Ms. Yansane Fatou Baldé, President of the “Coalition des Femmes Leaders” (COFEL)...

Ms. Yansane Fatou Baldé, President of the “Coalition des Femmes Leaders” (COFEL) of Guinea Conakry

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Who is Ms. Yansané Fatou Baldé?

I am a wife and mother. I was born and raised in Guinea. I did my primary and secondary studies between Boké and Conakry then I went to continue my graduate studies in France at the University of Paris 1 (Panthéon Sorbonne). I returned to Guinea In 1996 and worked with a Swiss firm that was in charge of the SGS’s customs revenue security program. In 2000, I created a Transit Company that is still operating. The company handles various activities. I also lead the “Coalition des Femmes Leaders” (COFEL), which promotes women and young girls. I remain very committed to the respect of human rights and I am an active activist of human rights. I am the first Vice President in charge of Political Affairs of the National Council of Guinean Civil Society Organizations and Assistant to the Governor of District 9101 of Rotary International for Guinea. I wear several other caps.

  What is your motivation in what you do?

I have always wanted to be independent. This pushed me to enter the entrepreneurship world so that I could have control on my schedule. I also found out that girls and women had too many problems that prevent their development. This contrasted with my career, because exceptionally I was lucky and received strong family support to move forward in my life. So to give thanks to God, I decided to devote my free time serving disadvantaged and vulnerable women and girls. This is why I am very active in NGOs.

What is your greatest achievement? 

My greatest achievement is that I have had the chance to study and I have never suffered any form of violence considering what is being observed in our society these days. It’s not a personal achievement, but the credit also goes to my family.

How did you overcome visible or invisible obstacles to be where you are today? I often say it, I am a lucky girl, because my family had supported and encouraged me throughout my career. Then, I was lucky to find a husband who respects me, supports me and encourages me in everything I do. So the barriers have been les on my way. For the rest, I had to fight despite prejudices that did not bother me much because I had strong support.

What is your biggest failure or fear?

Failures come from experience and give the courage to move forward. We should not fear failures. On the other hand, my fear is injustice and arbitrariness on vulnerable and defenseless people.

What advice do you give to young women aspiring to become leaders?

They should believe in themselves and in what they do. They should give themselves the time and the means to achieve their ambitions. They should complete their studies, and seek for mentors to guide their path.