Seydina Issa Laye Samb: The young mayor who believes in culture
“It’s important today to rely on culture because it allows us to know where we come from and to project ourselves into the future while retaining our identities“, these are the words of a young man and much more, a young African and, what’s more, a local elected official. Seydina Issa Laye Samb has been the elected mayor of the commune of Yoff (Senegal) since January 2022.
Seydina Issa Laye Samb, who took over as mayor at the age of 34, sees culture as a key element in the development of Yoff. “We’re taking part in the Mayors’ Forum on Culture today, because culture is an extremely important pillar of regional development. In our municipality, we held the “7 keys” workshop. This workshop focused on localising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level. In 14 months at the head of Yoff City Council, we have launched a number of initiatives that will enable us to showcase Yoff, a land of culture and religion“, said Mr Samb during his participation in the Mayors’ Forum on Culture, organised from 23 to 24 May in Rabat as part of the Rabat, African Capital of Culture celebrations.
Among the activities already carried out to promote culture, the municipal team has organised end-of-year celebrations with local cultural players, both in terms of traditional culture and urban culture.
“We’re also planning to organise an international festival in Dakar, as well as regatta sessions, which are a traditional sport combined with the local dance “Ndawrabine”. We are also going to build a community house that will have a cultural cachet, will naturally help to polarise all of this tangible and intangible heritage bequeathed by our grandparents. I think it’s extremely important for us, as citizens of Africa, that culture features in all our public policies at the regional level“, explains the mayor.
Yoff has found a good guide to bring together the different generations that live side by side in this coastal town. For the ceremony to install the new traditional chiefs, held on 29 May, the municipality placed young people at the heart of the organisational arrangements. The aim is to reverse the belief that opening up to the world leads young people to turn their backs on their own culture.
Born on 4 November 1987, Seydina Issa Laye Samb is the son of Seydina Samb, a civil administrator, and Sokhna Mame Coumba Thiaw. In 2014, he became Secretary General of the Jeunesses Socialistes de Dakar and in charge of the political life of the MNJS. Before that, in 2009, he met Khalifa Sall. He played an active role in the Dakar victory of Benno siggil Senegaal, which was won by Khalifa Sall. In Yoff, the young Laye Seydi is described as polite, disciplined and shy. He holds a master’s degree in banking from the Institut de formation en administration et en création d’entreprise (Iface) at the University of Dakar.