Folly Bah Thibault Appointed as Education Cannot Wait Global Champion

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Folly Bah Thibault at ECW's High-Level Financing Conference

The renowned journalist and humanitarian will join the UN’s global fund for education in emergencies in raising awareness and advocating for education for the world’s most vulnerable children.

New York

The acclaimed international journalist Folly Bah Thibault today accepted her appointment as a Global Champion for Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

“Folly Bah Thibault is a visionary journalist and humanitarian. As one of the world’s leading advocates for education, we are delighted to announce her as our new Education Cannot Wait Global Champion. With champions like Folly, we continue to build a global movement to ensure children affected by armed conflict, climate change, forced displacement can access the safety, hope and opportunity that only a quality education can provide,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait.

Through her work for Al Jazeera, France24, Radio France International and Voice of America, Thibault has become one of the most recognized and respected journalists in the world. Her coverage of some of the world’s most pressing events as a journalist for Al Jazeera is shedding light on forgotten crises across the globe. The New African Magazine has named Thibault as one of the ‘Most Influential Africans’ working today.

With more than 20 years of experience as a journalist, Thibault has covered some of the world’s most important news stories, including the Arab Spring and marquee specials for Al Jazeera on the United Nations. She has interviewed heads of state, Nobel Prize winners, artists and influencers the world over.

“It is truly an honour for me to have been selected as an Education Cannot Wait Global Champion. I’ve spent many years advocating and fighting for the welfare and education of children around the world – especially in Africa. I truly believe education is the only way we can build a sustainable and rewarding future for millions of children who would otherwise be left behind. I strongly believe my new role as Education Cannot Wait Global Champion will allow me to continue that work and reach even more children who need and deserve to have access to quality education,” said Thibault.

Thibault was the Master of Ceremonies at the Education Cannot Wait High-Level Financing Conference this February in Geneva, Switzerland, where world leaders came together to announce a ground-breaking US$826 million in support of ECW. Together with its strategic partners, ECW is looking to mobilize more than $1.5 billion for the 2023-2026 strategic period. As an ECW Global Champion, Thibault will advocate for increased funding and support for the 222 million crisis-impacted children and adolescents worldwide who urgently need quality education in our global push to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG4, inclusive, equitable quality education for all.

Born in Conakry, Guinea, Thibault received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Howard University and American University in the United States. After graduating, Thibault hosted a show for Voice of America that sought to reunite families separated by conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It wasn’t long before her passion for telling stories and reporting took her to Paris and Radio France Internationale, where she presented the morning show on the English Channel. She later joined France24 television as an Anchor, before joining Al Jazeera English as a Principal Presenter in 2010 and relocating to Qatar. 

When she’s not at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Thibault is a sought-after moderator and public speaker. In 2019, she launched her foundation – Elle Ira à l’Ecole – which helps young girls in Guinea get an education.


Note to Editors

About Education Cannot Wait (ECW):

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. We support quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. ECW works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming. ECW works in close partnership with governments, public and private donors, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and other humanitarian and development aid actors to increase efficiencies and end siloed responses. ECW urgently appeals to public and private sector donors for expanded support to reach even more vulnerable children and youth.  

On Twitter, please follow: @EduCannotWait, @YasmineSherif1, @KentPage

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Kent Page,, +1-917-302-1735

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