Info Afrique

Driving environmental awareness in Mauritania

Wanting to raise awareness about the unhealthy and unsanitary conditions in her home country, now 26-year-old Aminetou Bilal launched the “Selfie Mbalite” campaign in February 2017. She was inspired by the “Selfie Déchets” campaign run by blogger Fatoumata Cherif in Conakry, Guinea.

Bilal
is the president of Selfie Mbalite, an NGO that focuses on awareness
campaigns against unsanitary conditions and promotes ecological
development in Mauritania. She is also part of the first class of 200
Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme.

Born
and raised in Mauritania, Bilal completed her Bachelor’s degree in
Geosciences and is currently busy with her Master’s degree in
‘Territorial management of the effects of climate change and
environmental risks’ at Sup Management University in Nouakchott.

Bilal
decided she wanted to make herself useful after completing her studies
and integrated into the NOG ‘Rim Youth Climate Movement’ fighting
climate change. Even though she is no longer a member, she is grateful
for her learnings.

“When
I launched Selfie Mbalite, I did not expect such quick reactions.
Everyone was taking selfies near waste on the national territory and
posted them on Facebook with the Hashtag #SelfieMbalite,” says Bilal.
Thanks to this initiative, authorities in Mauritania have reduced the
contracts of companies that manage waste and have started to review
their strategies.

Bilal
also went to be an AU-EU Youth Ambassador. “Being part of the AU-EU
Youth Plug-In initiative is one of the most beautiful things that
happened to me and is the result of my civic commitment,” says Bilal.
This lead to her being chosen by the African Union Commission to
represent and deliver the speech on behalf of the African Youth at the
“Women in Power” Conference on the sidelines of the 31st African Union
Summit.

On
being chosen to be part of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa
programme, Bilal said that it was more than a pride and honour. She
added that “President Obama is an inspiration to the whole world.”

Bilal
sees herself as a business leader in the environmental sector in the
future. She’s made a promise after her pare in the Obama Foundation
Leaders: Africa programme to pass on her knowledge and skills to the
young people of her country through a mentorship program that she will
launch shortly




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