OSIWA - Open Society Initiative for West Africa

OSIWA envisions a freer, safer, more integrated, democratic and equitable West Africa

Senegal Regional Office Team

Conducting regional and international advocacy, and working with government including electoral commissions, national human rights institutions, parliaments and local government structures as well as with non-state actors like civil society organizations (CSOs).

OSIWA's geographic landscape encompasses countries with varied forms of governance. Some are in transition to democracy; in others democratic consolidation is fragile and in some there is routine practice of democratic governance. OSIWA will seek to address the diversity of transitions in the choice of its countries of focus.

Its primary objective will be to build and strengthen democratic institutions, processes and structures and enhance protection of citizens' rights, increase citizens' participation in the making process and create avenues for West Africans to participate in governance in the region. Promoting open society in these environments requires diverse strategies tailored to the nature transition and the particular conditions on the ground.

It includes supporting initiatives to rebuild governance institutions, reestablish the rule of law and properly conduct pluralistic elections. It entails promoting press and other freedoms and ensuring respect for human rights. And it requires enabling civil society to monitor and influence the proper functioning of normative and institutional frameworks, conducting regional and international advocacy.

Awa Ba (Senegal)

Senegal Country Officer

Hawa Ba joined OSIWA as head of the Senegal Country Office in August 2009. Prior to joining OSIWA, Ms Ba worked with the foundation TrustAfrica, managing the Religion and Pluralism in Africa Program. She also worked as the Editor of the French Edition of Pambazuka News (Produced by Fahamu –Networks for Social Justice), part time Lecturer at the Department of Sociology of Gaston Berger University (Senegal) and Journalist-Reporter at Sud Quotidien, an independent Senegalese daily newspaper.

Hawa holds a Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) in Anthropology from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the Université Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis, Senegal. She equally has a Post-graduate Degree in Journalism from the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication (ISSIC) in Dakar, Senegal. Hawa Ba has also studied Social Anthropology at Uppsala University (Sweden) where she is completing a PhD degree. Hawa’s areas of interest include governance processes, migration, religion, gender, media and social movements in Senegal.







Firmin Mbala (Senegal)

Program Officer to Higher Education Support Program

Firmin has immense experience in scientific research and administration. He started his career as a research fellow at the Bordeaux’s Institute of Political Studies (GARNET program) and later joined the European Union Institute for Security Studies. Subsequently, Firmin became a senior lecturer at the Catholic University of Central Africa in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Firmin worked as consultant for various organizations, including The World Bank, GIZ, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, EISA on issues such as governance and human rights in Africa. He holds a PhD and an MA in Political Science from the University of Bordeaux. He was a Cadbury Fellow at the University of Birmingham in 2006, a visiting Research Fellow at United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) in Bruges, Belgium in 2009-2010 and a junior researcher from the French Research Institute for Development (2005 -2008). He is fluent in both French and English. 

Malick Mbengue Fall (Senegal)

Senegal Country Office Associate

In January 2012 Malick joined OSIWA as Senegal country office assistant after a lengthy academic career that includes a Masters in English, an MA in Literature and Civilization of the English-Speaking World, a Master of Political Science and an International Relations diploma of Advanced Studies in Political Science. Malick is preparing his doctoral thesis at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis, which will focus on the relationship between state and society, especially the dynamics of New Social Movements in the policy trajectory of Senegal.