The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has appointed Vanessa Moungar, the African Development Bank’s Director for Gender, Women and Civil Society, to his Presidential Council for Africa.
Moungar and 10 other members of the elite group (mostly entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators) have been appointed to advise Macron on his African policy. The Council will have direct access to the French President and will also offer technical advice ahead of any Presidential missions to Africa.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, August 29 at the Annual Conference of Ambassadors to France held at the Elysée Palace in Paris. The Council includes Karim Sy, (a Franco-Lebanese-Senegalese entrepreneur) and Sarah Toumi, 30, Franco-Tunisian entrepreneur, among others.
The French Government described the Council as “a tool for consultation and decision-making directly attached to the President.” According to President Macron, the Council will help “to find channels of discussion with this African reality that has been somewhat lost in recent years.”
The Presidential Council for Africa is expected to give a new face to the relationship between Africa and France.
Moungar, who was appointed as Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society at the AfDB on 1 July 2017, is a citizen of Chad and France.
“I commend President Macron for establishing the Presidential Council on Africa, a clear testimony to his commitment to a renewed engagement with Africa, with new perspectives. His appointing young people to the Council sends a strong message of freshness. I am particularly delighted that Vanessa has been appointed to the Council. She brings much creativity and dynamism to our work at the Bank, and will do the same for the Presidential Council,” says Dr Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank Group President.