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Aminata Traoré

One of the voices most highly respected by the African community. She was Minister of Culture and Tourism for the Republic of Mali between 1997 and 2000.

"In order to help Africa, it must first be understood."

Aminata Dramane Traoré is a Malian politician and writer who was born in Bamako in 1948. She experienced the arrival of independence, followed by socialism, dictatorship, the single party, corruption, and democracy. She studied in France at the University of Caen, where she earned a doctorate in Social Psychology and obtained a Psychopathology degree. A researcher of Social Sciences, she worked at the University of Abdijan (Ivory Coast), and she currently collaborates with several national and international organisations.
She was Mali´s Minister of Culture and Tourism between 1997 and 2000, a position that she resigned from "in order to maintain her freedom of speech." In July 2005, she was chosen to form part of the Board of Directors for the International Press Service. That same year, she presided over the Organisation Commission for the World Social Forum in Bamako.
She received the Prince Claus Cultural Award (Netherlands) in 2004, and she has been awarded numerous recognitions in Mali: CIWARA of Excellence (1995), knight of the Mali National Order (1996), official of the National Order of Mali (2006) and commentator of the National Order of Mali (2008).
Traoré is one of the best known African intellectual voices in the search of a new alternative against free globalisation. She declares herself to be a "practising Muslim as well as a modern woman," and she strongly disregards Western clichés about African women.  She is currently the Coordinator of the Forum for Another Mali (FORAM) and the Director of the Amadou Hampaté Bâ Centre (CAHBA).
Among her concerns, Traoré highlights: "Increasing awareness about Africans, organising resistance to neoliberal globalisation, and proposing alternatives against the submission of our States to wealthy nations and international financial institutions." She dedicates her life to travelling around the world to defend the interests of her people and to denounce the Western world´s domination over Africa.
A writer an essayist, she is the author of: L'étau (l’Afrique dans un monde sans frontières), 1999; Mille tisserands en quête d’avenir, 1999; Le Viol de l'Imaginaire , 2004; Lettre au Président des français à propos de la Côte d’ivoire et de l’Afrique en général, 2005; and L'Afrique humiliée, 2008.

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