RobinMillerAïssata Lam



Occupational Information

Job Title: Director General of the Investment Promotion Agency of Mauritania

Professional History

Aïssata Lam is the Director General of the Investment Promotion Agency of Mauritania, the public entity in charge of national and foreign direct investments as well as the country’s business climate. She was appointed to this role in April 2022. Her responsibilities are to make Mauritania the go-to destination for new foreign investors and to land massive investments for priority sectors. It also includes dealing with already established investors; their after-care and solving the challenges they may face. 

Aïssata is building the newly-established institution from scratch, making decisions on governance, staffing, budget structure and organizational culture. She is playing an important part of implementing the five-year strategy of the President to improve the business climate in Mauritania and attracting Foreign Direct Investments for priority sectors. Aïssata is seeking to create an agency that is sustainable, inclusive, and effective. As an example, she has been reviewing applicable and established public policies that are negatively sexist and discriminatory towards women to make the work environment more attractive - and level - for female applicants.  The Secretary General of Mauritania's Presidency, Adama Boko Soko, said Aïssata had been part of his party's brain trust for several years and would be an agent of change for the country and would continue implementing a vision of a more open and results-driven country.

Prior to her work for the agency, Aïssata was the Country Engagement Manager for West and Central Africa for African Risk Capacity.  It provided assistance to African governments in planning, preparation and response to climate related disasters, to take better decisions on participating in the Insurance Risk Pool. She also represented the organisation at national, regional and international levels on issues related to the programme and country engagement in the region.

Before that, she was a Project Officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

In 2012, Aïssata was the Founder and President of the Youth Chamber of Commerce in Mauritania, where she began her work in Small and Medium Business Enterprises and helping entrepreneurs find access to capital, as well as helping women's economic empowerment.She sits on the monitoring committee of the Covid-19 fund established in 2020 by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ghazouani.  In 2019, was a Member of French President Emmanuel Macron's Gender Equality Advisory Council for the G7, during which time she published a gender equality report for the council.  In 2014, Aïssata was the initiator of the Mauritaniennes d'exception Award, which has since been granted to more than 100 women.   She was made a Knight of the National Order of Merit in 2020 and was included among BBC100 Women for 2019, a list of inspiring and influential women from around the world. In 2015, she was a recipient of the HEC Montréal Prix Relève d’Excellence awarded to alumni under 35.

She is enrolled in the UN Leadership Program for senior executives, linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.


Bachelor in Business Administration from HEC Montreal, Canada
Graduate Diploma from Harvard University.


2022 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

Additional Search Tags: finance, micro-credit, government agency, direct foreign investment, gender equality,

About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.