Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde has just been appointed as the first female president.
The 69 year old President was appointed on Thursday, 25th October 2018, after she was approved by the Ethiopian lawmakers. Ms. Zewde has served as the United Nation’s special representative to the African Union as an Under Secretary-General since June 2018 and has also been Ethiopia’s Ambassador to France, Djibouti, Senegal and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Although Ethiopia’s political power is restricted to the office of the Prime Minister, this new change is largely celebrated by Ethiopians.
This event comes after the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a 20-person cabinet with half the posts being held by women. They include Defence Minister Aisha Mohammed and Muferiat Kamil, who heads the Ministry of Peace, responsible for police and Domestic Intelligence Agencies.
Replacing Mulatu Teshome who resigned on Wednesday, Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde is currently the only female President in Africa, after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left office this year.
María Fernanda Espinosa Garces, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, complimented the President Elect via social media saying, “Congratulations, Madam President! Women do make a difference. We are proud of you!”
In her acceptance speech, President Zewde committed to focus on gender equality and achieving peace in a country with multiple ethnic-based conflicts.