is a consultant on development issues and on civil society matters, with particular expertise in helping community groups identify constraints, and promoting their development. Since 1996 he has been active in civil society associations in Burkina, and has been involved in the establishment of a number of associations working in the fields of advocacy, good governance, and capacity-building. He is a member of the Civil Society Forum of West Africa (FOSCAO), which plays an important role in election observation. Within FOSCAO he has played a key role as an expert on electoral matters for West African civil society organizations.
Issaka Herman Traore
has over 14 years of experience in development project monitoring and evaluation, M&E systems development, participatory rural appraisal, and supporting project preparation and implementation in diverse fields (democracy and governance, agriculture, natural resource management, food security, alternative energy, and mining). He completed his studies in International Development at the Kimmage Development Studies Centre in Dublin Ireland, attaining upper second class honours in the academically rigorous National Diploma programme, in 2003. Mr Traoré has authored a novel, Le boa qui avale sa queue (The Boa that Swallows its Tail) (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2007). Traoré is currently the facilitator of the joint AfrEA-CDIISSP International course on Participatory Planning Monitoring & Evaluation- -Managing for Impact, held at the University of Ouagadougou, and a board member of IOCE.
holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Uppsala University in Sweden. She is currently a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Sociology, at Ouagadougou University (Burkina Faso). Her training is interdisciplinary, drawing on sociology, anthropology, and communication studies, and she has also taken part as a fellow in the 2009 Ghana workshop on political science in Africa sponsored by the American Political Science Association. She has carried out research on questions related to development issues, to natural resource management, to land and forest tenures and policies, to decentralization and local governance, and to water and sanitation. Gender has always been a crosscutting theme in all of her research and teaching. She is currently working on young women’s political participation by examining culture, political contexts, laws and elections.
Ndoubayidi Felicite Guesse
is a professor of English. She has been active in Chadian civil society since 1994. She is the president and founder of “SYNERGY WOMEN,” a network of women’s organizations working in the fields of development and the promotion of human rights. She served as the coordinator for election observation teams in the region of Logone Occidental, which were formed and trained by EISA-Tchad, a major NGO working on electoral issues and TSEP’s partner organization in Chad. She has also participated in the observation of the legislative and presidential elections that were held in Chad in 2011. Within the SYNERGY WOMEN network, she is involved in training and education programs for increasing awareness of the participation of women in the electoral process.
holds a degree in journalism and political science. Nako has spent the bulk of his career in the media. As a correspondent for Radio France Internationale (RFI) since 2009 in Chad, he collaborates with several French media outlets. He has worked as a consultant on communication for various agencies of the United Nations. He has also served as a political analyst for the European Union’s electoral observation mission in Chad.
Abderamane Ali Gossoumian
is a sociologist by training. He was the national coordinator of the follow-up committee for the “Call to Peace and Reconciliation,” a platform of Chadian civil society working for sustainable peace since 2002. Gossoumian has been designated deputy spokesman of this platform. He has been an active participant in several other initiatives for the promotion of human rights, peace and democracy in Chad and in central Africa. In addition, he has taken part in a number of training programs of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) in electoral matters. He coordinated the electoral monitoring programs of Chadian civil society (MOE-SCT) in the 2011 legislative and presidential elections, as well as the communal (local) elections of 2012.
served as a judge on the Constitutional Court of Mali for two terms of seven years each (1994-2008). He previously served as Legal Councilor for three Ministries (National Education: April 1991 to July 1992; Culture and Scientific Research: July 1992 to April 1993 and Higher Education and Scientific Research: April 1993 to September 1993). Kansaye held various positions as a judge at the trial level from December 1976 to April 1991. He is a member of the International Association of Constitutional Law and of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers. He also serves an expert on electoral law for the International Organization of La Francophonie. He has extensive experience and expertise on electoral matters and has often been called upon as an observer or expert advisor for elections in Africa, including in Mauritania, Guinea Conakry, Chad, Tunisia and Ivory Coast.
Ibrahima Labass Keita
is a philosopher by training and an experienced journalist by profession. He began his political career as a journalist in October 1991, and has covered all electoral processes in Mali since the advent of democracy and the Third Republic in 1992. He was appointed editor of the independent Bamako newspaper “Le Scorpion” in March 1995, a position he still holds. Keita holds a maîtrise degree in Philosophy from the Ecole Normale Supérieur in Bamako, and DESS degree on “Press freedoms and democracy” from the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. He is a keen observer of the electoral process in Mali and several other countries in Africa and Europe.
