Benin: What does the future hold for Reckya Madougou?

Benin: What does the future hold for Reckya Madougou?

Reckya Madougou is a passionate supporter of social economy in her country. Her interest in community, both environmentally and economically started early in her life, and continued througout all her life.

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Reckya Madougou, a passionate support of a fair social economy

Overview

Reckya Madougou was born on the 30th April in 1974 in the Republic of Benin. Benin is a French speaking sub-Saharan, tropical country in West Africa with a population of approximately 10 million, most live on its small coastline in the south of the country. It is hugely reliant on agriculture for its income.

Reckya is married to Gérard Yedo Ahéhéhinnou Francky and has one child from a previous relationship.

Early life

Reckya’s interest in her community, both environmentally and economically started early in her life, in fact whilst attending elementary school she joined a local scouting organization where she later a Vice-President.

She received her higher education in France, gaining an engineering degree in 1998 from the European Higher Institute of Management in Lille and then in 2000 she went on to gain a postgraduate diploma from the School of International studies in Paris. She then worked for the Microcredit Summit Campaign based in the United States of America where she first began to develop her interest in economics and enterprise.

Career

After a successful career in the private sector as both a marketing director and commercial director for a number of business in Benin, she moved into government. Her first introduction to the world of politics was in 2007 when she became Councilor for transitional Regulatory Authority of Post and Telecommunications, advising the government. A year later in 2008 at the age of just 33 Reckya joined the Benin government taking up a very strategic position in President Boni Yayi government, focusing on the development, employment and financial security of Women and the youth. She later held the very prestigious position of the Minister of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights.
International consultant

In 2013 after just five years in government, Boni Yayi dismissed several of his ministers, including Reckya Madougou. It was at this time that she began her global crusade to both create and promote a fully inclusive economy with a particular focus on the empowerment of women and the poorest members of the population. She has since gone on to be an international expert in the world of financial and development projects on behalf of a number of different international bodies as well as numerous governments in Africa.

One of her priorities is fighting for the better use of any investments and/or aid received, notably ensuring that any money received from donors is used effectively and does not destabilize any existing national or local strategies and/or projects.

She was recently quoted saying; “In most African countries, the biggest part of investment funds goes to road construction. In most cases, about 34 million U.S. dollars can be allocated to the construction of a few kilometers of roads which cannot last for more than five years”, “The long term plans that we come up with for our countries mostly come from different economic adjustment programs and economic reforms that we undertake without considering our realities”, “it is Africans themselves who delay Africa’s development,” later adding that she believe that some African leaders would prioritize investments into those sectors where they would later be able to most easily steal from.

She has been openly unsupportive of both Boni Yayi the President, and Lionel Zinsou the Prime Minister of Benin, both of whom lost power on the 6th April 2016.

In her spare time…

She is renowned for her wide ranging skills as well as her enthusiasm and foresight. In addition to her activism, professional and lobbying aspirations she has been quoted as saying that she is “madly devoted to fashion”. She has since gone on to launch, in what she describes as her “spare time”, her own cosmetics and fashion brand called “Glam by RM”. She opened her first showroom in 2014 and now also organizes international fashion shows.

Awards

In 2007 she was awarded the very prestigious award of “Woman of Courage” by the US government and has since gone on to win numerous awards and accolades including being listed as one of the “50 most influential Africans” by the Pan-African magazine “Jeune Afrique” in January 2015.

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