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H.E. Cessouma Minata Samaté

Guest Speaker

    Professional affiliation

    Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development, African Union

    Full Biography

    H. E. Amb. Minata Samaté Cessouma is the Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development. She is a native of Burkina Faso with over thirty (30) years of experience in international relations, Diplomacy, Governance  and peace and security, humanitarian and social affairs.

    At the international level, Her Excellency has served as Director of the United Nations and African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur from June 2014 to July 2015, where she contributed through negotiations and mediation to strengthening peacekeeping operations, humanitarian affairs, and preventive diplomacy.

    At the continental level, Amb. Samaté Cessouma was the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs from 2017 to 2021 during which she contribute to advance the continental agenda for governance, democracy, human rights and stability in Africa. Prior to the above, she was Ambassador of Burkina Faso to Ethiopia, Permanent Representative to the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) from December 2011 to May 2014, she successfully spearheaded key negotiations of the PRC and actively contributed to the outcome of framework agreements and decisions of the Executive council and the AU Assembly.

    At regional level, Ambassador Samaté, as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, in charge of Regional Cooperation of Burkina Faso, from June 2007 to April 2011, helped in the implementation of the country’s foreign policy, crisis prevention, conflict management and resolution in West Africa. During this appointment, Amb. Samaté chaired the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Council of Ministers, the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) and co-chaired the ECOWAS - European Union Troika Meetings and effectively promoted of regional integration, peace and stability.

    As a fervent diplomate, Amb. Samaté served as Diplomatic Advisor to the President of Burkina Faso from November 2003 to June 2007. She facilitated and participated in the President’s meetings and visits and advised on diplomatic issues, cooperation agreements and peace talks.

    From October 1997 to August 2003, Amb. Samaté served as first counselor and Charge d’affairs of the Embassy Burkina Faso while attending statutory meetings and chaired gatherings for the  consideration of the constitutive texts of the African Union. She coordinated the meetings of the Committees of OAU/AU Summits held in Ouagadougou in 1998 and in 2004.

    Her Excellency Ambassador Samaté is a enthusiastic career diplomate who is passionate about public service and the fight against the scourges of our continent. Her ardent will for a more integrated and peaceful continent, “The Africa We Want” and her commitment for good governance, peace and security and the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law, as well as her strong support for women and youth participation in governance processes in Africa, are some of her lifelong advocacies.

    H.E. Cessouma Minata Samaté was named among the Inaugural List of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2019 by Avance Media.