Aïda Ndiaye ‘16
Public Policy Manager, Facebook
Aïda’s Question: How do political and economic forces shape the meaning of development for Africa?
Title: The Female Fish Traders of Dakar: Gender and the Politics of Struggle in Informal Fish Markets
Keystone Abstract: In this Keystone Aida explores the experiences of female fish traders in the informal urban market in Senegal, using data from a 3-month ethnographic study in Dakar. She found fish traders’ experiences are influenced from Senegal’s history, both from colonial and indigenous cultural influences. From her research, she suggests that distributive policies will improve the working conditions of fish traders.
After graduating from Oxford with a Master of Public Policy, Aïda took on a big role at Facebook as Public Policy Associate in Francophone Africa. She travels three weeks of every month to more than 20 countries on the continent—but we still managed to catch up with her!
Where is your hometown?
Where do you live now?
You lead Facebook’s public policy strategy in Francophone Africa. What’s that like?
My role is to co-create opportunities for Facebook and Francophone African countries to promote the development of the ICT sector [information and communications technology]. My work covers a wide range of topics from online safety, privacy, online freedom of speech and any other policy areas pertinent to increasing access to the internet.
What does an average day look like for you?
We cover around 20 countries in Africa and every new country presents a new set of challenges and opportunities—so there is not a typical day at Facebook. On average, I travel three weeks every month. I am grateful to have a job that enables me to work with talents, governments and civil society organizations across the continent to create positive change.
How did Quest help you prepare for your life and career?
The multidisciplinary approach of the Quest education gave me the intellectual flexibility necessary to easily navigate complex policy issues. My question at Quest was, How do political and economic forces shape the meaning of development for Africa? It essentially focused on the sociology of development, but classes such as feminism and political theory allowed me to bring different perspectives to the tech policy issues I work on.
Do you have any advice for Quest students?
Take full advantage of the Quest experience. Challenge yourself. Do things you would not have the opportunity to do anywhere else.
What’s happening next in your life that you are excited about?
I took this job right after graduating from Oxford with a Master of Public Policy. I am excited about deepening my expertise of ICT policy issues in the continent and having a positive impact on the African continent
“You do not have to be a fire to every mountain blocking you, you could be water and soft your way to freedom.” Nayyirah Waheed