Mbemba, a brave fighter from Tamba

By Landry Ninteretse

Mbemba Doucouré who recently passed away was a man of multiple hats: community leader and organizer, climate activist, accountant, parent, and close ally of many environmentalists in Senegal and beyond.


Originally from Tambacounda, in the eastern part of Senegal, he attended high school Mame Cheikh Mbaye High School before continuing his economics studies at Cheikh Anta Diop University. Once graduated, Mbemba returned to Tamba and started a grassroots group called Youth Union for Sustainable Development of Tamba (UJDT). He tirelessly worked to link this group with multiple partners and UJDT later became a formal NGO under the name of Agir pour les Generations Futures (Acting for Future Generations).

For many years, Mbemba worked intensively to raise awareness on environmental issues in his country. He joined 350.org in 2010 and became immediately active in the organisation of global days of action, mobilizing communities and leaders on climate change issues and expanding the climate network. His dedication led to the formation of a strong Power Shift team that has developed an ambitious project to be implemented in the coming months.

In ordinary life, Mbemba was courteous, smiling and humble. All those who knew him recognize in him a disciplined man of great wisdom. Personally, Mbemba was more than a friend. He was a brother, an elder, a model. In February 2011, when I struggled to find accommodation when attending the World Social Forum, Mbemba spontaneously accepted to host me at his house of Grand Yoff in Dakar. I discovered in him an unusual hospitality. And that was the beginning of a deep friendship and valuable professional collaboration.

Mbemba’s close colleagues also pay tribute to a man of great character. Moctar Sidibe, part of GPS Senegal team says: ‘Mbemba was a brother, friend and advisor. If I became who I am today, it is mainly thanks to his advice and multiple encouragements. The moments spent with him in Istanbul helped me to discover a man of humility and dynamism, a true agent of change.’

Cheikh Sy, a member of the GPS Senegal team adds: ‘Mbemba was a humble and pious man. His dedication and dynamism will always guide us and your great climate efforts will ultimately pay.’