- WATHI is a legally constituted association registered in Dakar (Senegal) since December 2014. It is composed of active and associate members with an interest in the countries of the WATHI region, and residing all around the world.
- The Steering Committee is the executive structure of the association.
- This committee supervises the small team of permanent employees of the think tank.
Behind WATHI : an association of committed people
The Steering Committee
Gilles Olakounle Yabi (Bénin) President
Gilles Olakounle Yabi is a political analyst and economist. He worked as a senior political analyst for seven years (2004-2008) then as the Director of the West Africa Office of the International Crisis Group, an international non-governmental organization committed to preventing and resolving armed conflicts (2011-2013). Holding a PhD in development economics from the University of Clermont-Ferrand (France), Gilles Yabi was also a journalist at the weekly magazine Jeune Afrique.
For many years, he has been publishing articles and editorials on his blog: “Le blog de Gilles Yabi” (http://gillesyabi.blogspot.com). Realizing the necessity for the new African generations to engage in causes that go beyond their individual professional achievements and willing to invest himself in an ambitious but realistic project at the regional level, he stepped down from his functions at the Crisis Group in December 2013 to devote himself to the launch of the WATHI initiative. He is also an independent consultant on political governance and crisis management issues in West Africa. Gilles is fluent in French, English and Tchabè, a Beninese language close to Yoruba.
Faty Kane (Senegal) Vice-President
Faty Kane is a specialist in the design and implementation of advocacy and campaign strategies, mainly on issues related to education, agriculture and girls’ and women’s rights. A graduate from the Institut Africain de Management (IAM) in Dakar where she studied marketing and communication, Faty Kane coordinates the global campaign of Plan International “Because I am a girl” for West Africa.
She previously worked at Action Aid in addition to the organizations she assisted, as an independent consultant, in the development of their strategies. These include Oxfam, Enda Santé, the British Council and Intrahealth. Faty Kane is fluent in Wolof, Pulaar, French and English.
Tity Agbahey (Togo) Secretary General
Tity Agbahey is a lawyer with a degree in criminal law and criminology. She has worked on issues of child welfare at UNICEF France for three years as a litigant. Prior to joining the African Office of the NGO Girls Not Brides as the Africa Programme Associate, Tity Agbahey was a Junior Research Fellow at the Institute for Security Studies’ Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division (Dakar Office), where she conducted research on human security issues in West Africa.
She has conducted research and contributed to the preparation of studies on the pre-electoral political and security contexts in several West African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Nigeria). Tity Agbahey speaks French, English and understands Italian.
Armel Boris Agbohoui
Armel Boris Agbohoui (Benin) Treasurer
Armel Agbohoui holds a degree in Economic Administration and in Audit and Management Control. He was a senior auditor at Deloitte & Touche France for four years, where he essentially worked as a specialist in asset management and was also in charge of auditing and rating financial asset management companies.
Since 2004, Armel Agbohoui is a Management Controller at the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) where he has been successively in charge of the budget, the preparation and analysis of the projected income statement, the strategic planning and facilitation of the management control system.
Liliane Bitong Ambassa (Cameroun)
Liliane Bitong Ambassa is the Regional Representative of the International Council of Voluntary Associations (ICVA) for West and Central Africa, which has brought together Northern and Southern NGOs for the past 53 years. Liliane previously led the “NGOs and Humanitarian Reform” Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Côte d’Ivoire for Oxfam and Action against Hunger.
Liliane Bitong Ambassa previously served as Deputy Director of the NGO Cohesive Leadership Initiative in DRC and coordinator of the displaced and refugee reintegration activities of the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ) in the DRC and Sierra Leone. She was also a humanitarian reporter in West Africa at the press agency IRIN NEWS, which was then attached to the United Nations. She holds a European Master of Humanitarian Assistance from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and The University of Bochum in Germany.
Mamadou Diallo (Côte d’Ivoire)
Public affairs and strategic communication practitioner, Mamadou Diallo has a decade of experience in Paris, Brussels, Geneva and Abidjan where he worked on issues related to West Africa. After working for the European Commission (Europe Aid), he became an accredited lobbyist to the European Parliament for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. In Geneva, he was part of the “partnership” team of the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as the unit in charge of “humanitarian diplomacy” at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Mamadou Diallo is an independent consultant based in Abidjan and working in several West African countries to assist public and private organizations in the field of public affairs, communication and training.
Okeoma Ndibi Ibe
Okeoma Ndidi Ibe (Nigeria)
Okeoma Ndidi Ibe started her professional career as a prosecutor in the jurisdictions of two Nigerian states. Admitted to the Bar in 2002, she has been a lawyer specialized in gender, peace and security issues in a large Nigerian firm. Okeoma Ndidi Ibe has more than thirteen years of experience in project management in the field of research, training and alternative methods of conflict resolution.
Prior to becoming an independent consultant, she held positions of responsibility in Nigeria, in organizations such as Transparency International, CLEEN Foundation and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
Mahaman Sani (Niger)
Ph.D in Economics from the University of Auvergne (France), Mahaman Sani has been working with public and private finance corporations and higher education institutions for about twelve years. He was the Operations Manager at the Regional Solidarity Bank (RSB, Niger’s branch) before becoming an economist, expert in public finance with the rank of adviser to the Prime Minister for the Analysis and Prospective Development Unit of Niger.
At the same time, he was teaching economics at the University and the National School of administration (ENA) in Niamey. Since 2012, he is an economist in charge of private sector development at the Niger Office of the World Bank Group, with interventions on Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin.
Pascal Sambou (Senegal)
Pascal Sambou has more than twenty years of experience working on issues of economy and development. Pascal Sambou’s career took him to more than 60 countries around the world after working for several years with the NGO ENDA Tiers Monde as head of the department in charge of promoting rural development, food safety and handicraft in Senegal.
He has been a local development consultant in charge of programs promoting small and medium-sized enterprises and handicraft in Burkina Faso on behalf of the Austrian Development Cooperation, and Program Director at the German political foundation Friedrich Ebert (Senegal Office). Pascal Sambou currently lives in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where he works for the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ).
The thematic commissions
WATHI’s active members contribute to its activities, especially the intellectual endeavours on the website, by working in the four thematic commissions: