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Sub-Saharan Africa Women's Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) project.

SWEDD is an innovative project that works with African countries to empower women and girls, and improve their access to quality reproductive, maternal and child health services.


"Educating a girl is to educate a nation"

06 June 2024

SWEDD en action

A retired banker based in the town of Mandelia, Oumar Moumine encouraged his five daughters to study, and is a “model father” for the SWEDD project. From a family in Madiagoh canton that was part of the traditional chiefdom in the Kotoko community, this 60-year-old makes no secret of the fact that he comes from a conservative tribe with a tradition of forced, early and intermarriage.

He is a polygamous husband, with both wives living under the same roof, and a father to 12 children, including five daughters. He first set himself apart by enrolling them all in school. He also resisted family pressure to promise his daughters at an early age to the princes of the canton. He was determined to see them complete higher education, and likes to quote the adage that “when you educate a girl, you educate a nation”.

His eldest daughter, Falmata, is now a state-registered nurse employed by the Ministry of Public Health, while Aïchatou and Haoua have obtained bachelor’s degrees in business management and administration and in human resources management. Both run stores in the N’Djamena supermarket Modern Market, while waiting to join the civil service.

Adama, his fourth daughter, is in her third year studying hospital administration and management at Emi Koussi University in N’Djamena, while his youngest, Fatime, is still in her final year of secondary school. 

Oumar is proud of the material support he receives from his daughters. He is also keen to set an example for Kotoko families, encouraging them to abandon early marriage and keep their girls in school. He is happy to speak at the SWEDD project Husbands’ Clubs, where he is keen to get across his message that “girls’ education is the best tool in the fight against poverty. An educated girl is an asset for development.”


Find out how the SWEDD project is changing lives across sub-Saharan Africa in the book SWEDD in Action: Promoting Women's Full Potential here 


SWEDD en Action