Yacine Djibo founded Speak Up Africa in 2011 with one goal in mind: to discover and implement effective, sustainable solutions to the most challenging problems facing the African people. Focusing on strategic communications, policy and advocacy, Speak Up Africa is dedicated to empowering African leaders and citizens to take on issues such as malaria, neglected tropical diseases and sanitation in order to save and improve lives.

Previously, Yacine worked as the Senegal country director for Malaria No More, where she developed and managed several high-profile national programs to promote malaria prevention and treatment. She built and maintained relationships with national and local government officials; designed and oversaw the distribution of lifesaving commodities countrywide; and cultivated partnerships with private-sector companies, media outlets, musicians and celebrities to develop marketing programs that raise awareness about malaria.

Prior to devoting her career to the health and well-being of children and families in Africa, Yacine honed her skills in the areas of business administration, finance and real estate at several private-sector companies, including Intercontinental Life Insurance Company, where she served as managing director; SAGEF Construction and Real Estate Development Company, where she was director of sales; and Fidelity Investments, where she served as a business analyst.

Yacine earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations and her MBA from Boston University.

Fara Ndiaye has been an integral member of the Speak Up Africa team since its founding in 2011. There she has been able to pursue her passion for public health and sustainable development advocacy, social and behavioral change communication, community outreach, and partnership building and engagement.

Beginning as the Director of Programs, Fara focused on external relations and coordinating partner activities. She then moved to the position of strategy and development director, in which she managed initiatives to advance the organization’s advocacy, programmatic and partnership goals; developed strategies to engage the private sector; and created advocacy and communications tools. Currently, as Deputy Executive Director, Fara has taken on the oversight of all program activities, ensuring proper planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation; appropriate liaison and negotiation with government partners; and the meeting of national and international standards and practices.

Before joining Speak Up Africa, Fara spearheaded the communications, partnership and advocacy initiatives in Senegal for Malaria No More. Prior to that, she worked on the research of migration issues for a variety of small non-governmental and major global organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, including the International Organization for Migration and the International Center for Migration and Health.

Ababacar joined Speak Up Africa in October 2022 as Finance Manager and coordinates with the CFO the Financial Management of the association.

Before joining the Speak Up Africa team, Ababacar spent more than 13 years of experience in NGOs and programs across several sectors such as sustainable development, education and health, social development, protection of environment and even the microfinance sector. This makes him an expert familiar with the high requirements of the financial management of NGOs.

Ababacar is passionate about martial arts and as a Finance Manager, he holds a Master’s degree in corporate finance and market finance.

Maïmouna Diop Ly is a medical doctor specialized in public health with more than 24 years in the health and nutrition sector in line with the global Universal Health coverage and inclusion agenda. The last 24 years she has been leading projects and programs at national and international levels on health including neglected tropical diseases, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and child survival. She has supported formulation of health and human capital policies and strategies as well as cross sectoral nterventions (Social protection, Gender, WASH, agriculture, etc ).

She has worked as civil servant with the ministry of health of Senegal at the National Food and Nutrition Service and as Head of the health Department for the Senegalese Red Cross. She  has worked the last 16 years with the African Development Bank as a Senior, Principal Health Specialist and Chief Health and Social Protection Officer.  She holds a medical degree, a master degree in public health (D.E.A), a master degree in management (D.E.S.S), a post-graduate degree in tropical medicine & parasitology and also in nutrition ((University Cheikh Anta Diop-  Dakar, University Paris VI, Institut Supérieur de management – Dakar (ISM) et University of Rennes 1).

Astou Fall Gassama is a medical doctor specialized in public health with more than 15 years in Community health, Tuberculosis, Malaria, HIV, COVID-19, Health Strengthening and Gender.
The last 15 years, she has been leading projects and programs at national levels. She has supported the Senegal MoH in defining and elaborating the strategy and interventions in Malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis and Strengthening health system at community level.
She has worked as in many NGOs with multiple donors and partners in Senegal and France (IMAJE Santé, Médecins du Monde France, USAID, Gates Foundation, Global Fund, Expertise France, Civil Society, Communities, etc…)
She holds a medical degree, a master’s degree in public health, a post-graduate degree in tropical medicine and Health system in low- and middle-income countries at University Marseille Aix en Province, France.

Yaye Sophietou Diop joined Speak Up Africa team in February 2016 after working for 2 years on communication for behavioral change around issues related to maternal, neonatal and child health.

Holder of a master’s degree in strategic communication, Sophietou is in charge of planning and coordinating Speak Up Africa’s programs. She ensures cohesion within the programs’ team, and assures linkages among all issue areas. Her work focuses mainly on formative research, strategy development, training and coaching in the implementation of communication and advocacy activities.

Passionate about research, she has worked on topics related to health, agriculture, equity, gender and sanitation.

Codou joined Speak Up Africa in February 2022 as HR Manager to coordinate the day-to-day Human Resources Management (talent acquisition, performance management, career management, staff retention, update and application of HR policies and procedures…).

Before joining Speak Up Africa, she was HR Manager at Action Against Hunger where she participated in the implementation of the organization and human resources’ strategic plans. For the past 5 years, her actions were focused on creating an enabling environment for gender equality with gender sensitive HR policies and procedures. In this capacity, she was a Gender Champion and participated in the international strategic thinking in Canada for the development of a gender policy.

As a Human Resources Specialist, she holds an Advanced degree in Management and a Master’s degree in Humans Resources Management.

As Speak Up Africa’s Senior Communications Manager, Maelle is leading strategic communication and outreach initiatives. She also leads the development and creative expression of the organization while championing and guiding new initiatives that create stronger partnerships and impact.

She joined the Speak Up Africa team in January 2014, to reinforce and develop the communication branch, after an experience in the UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar, as a communication and knowledge management intern. As a program officer at Speak Up Africa, Maelle worked on the design and development of communication programs and campaigns, implemented on the field, while striving to create sustainable partnerships with key national and international stakeholders.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in both History and English and a Master’s degree in History and Comparative Civilizations. In 2013, she obtained a MBA in International Institutions and NGOs Management.

As the Policy and Research Manager at Speak Up Africa, Assiatou’s role is to inform and influence the design and implementation of SUA’s programs by being the integrated link between policy and research.
Assiatou joined the Speak Up Africa team in October 2021 from Village Pilote, a non-profit focusing on street children’s rights in Dakar, where she served as the Health Program Officer. Prior to this experience, she was a Senior Analyst at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) where she worked on CDC-funded projects around cardiovascular disease, tobacco control, diabetes prevention and management, childhood obesity, and falls prevention in the elderly. In this capacity, she has provided technical assistance and capacity building to state and territorial health departments, and developed policy analysis and advocacy tools and resources.
Assiatou holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Oregon State University, a Master’s degree in Health Promotion Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy Analysis from American University in Washington DC.

James Wallen joined the Speak Up Africa team in July 2019.As a Program Officer, he is piloting the roll out of the now pan-African anti-malaria campaign « Zero Malaria Starts with Me » in Ghana and Sierra Leone. Between 2015 and 2019, James worked with Global Citizen Year, an international education program. He has a broad set of professional experiences including research, advocacy, M&E, program coordination and youth development. He holds a Masters degree in Medical Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh.

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