Tell us about yourself: My name is Fatoumata Mbodji, and I'm currently the communications and advocacy officer for the NGO Lumière Synergie pour le Développement (LSD). My organisation is based in Senegal but runs several projects in the West African sub-region. We monitor projects financed by the African Development Bank, and make sure that the bank's environmental and social safeguard policies are respected in the implementation of the various projects. In this work, the main projects we monitor are fossil fuel-based energy projects, which means that they are inevitably linked to the contribution they make to climate change. We also work with women from the Saloum Delta who live alongside the Sangomar oil and gas project in Senegal. We are supporting their resilience in the face of climate change through the conservation and restoration of the mangrove, a natural resource that is helping to preserve biodiversity in Senegal.
For 3 years now, I have been leading a campaign against the financing of new fossil fuel projects by the African Development Bank. As part of this campaign, our main objective is to revise the Bank's energy policy, which is obsolete and out of step with the ambition of moving towards a fair and equitable energy transition.
The advocacy work is mainly done with the women of the communities hosting the projects. I work with them to build their capacity in the concepts of climate change and climate justice, which they will then be able to tackle more easily. My knowledge of digital technology also enables me to build women's capacity in the use of digital tools.
What are you planning to do with the grant? The JWH grant will enable me to do a master's degree in digital communications at the Institut Supérieur de Management in Dakar (Senegal) during the 2024/2025 academic year.
What do you hope the JWH grant will bring you? I hope to be able to strengthen my skills in designing digital strategies for the various campaigns I will have to run in the future as part of the fight for climate justice in Africa and the Global South. But it's also an opportunity to expand my network through the JWH to maximise the impact of my work with women in Senegal.
What is your dream? I wish to enable young girl activists from the communities most affected by climate change in my region to benefit from capacity-building in advocacy. This will give them the opportunity to get their message across in favour of a fair and equitable energy transition in Africa.
This leadership support has been made possible by the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)