Amath Pathe Sene
2008 - Amath Pathe Sene is a Senegalese JPO funded by the Netherlands assigned to the UNDP country office in Mauritania.
Where are you from?
I was born and grew up in Senegal. Since, I have left my home country when I was 18 years old; I feel after each stay in new country, one part of my personality built with a mix of great values of those countries visited.
What is your background?
I graduated from different countries with different level of development. In developing countries, I hold my baccalaureate in applied sciences with distinction in my homecountry (Senegal) which allowed me to obtain a South-South cooperation fellowship (Senegal-Morocco) to pursue engineering studies in Morocco. There, I received my agronomist diploma from Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture of Meknes. Afterwards, I did a certificate in Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Gender and sustainable development from the Centre for Agricultural Development Cooperation of Shefayim in Israel. In France, I hold a Master of Science with the highest distinction (Cum Maxima Laude) in Project Management and Natural Resources Management from Institut Agronomique Mediterraneen of Montpellier.
When and where have you worked as a JPO?
I have been assigned as JPO since September 2007 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Before, I worked as program officer on food security in Afghanistan with a French NGO.
What has been your assignment as a JPO?
With UNDP Mauritania, I am co-managing a portfolio of 9 projects on Energy and Environment totalising about 6 millions US$. As a program officer, I am contributing to address tree main objectives of the country office:
- Program and projects delivery to achieve Millennium development goals
- Fund raising
- Development of Energy and Environment portfolio in Mauritania
I'm actively working on daily project management focused on energy & environment projects such as climate change project, poverty and environment initiative project in collaboration with UNEP, Integrated water resources management project, Energy projects, mainstreaming biodiversity into oil and gas development sector... This management is based on a daily follow up of all projects through an organisation, planning, prioritizing, and delivering quality outputs on time, for client satisfaction and UNDP reliability by using Prince 2 concept.
I'm also supervising the financial and technical projects issues with the use of Atlas system. In addition to the project management, I'm contributing to the unit and country office fund mobilisation by supporting the development of new projects on energy and environment. Communication strategy on Energy & Environment is another task of my work beside the technical supports provided to Energy & Environnement NGOs.
At the office level, I'm contributing to the UN documents review (UNDAF, CPD and CPAP) and I'm involve in the UN agencies programme coordination and UNDP program Units coordination (governance, poverty and environment).With my experience in Afghanistan, I'm assuming the role of UN security focal point as warden.
Which random words come to your mind when thinking about your JPO years?
Challenge, opportunity to make things happen, change things, make difference, 24 hours hard work, contribution to the organization's development mission particularly my continent, express potential and see the difference.
Do you remember your "best moment" as a JPO?
The best moment or best moments of my current JPOs are these short moments before sleeping when I feel with satisfaction to get thousand of planned and none planned tasks done in a 24hours hard work day.
In what way do you think your JPO assignment has shaped your career?
With the JPO assignment, I'm realizing every day as citizens from the South, the opportunities given to me to work at the highest level of decision making, coupled to the energy I am giving to make a lot of difference on the field for my people, in Africa, people of these the great United Nations. Dealing with partners, governmental bodies in a very complex situation, I can say "JPOs assignment boosts my career by multiplying each assignment year experience by 4".
What are your major lessons learned during your JPO assignment in terms of professional growth, career planning and opportunities?
Humility, patience, ethics, negotiation, commitment, professionalism.
What is your motivation to work in the field of development?
Understand people and their territories in order to better serve.
Most enriching professional achievement so far?
Working with partners and people from different cultures and from different countries is extremely challenging. In my first year assignment year, in addition to UNDP procedures and operations understanding in the country, the most enriching professional achievement is the establishment of "Trust Work Environment". Good relations and good work environment is essential to make the difference in the work value chain with UNDP.
It's a kind of spirit you develop naturally or by doing in a work team with you personality, in order to overcome the frustration related to the work and build the foundation of your work success.
What kind of advice would you give to JPOs?
We are already the future of our great world and the opportunity given to us to make difference as JPOs need to be taken with love. With our talents, energy and commitment, we must contribute to the better living conditions elsewhere we are acting.
By the way...
Your crowning glory:
Too early to answer, maybe I will have opportunity in the future to answer again to this question.
The last favourite book you read:
God is not obliged, by Amadou Kourouma.
This book is a about life of a child-soldier taking place in Liberia, Sierra Leone and cote d'ivoire during the civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone. A tragedy of a small soldier dealing in the terrible environment of the war and human foolish.
It has helped me to thanks god to give me the chance to not live in such conditions and also motivated me again to contribute with my work to the protection of the children living in fragile states in Africa.
Behind the suit:
I play basketball; it's a very nice sport because it combines precision, rigor, leadership, team spirit, power and endurance. I also like travelling in the "internet world" to discover and learn. During my off days, I love discovering unknown places, meet people and make friends.
In my current job and for my future career, I want god to give every day and everywhere:
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, and
The wisdom to see the difference.