Mrs Solange Bassinga Traoré: Representing Western Africa

Mrs Solange Bassinga/Traoré is a Custodian of the AfricaWide Movement for Children (AMC), representing West Africa and replacing former Custodian, Mohammadou Lamine Cissé.

Mrs Bassinga is the President of the Burkina Faso Coalition for the Rights of the Child (COBUFADE). She is also a member of the FEEREN Association and the «Sirayiri» Association. Mrs Bassinga coordinates, moderates and gives trainings on child rights and human rights all over West Africa and internationally.

Mr Mohamadou Lamine Cissé, President, AMC

Mr Mohamadou Lamine Cissé is the President of the AfricaWide Movement for Children (AMC).

He is a human rights activist and expert on matters of children deprived of liberty and the current Administrator of the International Observatory for Democracy and the Prevention of Crisis and Conflict (OIDEC), as well as the country representative of the Frederich Naumann Foundation in Mali since 2013 for the management of special funds as part of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ support to Mali’s stability.

Previously the Executive Secretary of the Africa Bureau of “Envarts SOS Déshérité International” from 1997 to 2010, an NGO reaching 23 African, he was in charge of humanitarian affairs for the Envarts International office based in London, UK. Prior to this, he was in charge of humanitarian affairs in the office of Envarts International in London, UK. He has also served as a deputy representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Lisbon, Portugal.

Mr Cisse is the honorary president since 2014 after presiding it for 10 years of the Malian Coalition for the Defence of the Rights of the Child (CMDRC) that has a membership of 102 national and international organisations. He also served as Vice President of the International Observatory of Prisons (IOP) Office that is based in Lima (Peru), up until 2015. He is a member of the committee to monitor the regional agreement of collaboration to fight interstate child trafficking between Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Côte d'Ivoire. Mr Cissé is also a member of the National High Council for the Fight against AIDS, which is chaired by the President of the Republic of Mali.

He has a Master’s degree in Sociology from the Universiades Lusofona de Humanidades é Tecnologias (ULHT) in Lisbon, Portugal and a Master of International Humanitarian Law in human rights. He has published on juvenile justice and prison overcrowding.

Prof. Salah Arafa: Representing Northern Africa

Prof. Salah Arafa is a Custodian of the AfricaWide Movement for Children (AMC) Representing North Africa and replacing former Custodian, Dr Ali Mohammed Osman

Prof. Salah Arafa is a tenured professor of physics at the School of Sciences and Engineering, the American University in Cairo. Prof. Arafa is well known nationally and internationally for his pioneering work in environment, utilization of renewable energies, rural community development, and children protection, engagements and empowerment.

Prof. Arafa is a Board Member of the Forum of Dialogue and Partnership for Development (FDPD) ; Board Member of the Egyptian Coalition for Child Rights (ECCR) ; Board Member of the Arab Network for Child Rights (MANARA) ; Fellow Professor of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development, Stromstad Academy, Sweden, and Senior Ashoka Fellow, Ashoka Arab-Region.

Mrs Stella Ayo Odongo: Representing Eastern Africa

Mrs Stella Ayo-Odongo, Executive Director of the Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN), is a Custodian of the AfricaWide Movement for Children (AMC) representing Eastern Africa, and replacing former Custodian Eric Guga.

Mrs Stella Ayo-Odongo has worked in the development field for over 15 years and has particularly gained extensive knowledge and experience in advocating for vulnerable groups such as the elderly and children. In the last five years she spearheaded several advocacy initiatives at national, regional and international levels particularly on child rights concerns.

Mrs Ayo-Odongo has been extensively involved in technical services at national and regional levels. Some of these engagements include: evaluation of the child labour programme and facilitating the development of a national child labour policy for the KURET Initiative in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda, evaluation of the mental health programme for Mental Health Uganda, Team Leader for the Child Protection Advocacy Report for the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Team Leader for the Contextual Analysis on the Situation of Children for the International Child Support Programme, facilitating the development of a National Child Participation Guideline for Uganda, and contributing to the generation of a national Situational Analysis Report on the situation of children.

She has an MSc degree in Development Management (Open University-UK) and an Honors degree in Social Sciences (Makerere University-Uganda), and has participated in several professional development courses in political and policy advocacy training, project planning and management among others.

Mr Théophane Nikyèma, Head, AMC Secretariat

Mr Théophane Nikyèma, Executive Director of The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) since August 1st 2013, is the Head of the AMC Secretariat.

Mr Théophane Nikyèma has over 20 years of experience of international development and children rights, having served in leadership positions within the United Nations System in Africa (Mali, Uganda, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi) and in Asia (Vietnam and Nepal).

His previous appointments include UNICEF Representative a.i. to Mali (2012), UNDP Resident Representative, UN Resident Coordinator, Designated Official, and Humanitarian Coordinator to Uganda (2006-2012), UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa (2003-2006), and UNICEF Representative to Rwanda (2000-2003).

He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University, USA.