|Welcome to a new series on Jennifer in Mali! Talk of the Town Tuesdays where I'll interview friends, colleagues and near strangers to give you a better idea of what my life in Bamako is like and, more importantly, what Mali is like! Enjoy and please leave comments with questions!!|
|Not only is he dashingly handsome (and married) he's smart, too!|
Name:Almamy Moussa Traoré
Age: February 7, 1980
Marital status: Married
Occupation: USAID/PHARE Information and Technology Coordinator
During my first weeks at USAID/PHARE, I flitted around from office space to office space trying to find my place. While meeting and greeting colleagues and looking for an open spot to set-up shop I met Almamy and asked if there was any room in his office. After relocating a few dusty computers and arranging some errant cords and keyboards in cubby holes along the back wall, I found my new 'office.' A shared space for internet routers (Almamy), and a work space for Sah Cissé (leader of the madrassa – Koranic school - portion of USAID/PHARE's project), our little annex is a cement rectangle measuring 9ft x 18ft. And while it may be small, there's nothing little about the work that gets done here!
Almamy Traoré attended public elementary school in Bamako before entering private high school where he passed the baccalaureat. He then went on to attend the National School for Administration (L'école Nationale de l'Adminstration) where he spent a year studying economics and management. In September 1999 Almamy received a scholarship to continue his studies in Tunisia in technology. He stayed in Tunisia (coming home for summer breaks) for 6 years before moving back to Mali in the summer of 2005. Here's an interview so you can learn some more about him!:
Where were you born?
I was born in Bamako but my family is originally from Sikasso.
What made you interested in technology?
I've always naturally been drawn to technology. It's like how Brazilians naturally love soccer; I've just always loved fixing broken things. As a kid I always fixed broken televisions and radios, VHS players and antennaes. Now, I fix broken networks and printers!
What do you like about your work with USAID/PHARE?
I love the satisfaction from working with people and helping them solve their problems. When someone has a problem in the office, for example with a printer or with a network that is down, I'm the person they come to. I find great satisfaction in solving these kinds of problems. I also take great pride in my current job that, in some small way, I am a part of a program working to help develop my country. If I had stayed in Tunisia after school ended, I would not be here now helping to install networks and CVFs (Centre Virtuel de Formation – virtual training centers) in IFMs (Institut de Formation de Maitre – Teacher training colleges) throughout Mali. I feel needed here at the office and I like that. It's a real opportunity!
What's your favorite place in Bamako?
I like cultural spaces. Places like Espace Bouna, and Savannah where I can listen to live music and eat good food. I don't really like clubs or places like that.
What's your favorite city in Mali and why?
If it's a matter of where to live: Bamako. Everything is in Bamako! But if it's for a city that I would like to get to know better and visit more, that would be my native city of Sikasso. Sikasso has the best weather and food options in Mali.
What's great about Mali?
I love the hospitality of my country. It's rare to find it anywhere else and it's what made me come back to Mali after my studies in Tunisia. While I could have stayed and worked in North Africa or gone on to France or maybe even the United States, I missed the generosity of my country and wanted to come home.
What's your favorite Malian proverb?
Dͻ bé du don, dͻ bé do bah dͻ dͻn.
Some people know some things, others know something else.
(You can't know everything, someone else will always know more.)
Whenever you can do good for others – it's something you should do without reflection. Life is fleeting and you never regret helping someone else.