Sonatel Group joins the HeForShe campaign

Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mr. Axel De Ville, UN Women Deputy Regional Director and Mr. Alioune Ndiaye, Sonatel’s CEO
Mr. Axel De Ville, UN Women Deputy Regional Director and Mr. Alioune Ndiaye, Sonatel’s CEO
Dakar, Senegal- On September 14th, the board of directors of Sonatel, Senegal’s principal telecommunications provider, officially joined the “HeForShe” campaign during a ceremony held at the group’s headquarters. During the ceremony, Sonatel’s CEO, Alioune Ndiaye and nine directors reaffirmed their commitment to promote actions leading to a more egalitarian society and development for all.

"By 2020, we would like to achieve a 50/50 gender parity within the Sonatel Group. I believe it is possible” Mr. Ndiaye declared in his speech. "I remain totally convinced that performance increases when a team is diverse and mixed”. “We commit to achieving gender parity and we are reaffirming our commitment to UN Women” he added. In his remarks, Mr. Ndiaye stressed that civic engagement is a key strategic priority in Sonatel’s development and expansion policies, and is at the root of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility section. He also emphasized that gender equality should no longer be seen as an issue exclusively for women. Concluding his remarks, Mr. Ndiaye reiterated the group's commitment to engaging in collaborative partnerships with institutions such as UN Women.

UN Women delegation with Mr. Alioune Ndiaye, Sonatel’s CEO (from left to right: Mrs. Mariam Kamara, Regional Communication Officer for West and Central Africa, Mrs. Marie Pierre Raky Chaupin, Senegal’s Program Coordinator, Mr. Agoro Tchagbalé, Operations Director, and Mr. Axel De Ville, Deputy Regional Director). Photo credit UN Women/H. Diop
UN Women delegation with Mr. Alioune Ndiaye, Sonatel’s CEO (from left to right: Mrs. Mariam Kamara, Regional Communication Officer for West and Central Africa, Mrs. Marie Pierre Raky Chaupin, Senegal’s Program Coordinator, Mr. Agoro Tchagbalé, Operations Director, and Mr. Axel De Ville, Deputy Regional Director). Photo credit UN Women/H. Diop
Sonatel’s Director of Corporate Communications and External Relations and member of the board of directors, Mr. Abdou Karim Mbengue introduced UN Women’s delegation, led by the Deputy Regional Director for UN Women in West and Central Africa, Mr. Axel de Ville. " In sub-Saharan Africa, as elsewhere in the world, occupational segregation based on gender is a reality that contributes to perpetuate wage gaps and inequalities between men and women: the gap is estimated at 30% in our region" Mr. de Ville stated. “Gender disparities constitute an obstacle to creating an inclusive, equitable and sustainable environment” he added.

Presenting the campaign’s achievements in the west and central Africa region, including the number of registered members (458.879) on the campaign’s online platform (HeForShe.org), as well as its  objectives across the region and continent, Mr. de Ville concluded by reaffirming UN Women’s commitment to working with organizations such as Sonatel. "With you, and all the actors who mobilize in favor of the HeForShe, we hope to reach the goal of one billion signatures on the platform" he added.

Photo with the men of Sonatel’s board of directors (Photo credit : UN Women/H. Diop)
Photo with the men of Sonatel’s board of directors (Photo credit : UN Women/H. Diop)
At close of the ceremony, HeForShe pins were given to the male members of the Board of directors and symbolically placed by Mr. de Ville and the members of the UN Women delegation (Mr. Agoro Tchagbalé, Operations Manager, Mrs. Marie Pierre Raky Chaupin, Senegal’s Program Coordinator for Senegal and Mrs. Mariam Kamara, Regional Communication Officer). The directors were then each invited to commit to gender equality and women’s empowerment by registering on the online platform.

Across the region, the heads of states of Senegal, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone have officially subscribed to HeForShe pledge. Internationally renowned artists such as Youssou Ndour (Senegal) and Salif Keita (Mali) have also supported the campaign.  UN Women has hosted official HeForShe Campaign launches in Senegal, Cabo Verde, Liberia and Mali. 

The "HeForShe" campaign is a solidarity movement for gender equality, initiated by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). It was officially launched September 20, 2014 by the British actress Emma Watson, during a special event at the United Nations Headquarters. The campaign aims to mobilize one billion men in favor of gender equality. To date, 458.879 people have signed the HeForShe.