Saying that I am excited to partner with Africa No Filter at the beginning of this year would be an understatement.
Becoming a narrative champion to promote African Gastronomy in Francophone West Africa is the culmination of 10 years worth of work as a food lover, storyteller and culinary content creator as well as a boost for the years to come.
Embarking on the food blogging journey in 2012 …
… has truly been one of the best decisions I made.
It was shortly after I had returned from my undergraduate studies in the United States. I had then realized the lack of platforms in the digital space solely dedicated to the culinary scene of major cities in Côte d’Ivoire such as Abidjan or Yamoussoukro.
“Journal d’une Foodie” which translates to “A foodie’s diary” is an Abidjan – based food blog featuring my culinary discoveries and experiences. When launching the blog back in 2012 as the first one ever in the country, the aim was to give an insider look into Abidjan’s food culture and constantly evolving culinary scene.
As the project evolved over the years, the mission of Afrofoodie (its new name) became to connect locals and travelers with the best food experiences in Côte d’Ivoire while fulfilling my passion for traveling and promoting the culinary heritage of my country through gastronomy tourism.
Becoming a Mandela Washington Fellow…
… in 2016 had a tremendously positive impact on my journey. It allowed me to establish a new vision for my blog, seek and explore business opportunities and leverage the power of connections built during the 6-week program in the United States.
Thanks to my continuous efforts in sharing Côte d’Ivoire culinary scene with the world and a much clearer vision established during the fellowship, I was thereafter selected as a Chevening Scholar by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom for the year 2017/2018, a recipient of the program “African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative” in 2019 and now a proud Africa No Filter Narrative Champion.
While this has been a ‘solo’ journey, it has never felt that way. I remain indebted to everyone who believed in me: the amazing & talented African chefs, bloggers, food entrepreneurs, restaurateurs and brand managers I met and collaborated with over the course of time and across our continent.
I am also deeply grateful for collaborations with media companies such as Voyages Afriq, advisory and marketing firms such as Africa Tourism Partners and International and renowned institutions such as the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
The passion to promote African Gastronomy…
… grew as I realized the untapped potential of gastronomy tourism in West Africa associated with the rich and diverse culinary heritage and resources of our continent.
Food connects us in such a powerful way and I have always believed in experiencing a country through its cuisine.
Thanks to this partnership with Africa No Filter, I aspire to showcase the multifaceted nature of African gastronomy which has not only been deemed unattractive but has also been misunderstood and misrepresented for the longest time. It will not only allow me to amplify the voices of the movers and shakers of our culinary heritage in Côte d’Ivoire but also to step beyond its borders and immerse myself in other African cultures as well.
We are all in one way or another contributing to something much bigger than ourselves, a global movement of shifting the harmful narrative of our Continent, owning our stories & becoming our own Gastronomy ambassadors.
Let’s continue to honor the rich and diverse culinary heritage of our countries & continent… one bite at a time.
ABOUT AFRICA NO FILTER
Africa No Filter (ANF) is a donor collaborative that supports the development of nuanced and contemporary stories that shift stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa.
Through research, grant-making and advocacy, ANF aims to build the field of narrative change-makers by supporting storytellers investing in media platforms and driving disruption campaigns.
Learn more HERE
A highly polyvalent marketing and communication professional with 10 years of experience, Yasmine Fofana is from Côte d’Ivoire. Her professional background includes working for companies such as Microsoft and LG Electronics. While she is equally passionate about women empowerment issues, Yasmine is a culinary and travel enthusiast who believes in uniting food and tourism to drive the economic development in Côte d’Ivoire.
Yasmine is a pioneer when it comes to promoting the culinary scene of Côte d’Ivoire. She did not only launch the 1st food blog of the country in 2012: “Journal d’une Foodie” now rebranded as “Afrofoodie”, but she also launched the 1st Restaurant week of Côte d’Ivoire: “Abidjan Restaurant Week” in 2017. Thanks to her continuous efforts in sharing Côte d’Ivoire culinary scene with the world, Yasmine was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow 2016 under President Obama’s Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI) and a Chevening Scholar by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom for the year 2017/2018. Currently on a mission to promote Gastronomy tourism in her country, Yasmine is now partnering with Africa No Filter as one of their Narrative Champion.
Yasmine holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania in the United States and a Master in International Tourism Development from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom.