Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou: Devoted to Social and Humanitarian


Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou, ex-First Lady of Niger, served from April 7, 2011, to April 2, 2021. With a chemical engineering background, she’s a philanthropist focusing on healthcare advocacy. She was active in projects across Africa; she’s an ambassador for the ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign by the Merck Foundation. In fact, Collaborating with First Ladies from various countries to address infertility stigma and support healthcare professionals, impacting over 450 in Africa and Asia.

Childhood Background

Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou was born in Mainé-Soroa, a town in the Diffa Region of Niger, to a modest family. Much of her early life remains undocumented, and details about her birth are limited. consequently, she attended elementary school in Mainé-Soroa and an all-girls high school in Niamey.
Remarkably, she is one of the first Nigerien women to embark on a career in the sciences. After, she pursued her education diligently, earning a degree in mineral exploration and development from the École nationale supérieure de géologie (National School of Geology) in Nancy, France. Later, she attained her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Niamey, now known as Abdou Moumouni University.

Early Career

Having excelled in her academic pursuits, Issoufou Mahamadou took on a significant role as the head of the mineralogy division at SOMAIR, the national mining company of Niger and a subsidiary of Areva. Her pioneering contributions in this field marked a groundbreaking achievement for women in Niger’s scientific community.

Philanthropic Work

Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou assumed the role of First Lady on April 7, 2011. Viewing it as an opportunity to champion humanitarian causes. She actively engages in various First Lady networks, notably the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) and the Organization of First Ladies of Africa for Peace.

Aissata Issoufou Mahamadou established the Guri Vie Meilleure Foundation, translating to “My Ambition for a Better Life.”

The foundation’s overarching goal is to contribute to the improvement of healthcare by combating diseases such as malaria, HIV, and COVID-19. Additionally, she passionately advocates for promoting quality education and combating environmental degradation.
Expressing admiration for American civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Issoufou Mahamadou visited The King Center in Atlanta on May 19, 2012. During her trip to the United States, she sought support to alleviate poverty and improve healthcare in Niger.

In March 2018, First Lady Aissata Issoufou collaborated with the Ministry of Health and the Merck Foundation. The charitable arm of Merck & Co. pharmaceutical company, to enhance healthcare access in Niger. Announced on International Women’s Day, the partnership with Merck focused on oncology, diabetes, and fertility services and training. Issoufou Mahamadou was appointed an ambassador for the “Merck More than a Mother” campaign. This project was dedicated to breaking social stigmas against infertility and childless women.


Issoufou Mahamadou demonstrates unwavering dedication to social and humanitarian endeavors. She aligned her efforts with her husband’s presidency to enhance the visibility of his governance. Leveraging her influence to champion the well-being of individuals across the continent. Issoufou Mahamadou embodies a commitment to fostering positive change and upliftment within communities.

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