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Ethiopia’s first ever female president emerges

Unlike in other African nations that go to the polls to conduct presidential elections, the story is very different in the east African and Horn of Africa Nation Ethiopia. Members of Parliament on a Thursday session unanimously elected Mme Sahle-work Zewde, as the country’s president. She takes over the reins from Mulatu Teshome who resigned from the ceremonial post on Wednesday October 24, 2018. The reasons for his resignation remains unknown.

In what Many have dubbed a political ‘’ wind of change’’ the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has seem some major changes. Ms Sahle-work Zewde will serve a two six-year mandate under the government of Premier Ahmed.  She stands as the only incumbent female head of state in Africa.  Her election to this very important but ceremonial position follows the recent cabinet reshuffle in the country that saw a maximum representation of women. Before being elected to this post, Ms Sah-le Work was the United Nations representative at the African Union, (Africa’s most influential organ). Ms Sah-le Work Zewde represents the fourth President under the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Addressing parliament; President Zewde vowed to uphold the values of peace and to bring the nation together for a common goal.  She quoted; “I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace.”  

Who is Sahle-work Zewde?

Born on February 21, 1950, Ms. Sah-le Work Zewde is an Ethiopian national and a diplomat. She studied Natural Sciences in the University of Montpellier, in France. She expresses herself in three languages, Amharic, French and English.


-From 1989-1992: Zewde was an ambassador in France, Senegal with an accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea.

-From 1993 to 2002, Ethiopia’s envoy to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

-In 2002: Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

-2006 to 2009, Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). She also served as Director-General for African Affairs in Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

-In 2011, then UN Chief Ban Ki Moon appointed Sahle-Work as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi.

– In June 2018, she stood as the UN Special envoy to the African Union.

Many Ethiopians and the African Continent have applauded the recent appointment of the sixty-eight (68) old Sahle-Work Zewde as president. The world has also hailed premier minister Abiy Ahmed for using his prerogatives to uphold gender Equality in the Horn of Africa Nation.

AFRIC Editorial Article

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