Niankoro Yeah Samaké
Former Mayor of Ouelessebougou, 2013 Malian Presidential Candidate, Ambassador of Mali, and Founder of the Empower Mali Foundation
Niankoro Yeah Samaké is a native of Mali, West Africa, a 2013 Malian Presidential candidate and currently serves in many different roles. A graduate from Brigham Young University with a Masters in Public Policy, he runs his own foundation Empower Mali which connects resources with need in the areas of education, health, clean water, clean energy and leadership training in rural Mali. Through his foundation Empower Mali, he has helped bring 23 schools to Mali, provided scholarships to Malian students to study abroad and organized multiple free medical and dental services.
In May 2015, Samaké was called by the President of Mali, H.E Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, to serve as the Ambassador of Mali to 10 countries: India, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of Bhutan, Kingdom of Malaysia, Republic of Singapore, Republic of Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and Kingdom of Thailand. Some key highlights of his term include initiating the first ever visit of the Indian Vice President to Mali, raising USD 500,000 in funding to help the Malian Minister of Culture protect the Timbuktu manuscripts, increasing the number of Malian students attending university on scholarship in these South East Asian countries and initiating India's commitment to
From 2009-2015, Samaké served as Mayor of Ouelessebougou, a municipal district in Mali consisting of 44 villages (55000+ people). Under his leadership, he has helped Ouelessebougou become one of the top 10 ranking communities in Mali when, before Samake became Mayor, it was six hundred and ninety-ninth out of the seven hundred and four Malian municipal districts. In 2011, Samaké was also elected Vice President of the League of Mayors. His leadership has increased access to many facilities and services among the people of Oueléssébougou.