Aïcha Bah Diallo
A renowned champion of girls’ and women’s learning, Ms. Bah Diallo is from Guinea, where she served as Minister of Education from 1989 to 1996, implementing major reforms that strengthened access to primary education and doubled girls’ enrollment. She went on to become a senior education leader at UNESCO, where, from 1996 to 2005, she worked to reduce barriers to education for girls in the world’s least developed countries. Then from 2005 to 2009 she was the Special Advisor to the Director General of UNESCO for Africa. Ms. Bah Diallo helped found both the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in 1992 and the Association for Strengthening Higher Education for Women in Africa (ASHEWA) in 2005. She is currently a member of the « Liaison Committee” of NGOs in partnership with UNESCO, and a member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Prize Committee for Good Governance and Leadership in Africa. Mme Bah Diallo is also a member of the Islamic Development Bank President Advisory Panel (PAP/IDB), and a founding member of the « Réseau des femmes pour l’Egalité Femmes-Hommes ». Fluent in six languages (French, English, Spanish, Fulani, Mandingo and Soussou), she holds a B.Sc. degree in chemistry from Penn State University and a postgraduate diploma in biochemistry from the University of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Guinea. For her contributions to the field of education, Ms. Bah Diallo has received the Commandeur des Palmes Académiques françaises as well as the Officier de I’Ordre national de Côte d’Ivoire, Chevalier de l’Ordre du mérite de Guinée and the Médaille d’Honneur du Travail de Guinée. She received the « Outstanding Women Leadership Award in 2013, and was one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2013 and 2014”. In October, 13 Mme Bah Diallo received a Prize from Premios Magisterio (VII Edition Premios 2015 from Spain). In Guinea, many private as well as public schools are named after her. A school in Senegal is also named after Mme Bah Diallo.