Since her arrival in 2013 at the head of the municipality of Foumbolo (Côte d’Ivoire), Ms. Macoura Dao Coulibaly has climbed the ranks within the sphere of local governments of Côte d’Ivoire but also on the continental level. Being the current vice-president of the Union of Cities and municipalities of Côte d’Ivoire (UVICOCI), Ms. Dao who has been president of the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) since 2019, first joined the executive board of the Network in 2015 during the general assembly of the 7th edition of the Africities summit (November 29 to December 3, 2015 in Johannesburg).
The flagship actions carried out for the benefit of her municipality (Foumbolo) include the creation of road communication channels and support for women’s associations to contribute to their empowerment.
During her re-election at the end of the municipal elections in April 2018, Ms. Dao confided that she had placed her second term in office under the sign of bringing the daughters and sons of Foumbolo together for social harmony, a guarantee of real development.
Faced with the resurgence of motorcycle accidents recorded in his locality, in particular during the Monday weekly market, the local councilor has promoted the creation of separate roads in the city to curb accidents. Statistics showed around ten motorcycle accidents every Monday, the weekly market day.
As part of the support for women’s associations in the field of social and solidarity economy, a “partnership was forged with women from Burkina Faso to allow the association of women producers of attieké from Foumbolo to sell their products in this brotherly country. This enabled these women to increase their turnover, “Ms. Dao told the Agence Ivoirienne de Presse (AIP).
Last May, the REFELA Côte d’Ivoire country chapter, of which she is also the president, organized the second edition of the gala evening called “The Mother’s Day”. It was an opportunity to celebrate the locally elected women of Côte d’Ivoire as mothers, but also as major actors in the development of Côte d’Ivoire, working effectively to improve the living conditions of their fellow citizens at the local level.
Promoter of continental female leadership
At the head of REFELA, Ms. Dao advocates for the promotion of female leadership in cities and local authorities on the continent. This requires the setting up of the national Chapters of the network. Thus, she does not hesitate to provide assistance to the new national REFELA chapters in their deployment. This was particularly the case in April and June 2021 for REFELA Togo which benefited from a capacity building workshop for a draft roadmap to be submitted to Delegation of the European Union in Togo as part of the Programming of the European Cooperation Process in Africa for the 2021-2027 period.
The Raising awareness and inviting the various REFELA country chapters to implement the 3 campaigns launched by the network is also its main battle horse. These are the Campaign of African Cities without Street Children (launched in 2018 and which is supported so far by 54 members), the Campaign of African Cities with Zero Tolerance in the Face of Violence Against Women (launched in 2019 and which has 22 memberships), and the Campaign of African Cities for the Economic Empowerment of Women (launched in 2020 and which is supported by more than 80 members).