A Dynamic Conservation Leader
Fanny Minesi is General Director of Les Amis des Bonobos du Congo (ABC). Raised in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she has been immersed in wildlife conservation since childhood.
In 2014, she took over management of all of ABC’s projects and programs including bonobo rescues and reintroductions, habitat protection, community development and conservation education. She oversees a staff of about 100 in two locations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Before she began leading the conservation organization founded by her mother, Claudine André, Fanny held management roles in a multinational logistics company, eventually managing nine locations in the DR Congo and 157 employees.
Fanny earned a law degree at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis School of Law, Political and Economic Science and is committed to using her legal education to build on her mother’s pioneering work. She works to secure the future of bonobos through conservation law enforcement, education, and economic development.
Fanny is fluent in French, Lingala, and English, and speaks Spanish and Italian.
"I believe a better future is possible for bonobos and Congolese people, and that these goals are inseparable."
- Fanny Minesi
"I believe bonobos’ welfare and human welfare are entwined," Fanny says. "When people are suffering, animals suffer, too. Therefore, conservationists must collaborate at all stages with the people who can benefit most from conservation projects.
"This is why I worked with Congolese at all levels, from community leaders to national government, to create DRC’s first protected area managed by Congolese, for Congolese - Ekolo ya Bonobo," she adds. "I believe a better future is possible for bonobos and Congolese people, and that these goals are inseparable."
In recognition of her leadership and work with Friends of Bonobos of Congo, Minesi was awarded the 2023 Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa. She accepted the award from HRH The Prince of Wales at an event held at the Savoy in London on November 27, 2023.
The award was created to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to conservation and is judged to be an emerging conservation leader.
2023 Tusk Conservation Award winners (from left) Fanny Minesi, Ekwobe Abwe, and Jealous Mpofu with Prince William, center.
“Fanny was an obvious winner for our award celebrating an inspiring emerging conservationist,” said chief Executive of Tusk Charlie Mayhew OBE. “Uncompromising in her broad and far-reaching vision and already so accomplished, Fanny has many years ahead of her and tremendous potential to positively influence not only the fate of the endangered bonobo, but also, the future of the field of Congo-based conservation.”
In 2021, Fanny received the McKenna-Travers Award for Compassionate Conservation from the Born Free Foundation in recognition of her leadership and "outstanding conservation and animal welfare achievements."
She also was recognized in 2021 for her conservation leadership as a Femme de Valeur (Woman of Honor) by Nyota Africa.