Kamissa Camara is Mali’s youngest and first female minister of foreign affairs
35-year-old Kamissa Camara was recently named the minister of foreign affairs by re-elected President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar in his recent cabinet reshuffle. With a rich background in foreign affairs and policies, Camara becomes the first woman to hold this post in the history of Mali.
Before her appointment as the minister, Kamissa Camara served as the diplomatic advisor to President Keita. She is also the founder and co-chair of the Sahel Strategy Forum, which provides a platform to stakeholders to promote peace, security and development across the Sahel.
The Sahel Strategy Forum brings together practitioners, academics, NGOs and US Government agencies on a regular basis to discuss the fluid situations on the ground in Sahelian countries and to develop recommendations to strengthen governance and human well-being in the region.
Kamissa Camara holds an M.A. in International Economics and Development from Université Pierre Mendès France after completing a B.A. in Applied Foreign Languages, specializing in International Relations from Université Denis Diderot (Paris, France).
Kamissa Camara is an expert in African politics with a concentration on the Sahel/West Africa region. She has been extensively featured in the press and conferences on various issues affecting the Sahel region including governance, conflict, democracy and security.
As the diplomatic advisor to the president, Kamissa Camara has been vocal about the need for strategic partnerships between Mali and other countries, including China. Camara is now among 11 women out of 32 ministers in Mali’s new cabinet.
Speaking about herself, Kamissa Camara revealed that her mission is to help the West make sense of African politics by building intellectual bridges between sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the United States.
Her mantra is to enrich foreign policy with African accents. As an American woman who was born and raised in France by West African parents, she strives to provide analyses that highlight religious and cultural specificities.
Politics, democracy, security and good governance are the essence of Kamissa Camara’s work, reflections and publications.