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100 Women: Meet Semhar Araia, an Eritrean-American On a Mission to Mobilize African Women

Get familiar with the woman championing community building throughout the diaspora.

Semhar Araia has made it her life's work ro support the aspirations of African women throughout the diaspora.

As the founder of DAWN—Diaspora African Women's Network and the head of Diaspora Partnerships at UNICEF USA, the Eritrean-American is working to create opportunities for women to realize their potential as future leaders and community builders.


She's dedicated to diaspora engagement—a deeply rooted passion that stems from her experience being raised by Eritrean immigrants in New York City.

She has an encouraging message for fellow second-generation immigrants:

"We are a gift and an asset to both cultures, to both countries," she says. "There are so many examples of women who celebrate both, who don't pit one against the other, who don't need to be more African than American or more American than Africa. I think there's a way to be both and to celebrate that."

Watch the video below to learn more about the social activist, and check out or full OkayAfrica 100 Women list here.

This article appears as part of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2018—a project highlighting the impactful work done by African women across the globe. Throughout March, we will be publishing a series of profiles, videos, interviews and feature stories on these inspirational women. Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.

News Brief
Photo credit should read AFP via Getty Images

Former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja Has Died

Niger's former President Mamadou Tandja has reportedly passed away at age 82. The Nigerien government has announced a three-day national mourning period.

ABC News reports that former Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja reportedly passed away this past Tuesday. The exact cause of death is unclear but reports indicate that the 82-year-old had been battling age-related illnesses for several years. The former head-of-state succumbed to his illness(s) in a hospital in Niamey, Niger. According to VoA, the Nigerien government officially called for the nation to enter into a three-day mourning period.

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