Senegal: Anta Babacar Ngom, who started largest poultry company, is 1st woman to run for president in years

Dollita Okine March 21, 2024
Anta Babacar Ngom is a Senegalese entrepreneur. Image via YouTube/Africa CEO Forum 2017

Anta Babacar Ngom’s presidential quest is invigorating the masses, according to activists, and is helping to progress a decades-long movement for female equality in the West African nation. The sole female presidential contender for Senegal, Ngom is a 40-year-old business executive who wants to establish a bank and millions of jobs for women to help them become financially independent.

She represents women and youth, two demographic groups severely impacted by the nation’s economic woes, high unemployment, and escalating costs.

Ngom told The Associated Press in a recent interview, “Our country has enormous potential. The natural resources are there, and they can be developed. The young girls I meet ask for my support. They do so because they know that when a woman comes to power, she will put an end to their suffering. I’m not going to forget them.”

Her perseverance in making it this far in the race, despite the opinion held by many that she may not achieve her presidential ambitions, illustrates how women are gradually making progress toward equality.

Ngom’s supporters express their optimism for a shift in the upcoming administration and pride in supporting a female candidate. Although both of the women who stood for president in 2012 received less than 1% of the vote, some believe that their involvement was nonetheless significant. Senegal currently has one of the greatest percentages of female representation in Africa, with over 40% of women serving in parliament.

Senegalese women organized themselves through grassroots organizations throughout the 1990s. In 2001, the nation named its first female prime minister, and in 2010, legislation mandating gender balance in electoral lists for all political parties contributed to an increase in the number of women entering politics.

As most observers agree, the economy is a major concern for the populace, and the trailblazer who oversees her family’s food industry has made it a focal point of her campaign

Desperate for a better life in the West, hundreds of Senegalese have attempted perilous travels due to economic difficulties.

Ngom stated, “It’s crucial to strike a balance between modern evolution and respect for our customs. Women must be able to express themselves without hindrance while preserving our cultural identity and valuing the traditional values that have shaped our society.” 

Running one of the biggest poultry production companies in Africa, Ngom is the Chief Executive Officer of Sedima, Senegal’s major poultry production group, where she oversees production, distribution, and company development.

Sedima was founded by Anta’s father, Babacar Ngom, in 1976 with just $14 to acquire 120 chicks. Today, the company has over 700 workers. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 21, 2024


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