The Aspen Global Innovators Group and Niyel Announce the Inaugural Class of Impact West Africa Fellows

November 28, 2023

Centering local change creators who are shaping global health and development

Contact: Ladin Bacakoglu, Communications Associate
Aspen Global Innovators Group at the Aspen Institute

Washington DC, November 28, 2023 The Aspen Global Innovators Group (AGIG) and Niyel, an  international advocacy, public affairs and campaigns firm, are pleased to announce the first class of the Impact West Africa Fellowship. This groundbreaking program is designed to amplify anglophone and francophone West African expert voices in the global development decision-making health and development landscape. This inaugural cohort will join the AGIG  community of almost 300 leaders in 55 countries.

Building upon the success of the New Voices Fellowship, the AGIG is excited about its deepened partnership with Niyel. This fellowship aims to respond to the growing demand to center local leaders and innovators in the design and implementation of solutions. It builds on the successes of the 10 years of the AGIG New Voices Fellowship. Through the supports offered, the fellowship and the power of its fellows, amplified fellows impact on improving the well-being of individuals, and communities, and the global health and development advocacy landscape. Participation in the Fellowship resulted in a twofold increase in public recognition two years after their Fellowship year and the attainment of substantial funding.

“Investing in West African leadership is a human and economic imperative. It is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, with an abundance of talented leaders who have been hard at work redesigning health and development systems,” said Lola Adedokun, Executive Director of the Aspen Global Innovators Group and Co-chair of the Aspen Forum on Women and Girls. “Amplifying their voices and visions is long overdue. And bridging connections between francophone and anglophone changemakers is essential as we endeavor to accelerate progress towards achieving the sustainable development goals. We are thrilled to partner with Niyel and these leaders as they blaze new trails and tackle the most difficult challenges of our time.” 

“West African change creators have been at the forefront in using their voices and skills to transform the region and tackle predominant issues in health, water and sanitation, agriculture, 
B5g,climate change, women empowerment, nutrition, gender equality among others. 

Equipping and mobilizing those change creators to work together and learn from each other goes a long way in creating a positive change in the region” said Laetitia Badolo, Director of Advocacy & Impact of Niyel.

The inaugural Impact fellowship class includes 10 leaders from eight countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana,  Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia . These remarkable changemakers bring a wealth of experience and expertise from various fields within the health and development sectors. 

The Impact West Africa Fellowship is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen the cadre of committed development champions from the West Africa region and bring their essential perspectives into the global development debate.


Meet the 2023 Impact West Africa Fellows:

Abdul-Rahman Edward Koroma, Country Director at Centre for Social Economic Empowerment and Development (Sierra Leone)

Aly Faye, Communication Manager at Ipar (Senegal)

Boubacar Zakou Zeinabou, Activist, Feminist (Niger)

Christian Mampuya, Country Director at KYNAROU (Burkina Faso)

Donald Singue Tanko, Climate and Disaster Risk Finance Coordinator of the African Disaster Risk Financing Program, African Development Bank (Côte d’Ivoire)

Etienne Bilgo, Research Fellow at IRSS/Centre Muraz (Burkina Faso)

Fatou Ndow, Program Coordinator at Civil Society Institute for Health (The Gambia)

Gloria Agyare, Programmes Officer at Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (Ghana)

Koumba Anouma, Program Director at Investisseurs & Partenaires (Cote d’Ivoire)

Mojirayo Ogunlana Oluwatoyin, Digital and Gender Rights Lawyer and Executive Director at DiGiCiViC Initiative (Nigeria) 


The Aspen Global Innovators Group

For over 30 years, the Aspen Global Innovators Group has empowered health and development leaders and innovators from 55 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Island States to design, champion and advocate for innovative programs, policies and partnerships that result in a safer, more equitable, and healthier future for all people and communities. Our network of 5000+ individuals and organizations has served 200 million people, improving health, well-being, and equity. We identify and amplify the voices of visionary, proven and impactful local leaders, advocates, and practitioners. Join us in building a healthier, more equitable future at

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit


Founded in 2008, Niyel is a private, impact-driven campaign, advocacy, and public affairs firm based in Dakar, Senegal. We partner with clients to co-create change in policy and practice across various sectors and human rights issues because we understand how important it is to build a better world through community outreach and transformation.​​ We have a diverse and energetic team of change makers from around the world. All our experts bring a creative approach to strategies and tactics, thinking outside the box to solve problems, offer guidance, and find new ways to drive impact. In the past 15 years, Niyel has partnered with NGOs, social movements, foundations, and everything in between on over 120+ projects to date. Today, Niyel stands as a competitive global firm on its way to leading change in the progressive development and advocacy sector. For more information, please visit

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