Ethiopian senior diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde was approved as the country’s first female president yesterday, October 25, 2018. Her promotion follows the recent and unexpected resignation of Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome. Although her position is mainly ceremonial, it’s a big win for women, for Ethiopia as the third country in Africa, after Rwanda and Seychelles, to achieve gender parity in their cabinets and for Africa as well. Here are six facts about the 68 year old modern day Ethiopian president.
7. She is the 4th president of Ethiopia since the powerful EPRDF coalition came in to power. Her other predecessors include Meles Zenawi (May 1988 – 20 August 2012) ,Hailemariam Desalegn (16 September 2012 – 27 March 2018)
6. President Sahle-Work diplomatic carrier started as early as 1989. She has served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in France, Senegal and Djibouti. She has also held a number of UN positions, including head of peace-building in the Central African Republic (CAR).Immediately before becoming president, Ms Sahle-Work was the UN representative at the African Union.
5.She was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and is the first born of four girls in her family.Her father was a senior officer in the imperial army had bestowed her all the responsibility of succeeding in her education as he strongly believed in educating his children.
4. After finishing her high school education she got a scholarship at the age of seventeen to study natural science at the University of Montpellier in South east of France.
3. She is the second woman in the history of the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry to hold an ambassadorial position following Ambassador Yodit Emiru.
2. Sahle is also Africa’s only female president with the last African female head of state being Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who resigned in March over an expenses scandal.
1. The newly voted in head of state is married, is a mother of two sons and she is also fluent in Amharic, French and English.