In a move that can be seen as a win for all young women in the pursuit of politics in Africa, Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has nominated Kamissa Camara as head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an appointment which makes her the youngest minister in the team. The government in Mali sets the tone for the future of their foreign political endeavours by promoting the 35-year-old, reflecting the idea that their very young population will have a very large part to play in what lies ahead.
Camara was born in France to Malian parents and educated at the Paris Diderot University, completing an Applied Foreign Languages degree specializing in International Relations and briefly interning at the UN in the process. She completed her Master’s degree in International Economics and Development at the Pierre Mendès-France University, after which she worked as a research assistant for the African Development Bank. She then moved to the states to pursue her professional career, working first for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and then the National Endowment for Democracy, frequently traveling to countries in sub-Saharan Africa and developing her skills as an electoral assistant. In 2016 she was accepted to Yale University, attending their Women’s Campaign School which further prepared her for her future career in appointed office.
Camara is passionate about improving the lives and livelihoods of those in Mali and other African countries. She consistently worked as an independent electoral consultant before becoming the director of Partners Global, a company whose mission is the promotion of democracy and good governance, with her focus being on sub-Saharan Africa. Camara has appeared multiple times on CNN as an African analyst to discuss political issues in Africa, and has appeared as a political expert on other platforms like BBC, TRT World, TV5 Afrique, and France 24. She has also written for a number of publications, including the Washington Post, Aljazeera America, The Africa Research Institute, Good Governance Africa and more.
In July the 5th, 2018 Camara was the diplomatic advisor of the President of Mali, before making history for being the youngest female Minister of Foreign Affairs at the age of 35 on September 9th, 2018. We witnessed the same scenario in Botswana, where at 30 years old Bogolo Joy Kenewendo became youngest Minister in her country’s history, leading the department of Investment, Trade, and Industry. With appointments like these we can see that Africa is making strides in recognizing that young women will drive the future of our societies, and by giving them the platform to be leaders focusing on better implementation of development activities, we an expect the continent to be lead to a brighter, more driven future.
By Yussuf Yanni