Profile Of Senegal-Born Sibeth Ndiaye, The New Voice Of France
London, April 1, 2019 (AltAfrica)-“France has given me a lot. Today, it’s my turn to give something back”. With that bold and audacious statement, Sibeth Ndiaye Senegal-born newly appointed Spokeswoman for French government, signalled her readiness, commitment and dedication to her new job, the voice of France
Sibeth Ndiaye is one of three new faces added to Macron’s cabinet as it gears up for the European Parliament elections next month. Sibeth Ndiaye replaces Benjamin Griveaux, who quit the cabinet last week ahead of a run for Paris mayor next year.
“France has given me a lot. Today, it’s my turn to give something back,” Ndiaye said at a handover ceremony in Paris on Monday, praising her parents for helping her and her sisters “break through glass ceilings”.
“Her nomination is a strong endorsement of diversity in a high-profile job, a promotion and a sign of the president’s trust,” Philippe Grangeon, one of Macron’s top advisers, told French daily Le Monde. “It’s a challenge for this engaging young woman, whose path has been quite different from that of a typical government minister,” he added. But who is Sibeth Ndaye?
Sibeth Ndaye was born on December 13, 1979 in the district of Plateau de Dakar . She has the Senegalese and French nationalities. Her name evokes the fighting queens of Casamance and means “who won many fights” in diola 4.
Sibeth’s father, Fara Ndiaye, participated in the creation of the African Independence Party before becoming number two of the Senegalese Democratic Party of Abdoulaye Wade and member of the National Assembly .
Her mother, Mireille Ndiaye , who died in 2015, is a high magistrate who chaired the criminal chamber of the Senegalese Court of Cassation , then was president of the Constitutional Council from 2002 to 2010
For Sibeth, her childhood “was nourished by the story of the struggle for independence to which her parents, students from the former colonies, were active participants. Her three sisters live in Africa, one in Lomé, Togolese capital, the other between Lagos, Nigeria and Abidjan vory Coast, the eldest in Dakar
The mother of three was educated in Senegal and in Paris, she was involved in the French national students’ union – later telling news outlet Jeune Afrique that she felt a desire to make changes to the lives of other students.
She said her leap to national politics was prompted by the 2002 French presidential election, in which the far-right National Front’s Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round. She joined the Socialists – and began her career in politics.
She first met Mr Macron when he was the deputy secretary general at the Élysée, and she was working for the economy minister – a job that Mr Macron would take over in 2014.
Sibeth Ndiaye passes her adolescence in Senegal, until obtaining her patent at the institution Jeanne d’Arc of Dakar . She then attended the Lycée Montaigne in Paris , then studied political philosophy at the University Paris-Diderot between 2004 and 2006. In 2007, she obtained a master in public economics and social protection at the University Panthéon-Sorbon
Residing in Saint-Denis in Seine-Saint-Denis , she is director of the campaign of Mathieu Hanotin during the cantonal elections of 2008 on the canton of Saint-Denis-South A member of the Strauss-Kahnian movement , Martine Aubry named her the PS’s national secretary for early childhood in 2009 .
In March 2008, she was appointed head of the press service of Claude Bartolone , newly elected chairman of the General Council of Seine-Saint-Denis , then became a project manager in 2010 . In 2012, she was in charge of press and communication in the office of Arnaud Montebourg , Minister of Productive Recovery and retained these functions when Emmanuel Macron succeeded him at Bercy .
Ndiaye gained notoriety after a documentary of Macron’s grassroots campaign was released shortly after his sweeping victory of the presidency in May 2017. The film, “Behind the Scenes of a Victory,” shows an outspoken Ndiaye who doesn’t hesitate to harangue reporters over what she considers unfavourable coverage.
Expectedly, her appointment to the government in the weekend’s minor reshuffle has been met with criticism and debate in France. Much of the criticism surrounds a report carried by French newspaper L’Express in 2017, when she said she would lie to protect Mr Macron.
Opponents have questioned what such a statement – which she had previously denied
Ian Brossat, spokesman for the French Communist Party, tweeted: “With the practices of this government, it actually seems to be fitting for the position of spokesperson”. Julien Sanchez, spokesman for the far-right National Rally, echoed the sentiment, saying: “The liar officially becomes the government spokesperson”
Speaking at her first official press conference on Monday, Ms Ndiaye said the quote had been taken out of context.
“It was my job at the time to defend and protect the President of the Republic… today, I have new responsibilities,” she told journalists.
Others take issue with the president appointing a close ally to a government position.
Earlier, Ms Ndiaye spoke about the importance of her role in government as a naturalised citizen.
“I take this step with pride in serving France, the country I chose for myself,” she said.
“Even before I was French, I was one of the people involved in this country, especially in Paris suburb, Seine-Saint-Denis, where nothing is simple, but where everything is possible.”
Additional information from Wikipedia, BBC News