Annette Mbaye D'Erneville

Ashoka Fellow
Goree, DA, Senegal
Fellow Since 2009


This profile was prepared when Annette Mbaye D'Erneville was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
In 1977 Annette was key in establishing the Fédération des Associations Féminines du Sénégal (FAFS), a federation of hundreds of Senegalese women groups, and today serves as the organization’s honorary president. It was through her work with FAFS that Annette, inspired by the organization’s series of profiles on women, began to develop the idea of creating a permanent exposition on women; displaying women-made products, exploring the history of women, and featuring the work of women’s organizations.

Annette is the founder and director of The Museum of Bathily in Senegal, which aims to “contribute its share in education and the valorization of Senegalese cultural heritage by promoting the role and position of women in society.” The museum was established in 1994, based on the ideas of Ousmane William Mbaye (Annette’s son) in collaboration with the Consortium of African Audiovisual Communication, the endorsement of the first woman Prime Minister of Senegal, several museum directors in Dakar, and with support from the Canadian government. At the time of its establishment, it was the first women’s museum in Africa.

Annette utilizes the media as an instrumental tool in generating awareness of women’s issues. In 1996, the Rencontres Cinématographiques de Dakar, an annual film festival in Dakar that she founded earlier in the decade, focused its theme on “Women and the Cinema,” proclaiming as its motto, “When women of the cinema take action, African cinema moves forward.” During these years, Annette also served in several government positions, including Commissioner of the Regional Information in Diourbel and Program Director of Radio Senegal.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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