Embassy of the United States of America, Niger
For immediate release May 12, 2022
U.S. Embassy’s Inaugural Nigerien Woman of the Year Award Presented to Samira Ben Ousmane
Niamey – The U.S. Embassy hosted a reception on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in honor of Nigerien Women’s Day. At the event, the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Susan N’Garnim, awarded the U.S. Embassy’s inaugural Nigerien Woman of the Year award to Samira Ben Ousmane. The award ceremony, set to become an annual tradition in Niamey, acknowledges the positive impact Nigerien women make on society, bringing greater visibility to women’s achievements in Niger.
Samira Ben Ousmane, founder of the organization Nigerielles, is an alumna of the Young African Leaders Initiative Mandela Washington Fellowship. She is an entrepreneur, trainer, and consultant passionate about empowering Nigerien women. The jury, which consisted of Americans and Nigeriens, selected Madame Ousmane for her considerable efforts in securing economic freedom for widows and orphans of Nigerien Defense and Security Forces through the Autonomous Widows program.
Cultural Affairs Officer Lily Fryer opened the event, saying, “Today we celebrate this group of formidable women leaders committed to the development of their country and the advancement of gender equality.” The six nominees in alphabetical order were: Film Director Aïcha Macky, Musician Aïchatou Ali Soumaila, Millennium Challenge Account Director Aminata Samaké Boubacar, Soccer Coach Habsatou Rabo Mato, NGO Founder Samira Ben Ousmane, and Olympian and Police Officer Tekiath Ben Yessouf. Tekiath Ben Yessouf earned second place while Aicha Macky took third.
Nominees came from diverse backgrounds in sports, film, business, civil society, music, and law enforcement. The jury, comprised of Embassy and non-Embassy members, assessed the nominees on their accomplishments in the past year, impact in Niger, and efforts to promote gender equality. The event concluded with a performance by musical guest Zeinabou Boubacar Zakou.