of them even leading countries – and one is about to lead the most powerful country if she manages not to get knocked out by the glass ceiling.

They claim to be in control of their own bodies, while the pharmaceutical industry feeds them hormones that convert male fish into female, and the beauty industry (mainly controlled by men) defines how their bodies should look with the goal of selling more yogurt and cars.

They are still expected to be good wives, mothers, and of course, pretty. They also have to be as competent as men at work, while making less money. The pressure to perform well, both at home and at work, is silently crushing them while their unrestrained pursuit of the perfect body leaves deep wounds but no visible scars.

And now they want to free all the ‘oppressed women’ around the world. As always, they have started by setting up universal rights for complex and plural women.

In African history, women’s conditions have always been diverse, depending on their background as rural or urban women, whether their society is patriarchal or matriarchal, the ethnic group they belong to, the country or region they are from, and their personalities. Consequently, their need for equality differs dramatically depending on their social class, cultural background, beliefs, values, and the way they were socialized to be women in non-individualistic societies. They too used to be discriminated against because of their gender, notably in terms of access to lands and high-income activities. They too used to deal with arranged marriage, polygamy, female genital mutilation, rape, and domestic violence. Within the same Africa, women never stopped being the drivers of economic activities (in agriculture and trading). They never stopped influencing policy or familial decisions through their men (husbands and sons), who personify authority within their social group. They never stopped exercising spiritual power as priestesses. They never stopped organizing and fighting for their rights.

Being freed from the domination and oppression perpetrated by the other half of humanity is the least of their concerns. Revolutions and evolutions have to be driven by and within the oppressed people themselves. The contingencies of a given society impose changes naturally, but when the changes are dictated from the outside, it is called imperialism.

Mandela Washignton Fellow 2016

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Friday, August 5, 2016

The Senegalese Mandela Washington Fellows were received on Tuesday, August 2, by his Excellency Ambassador Babacar Diagne, representing President Macky Sall in Washington DC. As usual, the Senegalese young leaders were driven by their commitment to involve Senegalese authorities in all their endeavors. As they met President Sall in Dakar, in June, before leaving for the Mandela Fellowship in the United States, the Fellows found it relevant to visit the Embassy and Senior Senegalese officials in DC, showing once again their foresightedness and their respect to the Institutions of their beloved countries they are all committed to work for.

Excellency Diagne praised the visit as one of the most relevant initiative. He congratulated each one of the fellows and inquired on their various profiles. At the onset of his speech Ambassador Diagne appreciated how young leaders, throughout all the country, are striving to push our nation forward. “ We were here when Réné Dumont wrote l’Afrique noire est mal partie. We were here also when Axelle Cabou published “ Et si l’Afrique Noire refusait le développement. Today, you are showing that change is possible. You are writing a new narrative. We are proud to have you to carry on the flag” said the Ambassador. He also shared his vision of Africa and Senegal in the coming years.

The discussion was very casual and Ambassador Diagne, commented on various topic raised by the fellows: his years at Radio Televison Sénégalaise, his stay in the Gambia as ambassador and his present work in DC. For him, it is always a privilege to serve our nation in the world first power, the United States. He reviewed the different lines of the Senegal-USA cooperation before introducing Colonel Abdourahim Kébé and Mamadou Kane. Colonnel Kébé insisted on the military cooperation, specifically the partnership with the state of Vermont. Mr Kane, outlined the economic cooperation, showing how Senegalese exportations in the USA have soared these recent years.

The meeting ended with a family picture in the front of the Embassy.

Mandela Washignton Fellow 2016

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