Chad’s youngest Minister Priscille Longoh is also her country’s biggest hope for women empowerment

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AT age 31, Amina Priscille Longoh is Chad’s Minister of Women and Protection of Early Childhood, and her international profile as a women’s rights defender and philanthropist is fast-rising.

Longoh was born in 1991 to a Christian family in the largely Muslim nation of West Africa. Her meteoric rise to political stardom began in the most unusual of ways: a two-year old child she was in the process of assisting with funds died of eye cancer in 2016.

Longoh was crowd-funding for the child whose condition was fast deteriorating at the time. Unfortunately, the funds Longoh had sourced could not reach the child’s family, who then died.

Later that year, Longoh founded a charity organisation, Chad Helping Hands, with the intention to make sure that Chadian girls and women in need of similar help get it urgently. Forming the charity was a childhood dream which was only triggered by the girl’s death, Longoh recalled in a later interview.

“I initiated a fundraiser on social networks to help a poor woman to have her 2-year-old daughter operated on for eye cancer. Unfortunately we acted a bit late and we couldn’t save the girl, (rest her soul).

“At the end of 2016, I told myself that the time had already come to materialize the Foundation’s project in order to be able to act in real time. It was therefore named Chad Helping Hands which translates solidarity around social causes,” Longoh told news website Tchadinfos in 2019.

Longoh added that her goal is to help “build a Chad in which each woman or each young girl can create the way of life she wishes to adopt, without being marginalized”.

In just three years of charity work, Longoh’s passion earned a lot of praise and encouragement from many quarters. She even left her job in 2018 at resources company Glencore to focus her attention on humanitarian work.

Humanitarian work took Longoh’s profile outside Chad’s borders, as she interacted with First Ladies from Egypt and France, among others, to bring the challenges of Chadian girls and women to the International stage.

Chad is located in the arid Sahel region, and ranks as one of the world’s poorest nations where the majority of women struggle with life from birth right to death. Longoh was only a shining star in a very dark place, and she shined brighter with each passing day.

Among the powerful people who praised Longoh’s selfless dedication to girl and women’s issues was her country’s President Idriss Déby. In 2019, President Déby appointed Longoh as Director of the National House of Women, a State organisation advancing women’s socio-economic empowerment.

Just a year later, President Déby appointed the then 29-year-old Longoh to his Cabinet, making her one of the nine women in the 35-member top Government executive team.

Since being appointed Minister, Longoh had advocated for the popularization of Chad’s legal provisions in favor of women “so that the country lives in harmony, cohesion and total peace of mind”. She believes Chad’s government will provide women with the means for their empowerment to fully partake in socio-economic and political activities.

With her profile rising both within and outsidr Chad, Longoh’s political career has just gained momentum to last her some years. But she believes political ambition is only as good as it is for the greater good of others.

For now, she is directing her energy to her current role in Government and at her charity. While at it, Longoh is also set to launch her crisis management consulting firm.

“I promise to share the benefits with a larger number of poor people in Chad,” Longoh said.

Longoh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Wintech Professional Institute in Ghana. She also holds a journalism qualification. Longoh is married wit two kids.


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