Kéita was born in 1912 in Bamako and she was the daughter of a serviceman from
Kouroussa (Guinea). In 1923 she was admitted into Bamako's first girls' school.
She continued her studies in Dakar's School of Medicine, where she was awarded a
diploma. In 1931 she was posted to Gao. In 1935 she married M. Diawara, a
doctor, from whom she was later separated. She came first in the "Principalat"
in 1943 and did a training course in Dakar. Next she was posted to Tougan, then
to the Niger Office. From 1946 she was militant in the ranks of the
Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA) [the African Democratic Assembly]
which was influential in all of the French colonies in Africa. Transferred to
Gao in 1950, she renounced her French citizenship the following year and took an
active part in organising the elections of 1951. On the eve of the elections.
Aoua Kéita managed to escape the purge which transferred all the civil servants
from the Gao region who were militant in the RDA, and played a major role in the
success achieved by the RDA in the elections. This resulted in her transfer for
disciplinary reasons. She was sent successively to Bignona (Casamance) in
Senegal, to Nara, then to the materinity hospital in Keti, near Bamako, where
she founded a Collective Female Trade Union Movement. She represented this
organisation in 1957 at the Constitutional Congress of the General Union of
Workers of Black Africa. In 1958 she was elected to the political office of the
Sudanese Union of the RDA, where she was the only woman. The same year, after
the referendum of the 28th September, she was named a member of the
Constitutional Committee of the Sudanese Republic. In 1959 she was elected a
Member of Parliament in the legislative elections and played a major political
role until Modibo Kéita's downfall. Aoua Kéita has been honoured with several
distinctions: the Malian Independence Gold Medal, Order of the "Perfection de la
R.A.U.", and the National Order of Merit of the Red Cross of the Ethiopian
Empire. Moreover, she was elevated to the rank of Great Officer of the National
Order of Senegal, the Great Commander of the Order of the African Star of
Liberia and Officer of the Dahomey National Order. She died 7th May 1980 in
Bamako. Source: Culture Française [French Culture] (winter 1980).
Femme d'Afrique. La vie d'Aoua Kéita racontée par elle-même [An African Woman. The Autobiography of Aoua Kéita told in her own words. Paris: Présence Africaine, 1975. (397p.). ISBN 2 7087 0320 X. Novel. (Review February 2009).