Mali: Togo Mariam Baro

We have to rediscover hope.

— Togo Mariam Baro

Born in Gapes, an area of the Mopti region, in 1958, Togo Mariam Baro climbed the local ladder to get to the post of magistrate and mayor of the community of Gapes. She came to this position because of her activities as president of the association Jigisèmè, a popular women’s organisation in Gapes. Jigisèmè means to rediscover hope. She is also second communication secretary of the Association of Municipalities of Mali (AMM).

After her basic studies at the school of Bankass (1965–1976), Madame Togo Mariam Baro went to Bamako for secondary school studies at the Sankoré High School (1976–1978), then to the professional school Course Pigiers (1978–1980). In November 1995, she did a course on dyeing, ointments, and soap making in Diallassagou. In March 1997, the courageous Mariam Baro participated in a seminar on the charter, the Mali constitution and the electoral law organized by the Commission on Promoting Women in Bankass. In August 1999, she took part in a workshop on the better management of resources of the Diankoumera forest in Bamako, held by Aves and the Food and Agricultural Organisation. In 2000, Madam Mayor held a special forum on the question of community organized by Fenu and Packob. These forums presented an opportunity to better equip herself to manage the Gapes community. The positive efforts of this management were noted by Malians. This lady, who is moving in a wheelchair, never failed in her duties as local women’s association president or as community Mayor. As if that was not enough, during the past five years she has taken part in about 30 seminars and workshops. The organizers of these different fora wanted to take advantage of Mariam's experience to encourage other mayors to do the same in the management of their respective communities. During all her professional life, Mariam Baro worked on a supportive approach to the development process, the promotion of women, and the fight against illegal trade in children.

Jigisèmè Association des Municipalités du Mali (AMM)