Speak Up Africa welcomes new board directors and staff members to boost knowledge and capacity

Press Release • 18 November 2019

Speak Up Africa is delighted to announce the appointment of four new experts to its Board of Directors and two new members of staff.

This month, the policy advocacy action tank welcomes Adrien Diouf, Managing Director of Agence UMOA-Titres and Meg DeRonghe, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This follows the appointments of Yacine Barro Bourgault (Director of the Small and Medium Business Segment for Emerging Markets in the Africa and Middle East region at Microsoft) and Cecile Niang (Lead Economist in the Finance Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice of the World Bank) who both took on their mandates earlier this year.

All four new board members’ have a strong background working in African development issues, yet each contributes a unique perspective which promises to enhance Speak Up Africa’s operations. From the private sector, financing and economics, to the media industry, and advocacy and policy, their insights will be invaluable to the development of Speak Up Africa’s new strategic direction for the period 2020-2025. Each board member has also demonstrated remarkable ambition for catalysing growth and development on the African continent, aligning with Speak Up Africa’s vision for a healthy and productive Africa.

The four newly appointed board members join the Board of Directors to lead Speak Up Africa’s work to champion action that reforms public health and sustainable development across the African continent.

Find out more about the Speak Up Africa Board of Directors here.

A growing team

Furthermore, two additional members of staff have also joined Speak Up Africa team this year, further building on the capacity and knowledge of the organisation.

This month, the team welcomed sociologist Safiétou Kane as its Policy and Research Manager. In this role, she will help to inform and influence Speak Up Africa’s program design and implementation by being the integrated link between policy and research. A specialist in gender, international development and research, Safiétou brings over 10 years of experience in the sector, having previously worked for USAID, UN Women, the Luxembourg bilateral Cooperation and the governments of Canada and Senegal.

James Wallen has also been appointed Program Officer for Speak Up Africa’s malaria programme. In this role, he will lead Speak Up Africa’s Zero Malaria Starts with Me campaign activity collaborating with partners such as Comic Relief, GSK and On Our Radar to deliver programmes in Sierra Leone and Ghana. James joins Speak Up Africa from international education program Global Citizen Year, contributing expertise in research, advocacy, M&E, program coordination and youth development.

More information about our staff and their experience is available to view here.

Yacine Djibo, Executive Director, Speak Up Africa says: “We are delighted to benefit from the extraordinary expertise of our new staff and board members. The knowledge and experience they bring will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the outcomes of our work and we look forward to working with them all very closely over the coming months and years.”

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