Born and trained in France, Seynabou Dia chose to return to the African continent to participate in its development. Today, specialist in communication of influence, CEO of Global Mind Consulting, she puts her expertise at the service of the builders of the future. With a leitmotiv: connect Africa.
Seynabou Dia, your career path reveals an early commitment to Africa. Why was this return to the sources necessary?
I was born in France by Senegalese parents and grew up in the North where I studied until my baccalaureat. I continued my higher education in Paris. Very early, I launched myself into activism, driven by a real curiosity for the African continent and the desire to reconnect with my origins. To satisfy this desire, I joined the Senegalese Consulate and the Senegal’s Permanent Delegation to Unesco. This direct collaboration with diplomats has enabled me to better understand the importance of geopolitical issues in Africa and to forge even more my commitment to the continent. My meeting with Paulette Correa, an exceptional woman who works in the promotion of African cultures, nourished this ambition. I enjoyed working with her. Several missions such as the organization of the annual UNESCO Gala for Africa and Science Po Paris conference-debates have bolstered my desire to promote African talents. I then started a consulting career and created my first company in the United States. Between Paris and Washington, my job is to develop and manage communication strategies. For three years, I advise and accompany several African and European personalities, with a lot of pleasure.
Seynabou Dia et son équipe
With Global Mind Consulting, your company, is your project about to concretely impact the African continent?
The whole world today agrees to consider Africa as the continent of today and tomorrow. I share the conviction that it is up to Africans to act so that this continent is no longer just a growth opportunity for others. The goal of Global Mind Consulting is to deconstruct the image of an Africa ravaged by conflict, malnutrition, poverty and dictatorships. These clichés unfortunately remain strongly enchrined in the collective consciousness, including in our own representations. The deconstruction of these images goes through the promotion of innovations and achievements done by Africans and Afro-descendants. I want to show Africa has «nobody to catch up with» to borrow the word of the economist Felwine Sarr. Many Africans today have this Afro-optimistic vision. Without copying the development models that have shown their limits, elsewhere, we must propose an ecologically responsible development, and at the same time, a producer of wealth. A model that takes care of all children by providing them with a living environment conducive to the preservation of their health, their safety, their physical and mental development. In short, a quality of life in line with their dignity. I deeply believe that Africa can offer the world a model of ethical and human-friendly growth. This model draws from the sources dug by Mandela, Sankara, Biko and many others. I am inhabited by this belief and I believe that everyone must contribute in participating. In particular, the diaspora. By collaborating in the organization of the first National Forum on Entrepreneurial Diversity, an exceptional framework of meetings and exchanges between African economic stakeholders, I became convinced that we needed to build bridges and participate. This is how I try to contribute to the emergence of Africa, supporting the stakeholders of the economic transformation of the continent in the promotion of their messages. Our assistance consists in developing and deploying innovative positioning strategies to help achieve our clients’ goals.
Seynabou Dia aux côtés du Secrétaire Général de la CEDEAO et ancien Premier Ministre de la Guinée Conakry.
You whisper in the ear of the biggest political and economic decision-makers of the continent. That said, do you also want to support the « little ones », the young entrepreneurs, the women … Those who will finally make the Africa of tomorrow ?
In our perception of things, no one is «little». Africa’s prosperity is built with the contribution of everyone, especially young people and women. The economic fabric is mainly made up of small and medium-sized businesses run by talented entrepreneurs that we try to support. We also target a new generation of economic and political stakeholders with an ethical dimension and the ambition to establish themselves as international champions. But we must recognize, that it is important to me since the beginning, to give back some of what I received. My experience was enriched through contact with exceptional personalities such as Ousmane Blondin-Diop, with whom I worked at UNESCO. He is a well of knowledge that taught me a lot. That is why we have a real desire to «give back». Since commitment is the bedrock of our approach, Gobal Mind Consulting has, for the past five years, supported young people and women who are passionate about their profession through capacity-building sessions. This spirit of sharing is essential to weave a chain of solidarity to bring out African talents on the continental and international arena.
Seynabou Dia Prix de l’entrepreneur féminin de l’année Hub Africa 2018
You are also an ambassador for Women In Africa Intiative. Why have you joined this network and why is it so important to connect women on this continent?
Women are an essential key to this positive Africa. To play their full role, they must be empowered to act and influence. From this point of view, Women In Africa Initiative meets a real challenge, that of promoting «woman empowerment». Meeting this challenge is essential in order to overcome the vulnerability and invisibility of which they are often victims. Female success stories are many, I see them every day in my trips. We must therefore help them assert themselves more in areas of business and institutions. We will do this as long as we offer them the necessary visibility. Women In Africa aims to create a strong network between African women and the world to enhance synergies between them. By encouraging mutual aid and workshops around central themes, this platform brings together constructive energies. All initiatives in this direction should be encouraged and supported. Unity is strength, knowing how to federate is essential as a real prerequisite for development. Some women’s career paths are simply extraordinary. They contribute to the sustainable prosperity of our continent by having a real impact on the continent. Knowledge is power. To identify business synergies and work together, we need to meet and exchange.