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H.E Anne-Sophie Avé | France & Ghana | BE KIND

Updated: Sep 20, 2021 I was born in France but grew up in Belgium; I speak six languages: Flemish, Dutch, French, English, German and Russian. I studied business administration and worked in the private sector for 10 years before I joined the public service. My whole career has been driven by boldness and curiosity: collaborating and working in interesting or unique areas I wasn’t expected to: business administration, teaching, multimedia, law, shipping, human resources, national defense and now diplomacy. And I believe that this diversity of experience that once appeared as irrelevant turned out to be an asset.

September 2018, I was appointed as the 18th French Ambassador to Ghana and first female following 17 male ambassadors, since France entered into diplomatic relations with Ghana in 1957. In Ghana, I am considered, Nkɔsoɔ Hemaa. April 2021, I was enstooled as a Queen Mother (Nkɔsoɔ Hemaa) of Hani under the name Nana Benneh III. I am also the television host of . A television talk show, engaging Ghanaian celebrities, community leaders and dignitaries, showcasing France and France in Ghana. The French embassy in Ghana and core goals are to cultivate a culture of empathy through open dialogue conversation and content that tells a story, adhering to inclusion and sense of belonging. Being an effective ambassador you have to be a leader that engages, highlights inclusivity during decision making and embraces diversity.

What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them? Same as everyone I guess. Too young, no first experience… so I began to work as a consultant paid by the day. Clients were happy and asking for more so I signed a normal contract after a year. I guess people wanted to test me before tying the knot.

What books are you currently reading? I read a lot. Novels, essays, fiction or biographies in French or English. My favourite authors are Jeffrey Archer and Ken Follet, and for French, Pierre Lemaitre and Henri Loevenbruck.

What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally? Work. It is not always rewarding but it is the only way to succeed eventually. Focus on your work and the added value you bring. Be kind to people. People will spot you and promote you. Someone talking about you and saying “he/she is good” is a million times more impactful than yourself repeating “I am good”


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