Aissata Kayentao is a doctoral student at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Institut National de Recherche pour le Développement durable (INP-HB Yamoussoukro) with the École supérieure des Mines et de Géologie. Aissata holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication and a master’s degree in Journalism and Communication from the Institut Pascal De Tunis – Tunisia.
Her doctoral research explores the impacts and roles played by Chinese actors in African artisanal and small-scale gold mining, focusing on the cases of Senegal and Mali. Her project is based on a five-year research fieldwork that explored the roles played by women in the artisanal gold mining sector in Mali, with a particular focus on their livelihoods and resilience. Her most recent research project (2019-2021), funded by the World Bank, involved work in the Sikasso region of Mali, examined the impacts of women's engagement in artisanal gold mining on food security in the country, particularly through the finances generated by the former supporting the latter, whose production serves to improve the food security of the households of which they are a part.
She is currently preparing a paper, "Small-Scale Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa: How Are Activities Making Rural Households More Food Secure?", which she will present at the international conference Mining the Connections in Quebec City in April 2022. The paper builds on the findings of the World Bank-funded project.