Ashoka Sahel Fellows

Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who we recognize to have innovative solutions to social problems and the potential to change patterns across society. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change. Ashoka Fellows work in over 70 countries around the globe in every area of human need.

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Economic Development

Sylvestre Ouedraogo is leading a Burkina-based regional movement to use information technology to spur the development of decentralized knowledge networks used by small farmers. These initiatives also ensure more energy efficient and dependably networked computers in rural areas, and SMS linked database information systems for small farmers.

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Economic Development

Sibiri Salfo Ouedraogo encourages the emergence of a class of farmers who are open to change and ready to meet the issues they face. Salfo proposes examining rural activities in order to identify the challenges and uses the elders’ knowledge to find adaptable solutions. 

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Economic Development

Rasmané Ouedraogo is transforming the existing local knowledge, production, and trade of leather and leather products into a lever for regional economic growth in Burkina Faso. Through his organization, JEDES, he reorganizes the leather and tanning industries of Sanmatenga Province to boost productivity and product quality.

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Learning/Education

Saidou Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso 1996) has developed an effective and original solution to encouraging the educational success of young girls in traditional rural areas of Burkina Faso. By creating village mothers groups, he is initiating the full involvement of mothers in finding solutions to the customary barriers that hinder girls in their efforts to attend and...

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

Mouni Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso 1997) builds effective community management through a process that stands on three legs: literacy-based acquisition of knowledge and skills, economic activities, and institution building.

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Economic Development

Marcelline Ouédraogo (Burkina Faso 1996) is transforming one of the few economic assets in Sahelian Africa controlled by women-karite butter-from a less-than-subsistence, informal-sector activity into a formalized and systematized cottage industry capable of generating not only dramatically increased incomes, but also new jobs, new skills and opportunities and, perhaps...

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Human Rights

A long-time human rights advocate and supporter of an independent judicial system, Burkinab Halidou Ouédraogo is building grass-roots popular human rights movements in Africa at the national level and linking them through a pan-African human rights vision and association.

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Civic Engagement

After leading West Africa’s largest self-promotion program for farmers, Rosalie Ouoba is bringing the voice of rural women to bear in West African affairs through the Union of Rural Women of West Africa and Chad (UFROAT). Determined to legitimize the contributions of rural women in the development dialogue, Rosalie is eliminating intermediaries and providing critical...

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Learning/Education

Dieudonné Paré has created a culture of reading in Burkina Faso through his community-led book program. By first rehabilitating discarded books and those no longer in circulation, he brings refurbished materials to rural areas through his “books-on-bikes/motorcycle” program. Providing books for rent to rural and urban youth who lack access to reading materials and...

Country: Burkina Faso
Field of Work: Learning/Education

Katrin Rohde has created a farm school that offers uneducated rural boys more attractive options and wages in their own villages by giving them the opportunity to receive an education and suitable professional training that will transform agriculture and raising livestock into more efficient, profitable, and dignified trades.