Djeneba Diarra Kone
holds a master’s degree in management and is currently pursuing an MA in development economics. She has been active in civil-society organizations working on human rights in general and the electoral process in particular since 1996. She has participated as a non-partisan observer for all of the general elections that have been held in Mali from 1997 to date. Since October 2008 she has served as the Executive Secretary of the NGO Network to Support the Electoral Process in Mali (APEM), TSEP’s partner organization in the country. Her APEM responsibilities also include coordinating the program to support the participation of women in the electoral process in Mali. On behalf of the APEM Network, she occupies the position of Treasurer on the Executive Board of the West African network for monitoring of Elections (ROASE), a position she has held since December 2010.
Aichetou Haidara Eboubecrine
was born in Nouackchott, Mauritania on December 1975 and grew up in Dakar, Senegal. She did all her studies (primary and secondary degrees) in Dakar before graduating from the University of Nouakchott. She currently works as a teacher of French and English. She has also worked for the American Peace Corps, the Lutheran World Federation and World Vision. She was member of the National Electoral Commission and then the Cabinet Director for the President of the Commission. She has trained citizenship education trainers in the areas of citizen rights, duties and responsibilities. She currently serves on a presidential commission coordinating anti-corruption efforts in Mauritania. In November 2009, she attended a workshop in Barcelona (Spain) on electoral rules in North Africa and she also participated in an International Leadership Program in the United States in April 2010. She speaks Arabic, English, French, and Wolof.
Gueladio Silly Diabira
is a lawyer by training and holds a doctorat d’Etat in Public Law from the University of Tunis. He is currently a professor of Public Law in the Faculty of Legal and Economic Sciences of the University of Nouakchott, Mauritania. He served as a political consultant and jurist for the European Union’s Election Observation Missions during the municipal, legislative and presidential elections that were held between November 2006 and March 2007 in Mauritania. He then occupied the position of legal adviser to the Minister of the Interior and Decentralization from 2007 to 2009. He also participated in the organization of the most recent (2009) presidential election.
Aissata Alhassane Mme Sayo
is Administrative Director in the office of civil liberties in the Ministry of the Interior, Public Safety, Decentralization and Religious Affairs of the Republic of Niger. She has held parallel position in previous ministries since January 2003, and is directly involved in the official recognition of political parties. She also has extensive experience in elections, including services as a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) for the municipal and general elections of 2004, as a Rapporteur for the CENI sub-commission on administrative and legal issues, and as President of the Municipal Commission for Elections of the urban communes of Niamey I and II. She once again served as a member of the CENI for the elections of 2010-11, which returned Niger to democratic electoral government.
holds a PhD in social anthropology and Ethnology from the School of Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Marseille (France), where he was sponsored by a scholarship from the German Volkswagen Foundation. His thesis was on the modes of regulation of the Nigerian judiciary, and dealt in particular with the issue of the functioning of the justice system as influenced by the differences between the everyday practices and professional cultures of legal professionals and the official institutional structures. Since 2005 he has been a researcher at LASDEL, a major social science research center and TSEP’s partner organization in Niger. His research interests revolve around judicial systems, electoral systems, democracy and governance, and migration.
received a Masters degree in Psychology from the University of Rennes, France, in 1984 and a Diploma in Advanced Studies from the University of Abidjan in 1996. From 1985 to 1996, he worked as a teacher-coach at the teacher training school in Maradi (Niger). Then he served as Chief of the Division of Child Development in the Department of Child Protection, in the Ministry of Social Development in Niamey. He served successively as Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of National Education, Technical Advisor to the Minister of Education, and Director General of Basic Education. He served as a consultant to the Political Party MODEN – FA LUMANA AFRICA during the parliamentary and presidential elections of January-March 2011, for the collection and analysis of election results.
holds a Master’s degree in sociology from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, and is currently completing a doctorate at the University Gaston Berger of Saint Louis Sénégal. She specializes in gender violence and sexual abuse of minors. She started work as an assistant programs manager with the Mouvement Citoyen, a civil society organization and TSEP’s local partner organization in Senegal. She was particularly involved with a program for capacity building for women in political parties, in partnership with UNIFEM. She also worked within the Mouvement Citoyen, through publications, radio programs and public lectures, on programs for the empowerment and participation of youth and women in local and national elections. Currently she holds the position of Deputy Mayor of the urban district of Fann Point E Amitié in Dakar.
Marie Pierre Diop
is a jurist by training. She holds a maîtrise in Public Law, and is also completing a Master’s degree in the Institut des Droits de l’Homme et de la Paix (IDHP) from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. She is active in the field of the promotion and protection of rights of the individual with a particular interest in gender equality and the eradication of gender related violence. She has served as a program assistant and as a Coordinator of a center for the non-governmental Réseau Africain pour le Développement Intégré (African Network for Integrated Development, RADI). Since January 2012 she holds the post of Regional Coordinator for RADI in the Kolda region (Haute Casamance) of Senegal, 670 kilometers from Dakar. As a member of CONGAD, the Senegalese Council of NGOs, she collaborates often with other civil society organizations for training and mobilization of Senegalese citizens to participate in the electoral process.