Organized by AWODIAG, the Colloquium on “The Professional African Women of the Diaspora : Economic stakes and perspectives for an added value North-South” took place on Saturday 28 January, 2012 at the Assemblée Nationale in Paris.

The Colloquium opened with a welcome address from Mr. Bruno Leroux, member of the Parliament, to the participants.

Speaking on her turn M. Toure President of AWODIAG welcomed as well participants coming from Paris, London, Brussels and Canada.


The colloquium focused on three main sessions developed by talented speakers.




Of the need for an identification of Feminine Competences


  Because there are a number of female lawyers who are members of AWODIAG, because this is the second time in history that a woman is elected as the Head of the Paris Bar, at AWODIAG we found it interesting to share this exceptional time with the newly elected Head of the Paris Bar Mrs. Christiane Feral-Schuhl.

After an historical introduction on the Paris Bar (in terms of women’s issues), Mrs Feral-Schuhl went on exposing on women’s role and importance in the french legal environment today together with the growing number of women accessing to the profession.

The newly elected Head of the Paris Bar ended her presentation by emphasizing on the importance of women’s networks when in need of identifying feminine talents.

She wished well and expressed all her support to AWODIAG in its objectives.


Contribution of the Professional African women to the development of the country of Origin : The Experience of Mali


Mr. Doucouré, President of the Malian of France presented the structural organisation of the Malian diaspora in France after an historical introduction on the migrations moves of the Malian. The speaker went on presenting Mali with a population of 14 millions people, and a subsequent number of 4 millions malians living in diaspora. The Malian diaspora is structured around The Haut Conseil des Maliens de l’Exterieur (The High Council of Malian living abroad), which is representend in 56 countries and sustained by a the IST Committee (The Intellectual Scientific and Technical Committee). The main objective of the IST Committee is to encourage malian with skills and living abroad to contribute to the development of Mali.

Mr. Doucouré acknowledge however that despite the fact that they were active through organizations contributing to the development of Mali, there was still a lot to do in terms of involvement of talented malian women living in diaspora, in the development of the country.


Why is it important to set success as a goal when one is in Diaspora

As a talented and emeritus consultant, Monique Wells made an interesting presenting on the issue of success in Diaspora.

Monique said that the reasons that success is important in Diaspora are the same as the reasons success is important at home. However, success in Diaspora has an additional benefit - that of breaking down stereotypes and artificial boundaries that prevent people from realizing the true potential of those "other" than themselves.

Her presentation discusses success as it relates to a unique subset of the African Diaspora - African Americans who have left their homeland to build a life in Paris.


Professional African women in Diaspora adding value to the Continent : Stakes and obstacles


Eugénie Diecky, journalist à Africa N°1 after a brief introduction on her personal professional route presented the topic through examples of several women achievements in diaspora and in the country of origin.




This session was a special tribute to the late Mrs. Wangari Mathai.

As an African woman, as an Activist, she added value to Kenya but also to Africa through her actions for a better and sustainable environment in Africa and worldwide.

As our special guest, Mrs. Mary Khimulu, phd, mbs Ambassador and Kenya Representative at the Unesco presented the life of the late Mrs. Wangari Mathai.

She started her speech by asking us to observe a minute of silence in memory of Mrs. Wangari Mathai and introduces us all to the very essence of the late Mrs. Wangari Mathai, her work and her legacy to this world.

She ended her speech with words of encouragements for AWODIAG and her support for the work the organization is doing into bringing together talented african women living in diaspora.

Taking the floor in return, Mariam Toure, President of Awodiag, felt it necessary to explain to the participants why paying tribute to the late Mrs. Wangari Mathai was of paramount importance. First of all this Colloquim was inspired by the late Mrs. Wangari Mathai. Instead of organizing a commemoration day, AWODIAG thought that the best commemoration would be a sharing day on the issue of “Adding value back to Africa” because when one looks at the life of the late Wangari Mathai, she will go down in history because of what she achieved: by her work on environmental issues both in Kenya, Africa and worlwide, by returning back to Kenya after being in diaspora for some time, Wangari Mathaï ADDED VALUE TO KENYA, TO AFRICA AND CONSEQUENTLY to the World.

She was the first African Woman to receive a Nobel Prize and she paved the way for the three other women who were awarded the prize last year – in 2011.

This is why at AWODIAG we believe that the late Wangari Mathai should be regarded as a great mentor worth paying tribute to.




Through a session of sharing their experiences with the audience we had speakers such as:


Ronke Lawal

CEO of the Islington Chamber of Commerce (London) and Manager of her own marketing business, we shared the journey of Ronke on the road of success. She captivated the audience by her dynamism and strong will to climb the ladder. On the reality of diversity she added that being different did not stop her and rather helped her to learn an “unspoken language”.



Reine Essobmaje

Founder and Manager of her business in the telecom field, we shared the experience of Reine on african female entrepreneur willing to bring added value to the country of origin. In line with the topic of the Colloquim on adding value both to the country of adoption and of origin, Reine gave her views on a successful come back to the country of origin.

Through a checklist, Reine detailed how one can turn the risky adventure of going back home to set up a business into a successful story.


George-Axelle Broussillon

In charge of diversity issues in a french firm, George-Axelle made the audience realized that from dream to reality, successful women in diaspora were part of a changing society.


Jocelyn Kartes who through a brilliant presentation introduced her organization – WeConnectCanada- to the participants. She went on explaining the objectives of WeConnectCanada and subsequently the importance for professional women to be part of a network in order to increase success.


The presentation sessions ended with the presentation of Marie-Anne Delahaut, Founder and President of Millennia2015.

As a woman aware of women and african women issues through her organization, Marie-Anne kindly accepted to introduce the participants to her organization Millennia2015. Through our shared vision of cooperation among women, AWODIAG invited Millennia2015-to share with the audience the importance – for women – of networking.


The Colloquium ended with a short closing speech of AWODIAG’s President, M. TOURE, warmly thanking all the participants and the speakers to this event.



Later in the evening an informal dinner reunited the participants and was another unique occasion to continue sharing experiences.



The board of AWODIAG expresses their sincere thanks and gratitude to Mrs Mary Khimulu, phd, mbs, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Kenya to Unesco for supporting us throughout this day by her continuous presence and interest.


The board of AWODIAG expresses their thanks:

-       to Mr. Bruno Leroux, Member of the French Parliament for his true support to AWODIAG

-       to the entire Office of Mr. B. Leroux for their kind and continuous cooperation during the organisation of the Colloquim.


We thanked:

All the speakers for their exceptional presentations,

All the participants for their presence and their support,

All those who helped us during this event,

Adrien and Nicolas.



The next Forum of AWODIAG will be held on Saturday 26 January, 2013 in London. The theme and all the relevant information relating to this Forum will be on our website in due course.



The Board of AWODIAG


Saturday 28 janvier, 2011




Limited seats (150 seats), gifted speakers, valuable networking opportunities


Participation ONLY through registration


More information online very soon


If you think that you've got what it takes to be a Professional African Women in Diaspora then we would like to hear from you !

AWODIAG was represented at the Seminar held on Monday 21 November, 2011 by Millennia2015, in Paris.

A precious moment of knowledge management and cooperation between women !

AWODIAG is looking forward to 2015.

Bravo to the Millennia2015 team.

AWODIAG took part on  February 16-18, 2011 in  the Annual Crans Montana Forum on "Enhancing Gender Equality - The role of women in public affairs"held in Brussels.

On Women's Day, March 8th, 2011, we had a lovely African Dinner and we thank the women who responded to our invitation.