Mariam Sy Diawar, Founder and President of the House of Africa-Mandingo Inc., is also known in the world of advertising in Francophone Africa for having created the communication group called Groupe Univers, including various agencies of communication, publishing, studies, and tourism in Ivory Coast.
She represented Africa on the Board of Directors of the Mondial de la Publicité Francophone. She is the initiator of the first African Book Fair held in Abidjan in 1993. She was president of the Association of Publishers in Côte d'Ivoire from 1991 to 2000. She created the International Exhibition of Leisure and Tourism Abidjan (SITLA), which was held for the first time in November 1998.
She is also the initiator of the first edition of the Africa Web Festival, which will be held from 24 to 26 November 2014 in Abidjan1. Mariam Sy Diawara is a philanthropist who has become known in many causes that she supports, especially for young people in Côte d'Ivoire and Africa.
She founded Univers Jeunes, the first youth newspaper in Côte d'Ivoire, and supported the creation of the Association of Student Entrepreneurs Clubs of Côte d'Ivoire in 2000. She has been living in Quebec since 2000 and is a Canadian citizen.
She is the initiator of the Afrikenous Award, which rewards the best image of Africa at FESPACO.