We had a great opportunity to meet with the First woman Prime Minister of Mali, Cissé Mariam Sidibe Kaïdama. President Amadou Toumani appointed the new head of government by decree after some uncertainty caused by the resignation of the nation’s government on Wednesday 30th March 2011.
Yeah acting within his mayoral duties and also as a director for his Foundation, presented his greetings to the Prime Minister and congratulated her on her post. Yeah presented his qualifications to the PM. The PM was very impressed with all that Yeah had accomplished within the last 5 years. As MRF director, Yeah has been instrumental in bringing roughly 20 students from Mali to the US for college, 5 students on scholarship to Wasatch Academy, medical missions of gynecologists and dentists to Mali, and helping build 15 schools. Education has been a focus. As a mayor, Yeah has been able to put Ouelessebougou to the forefront with the first solar panel field in Mali and transparency in Ouelessebougou’s mayoral government. Yeah advised the PM of a unique opportunity that had been created between Mali Rising Foundation and an ex-mayor of Paraguay Martin Burt. There were 5 scholarships offered for students from Mali to come and study at an agricultural school in order to learn life skills. The PM was interested in all Yeah had to say and offered her support of the project for the 5 students going to Paraguay.
As a person, she comes across as a very shy soft spoken person. One would be surprised how she is in this position. However the PM has enjoyed many positions in Mali’s political arena. Miss Kaïdama completed graduate studies at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) with a degree in civil administration. She has served in government as Minister of Planning and International Cooperation (from August 1991 to June 1992 during the transition), Minister of Agriculture and Environment, concurrently with the portfolio of Planning and International Cooperation (May 1992-June 1992) and Minister of Rural Development (March 2002-June 2002).
From August 1993-November 2000 Miss Kaïdama worked as Executive Secretary of CILSS (Inter-State Committee to Fight against Drought in the Sahel) based in Ouagadougou. From 2003 until now, Miss Kaïdama was president of the board of directors of the SONATAM (National Tobacco and Matches of Mali).
The new Prime Minister has further qualifications in; Business Administration from the International School in Bordeaux, France (1976), internal control from the International Institute of Public Administration, Paris (1979), industrial relations from the Professional Development Centre in Turin (Italy) in 1983, restructuring of public enterprises from the Belgian Institute for Training in Brussels (1986), from the Ecole nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) in Quebec Canada (1988), financial planning and adjustment from the Training Centre of the BCEAO (1993).
This was an excellent opportunity for Yeah to network and present his qualifications to the second most powerful person in Mali. Small steps to a greater goal!