Lessons in Leadership: Integrating Courage, Vision, and Innovation for the Future of Sustainable Fisheries
Using Online Learning to Share Fisheries Management Knowledge for the Future of Sustainable Artisanal Fisheries in Africa
Jean André T. Kabré
Born into a large traditional family practicing farming, I went to school in Manga County, 100 miles away from the capital city, Ouagadougou, of Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta). In our large family, I was the youngest child and the first to attend school. I passed the primary school test with great success and was ranked the best student in the county in 1969. My instructor, M. Sawadogo Hamado, who I wished to resemble, congratulated me and encouraged me to advance my education as far as I could. I was baptized in 1967 with the name Jean André, which was added to Kabré Tinkoudgou, my original birth name. Being a blessed child, I wanted to be a Catholic priest, but my father, Kabré Tinga, and my instructor both decided that I should attend the government secondary school to be a state functionary or worker to help my people. They were right, and I know their vision came from the loving God. I then ventured to the capital city to continue my education.
It was there that my future began to take shape, and I envisioned my education leading to meaningful work for my country, Upper Volta. Sharing knowledge with people was particularly inspiring for me, and I believed the best way to do this was to become a lecturer and researcher. After high school, I was trained at the University of Ouagadougou to be a forestry and water resource engineer. I graduated in June 1982, after which the South East Consortium for International Development selected me to attend Auburn University for an M.S. program in the renowned Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures. At Auburn University, I met my first mentor, Professor William Davies, and graduated in August 1984.