Our history, our team and much more.
SAYASPORA is a not-for-profit media platform for women stemming from the African diaspora.
As an African women-led and bilingual organization founded in 2015 in Montréal, Canada, we strongly believe in the power of representation as tool for social change and inspiration.
Therefore, through our events and online content, we hope to foster a place where African youth living in the diaspora can lead, be inspired, affirm their voice and find community.
Today Sayaspora is a network of more than 20,000 people online, it is a media platform followed on all continents, in several key cities, such as Montreal, Paris and Abidjan.
Today Sayaspora is a network of more than 19,000 people online. It is a predominantly female and young audience (18-34 years old). It is a media platform followed on all continents, in several key cities, such as Montreal, Paris and Bamako.
5 women founded Sayaspora : Djamilla Toure, Rydia Sesay, Aurore Iradukunda, Shana Musimbe, and Dorra Bannouri. Together, they laid the foundations for Sayaspora and allowed many young women around the world to freely occupy online and offline spaces to express their truths. Sayaspora began as a blog and then evolved into a movement that transcends established borders and allows many young women to shine through their expertise.
As an organisation created, thought and led by African women living in Canada and working to improve their communities, SAYASPORA’s mission is to promote women’s solidarity across borders. Women changemakers.
Born in Côte d'Ivoire, raised in Morocco and living in Montreal, Djamilla identifies herself as a product of the diaspora. In charge of projects about women's empowerment and media, Djamilla is also a content creator and graduate of a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and International Law. In 2015, Djamilla made it her mission to rethink the world by changing it at her own scale. Thus, together with four other women, she founded SAYASPORA. A media platform for young African women around the world. Through this media, Djamilla aspires to create a space where the voices of these women will be amplified and their ideas put forward, while allowing them to find a community.
Born and raised in the Paris region to Comorian parents, Nasma has always had questions about different aspects of her identity. Feminism, anti-racism and decolonial thinking have strongly impacted her understanding of her experiences. As a freelance digital strategy consultant, she uses her experiences and knowledge to help brands create inclusive online spaces. As a digital development manager at Sayaspora, Nasma is responsible for creating and implementing digital strategies that will allow the voices of women in the African diaspora to be always amplified.
Saoudia was born in Senegal and grew up in Canada. She studied at HEC Montreal where she received a bachelor's degree in business administration and specialized in human resources, a field she now works fulltime in. In her spare time, she loves to read, write, and get involved in her various communities.
Née en France et d’origine congolaise, Sara est arrivée pour la première fois au Canada en 2017 dans le cadre d’un séjour d’études avant de revenir s’installer à Montréal en 2020. Elle possède un master en management et gestion des entreprises et mondialisation et travaille actuellement en comptabilité. Elle est passionnée par la lecture, le cinéma et souhaite mettre ses connaissances et expériences au service des communautés qui la représentent et l’inspirent
Josie Fomé is a multimedia Journalist with a keen interest on issues related to the African Continent and the African diaspora. She has international experience in community facilitation, radio show production and documentary film making. She has a passion for reshaping and creating new narratives surrounding the African continent and the African diaspora through story telling in all its forms. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and her Gr.Dip. in Journalism.
Originally from the Ivory Coast, Priscilla describes herself as a generous and sensitive soul who never stops trying to find her place in the world. In 2013, after graduating from high school, she moved to Canada to pursue her university studies. First in Ottawa, then in Montreal, where she now works in the marketing communication sector, she has at heart the development of her community, both on the continent and internationally. For her, this inevitably involves culture, discussion and the sharing of realities and cultural riches. She joined Sayaspora in 2021, where she works as a community manager, which gives her the opportunity to join a community with values and a mission similar to her own.
Originally from Togo/Ghana and having grown up in Germany, Fanny Abokitse considers herself a "Third Culture Kid". She holds a degree in Political Science and works as a project manager in sustainable agriculture. She is particularly interested in food security and sustainable development issues in Africa. Fanny also seeks to understand the role and impact of women and girls in these areas. In 2021, she joined Sayaspora as a visual content creator, which allows her to explore other passions and find a community.
Born and raised in Cameroon, Menelika arrived in Canada in 2004 to pursue her university studies. Today, Menelika is an electrical power engineer and manager in this sector. She is also a leader involved in the community, committing herself to causes such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace, particularly in the scientific field, the promotion of science and engineering among women, and the reception and integration of immigrants in Canada. Her leadership and active engagement on the social level and in her field of expertise led to her designation as one of the top "100 of Black Canadian Women to watch in 2019" and as an Inspiring Woman by the Association de l'Industrie Électrique du Québec (AIEQ). In 2018, she began a return to law school with the goal of becoming a lawyer, a goal she is close to achieving. Menelika also has recognized experience in governance. She has been a member of various boards of directors for several years, including the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec, the Fondation de Polytechnique Montréal and the TechnoScience network. She is a member of the Groupe des Trente (G30) of Concertation Montréal, a governance initiative promoted by the agglomeration of Montréal.Originally from Burundi and raised in Canada, Joana is a recent Master of Science graduate in the field of sustainable development from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. She decided to continue her studies after reading Laureate Wangari Maathai’s book "The Challenge for Africa" and realizing the important role that the environment plays, which is often overlooked in the context of Africa. Furthermore, she works in the field of climate change and sustainability, in addition to publishing a scientific research study exploring the aspects of a circular textiles/economy in East Africa. Before accepting the role of vice president as a member of the Board of Administration, Joana held many roles within Sayaspora, which gives her a greater understanding of the media organization as a whole. She believes that the notion of feminism in Africa reflects our African societies' breaking of stereotypes and taboos by creating safe spaces and raising awareness on topics that are often overlooked. For her, Sayaspora is a platform committed to giving women a forum, a voice, and the skills necessary to express their needs and interests towards our diaspora.Born in France to Senegalese-Malian parents, Fanta spent her childhood in Dakar and returned to Paris to pursue higher education. After obtaining a general university degree in science and technology and a second degree in business administration school (bachelor's degree in business administration), she moved to Montreal and quickly entered the job market in the field of events and communication. Sensitive to issues affecting women in the African diaspora, she joins Sayaspora with the will and determination to equip and support them in the management of their personal finances, their career and their well-being.Carla Guillaume is currently working in international affairs with a particular interest in international trade and sustainable development issues. She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the École Nationale d'Administration Publique and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Concordia University. Carla has many years of leadership and involvement in the international relations community, particularly with youth. She was a member of the Young Diplomats of Canada, representing Canada internationally. She was a member of the Youth Council of WSP USA and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Carla is also a former fellow of the Black Diplomats Academy.Anne is our young multipotential woman who has a strong attraction for digital. She is a marketing consultant for small businesses and is the founder of a consulting firm working in the digital transformation of large African companies. Her personal signature is her strategic thinking and innovative ideas. On a daily basis, she creates content to democratize digital in Africa and is passionate about gospel music.
Making your way Up
The project Making Your Way Up , funded by Canadian Heritage, runs from September 2, 2021 to March 31, 2023, and addresses the barriers to employment and career mobility faced by marginalized and systematically underrepresented young women aged 18-30 in the African diaspora (including communities in the Maghreb, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern and Eastern Africa and the Caribbean).
The project proposes a two-pronged response, offering tools to negotiate entry into key employment sectors while developing an awareness campaign to help employers and the public better understand the various issues arising from systematic racism and how it operates in the workplace.