Our Comms Spotlight for this week is Armelle Nyobe, a professional who has spent the past 17 years dedicated to her craft. She is currently the Policy and Communication Analyst at the African Constituency Bureau for the Global Fund. In our interview with her, Armelle shares about her growth as a professional as well as some highlights and challenges from her career journey.
Can you tell us how you began your career in Communications and how you grew as a professional over the years?
I began my career in Communications 17 years ago, starting as a trainee in the Communications department of WWF’s West Africa regional office. This role was formative as it confirmed my passion for the industry and allowed me to work directly with people on the ground, allowing me to feel part of something larger than myself.
Throughout my early career and despite my lack of experience, I was given a great deal of responsibility, such as managing journalist portfolios and being the communication point person for environmental education projects. I later progressed to a Communication Officer role, where I was able to manage communications for a €10 million project and led a community radio implementation process in Kayar, Senegal.
In 2015, I moved to the International Food Policy Research Institute, where I had to adapt to different communication needs compared to an NGO. This step prepared me for my current role at the African Constituency Bureau for the Global Fund. Though initially challenging, given that my background was more aligned with environmental issues, I rose to the challenge, successfully amalgamating my policy analysis and communications skills.
What does your role as a Policy and Communication Analyst at the African Constituency
Bureau for the Global Fund entail?
In my current role, I spend significant time researching and gathering information from the field for knowledge management purposes. I closely monitor scientific and programmatic developments about drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, preventative tools, etc., to assist with the prevention and control of TB, HIV, and Malaria. I am also responsible for disseminating this information and building technical capacity across the two African Constituencies. Additionally, I also handle the routine communication activities.
Given that your role involves overseeing Communications and working with teams across 46 countries, how has this experience been for you?
In our line of work, communication is crucial for collecting and sharing country-specific experiences and information, which in turn helps us better serve our constituents. We work to represent African priorities and interests concerning health policies concerning AIDS, Malaria, and TB in the Global Fund instances.
Could you share some of the highlights of your career journey so far?
Two of my most cherished career highlights thus far include implementing the community radio of Kayar, Senegal, with WWF, where I was part of the decision-making and frontline team. And at the African Constituency Bureau, I had the opportunity to build the Communications system from scratch.
What was the most challenging experience of your career, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges in my career was transitioning from WWF to the International Food Policy Research Institute, shifting from program implementation to policy counselling. I focused on mastering the essentials of media, social media, and visibility while learning from the new environment.
What advice would you give budding professionals who want to follow your path?
To those who wish to pursue a career similar to mine, I would suggest maintaining a strong sense of curiosity, a commitment to continual learning, humility, patience, and a strong work ethic. These five values, combined, will help propel your career forward.