ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia’s parliament has appointed the country’s first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde on Thursday. Sahle-Work replaces Mulatu Teshome, who resigned the presidency Wednesday.
She has served since June as the United Nation’s special representative to the African Union as an under-secretary-general. Sahle – Work also has held top diplomatic posts representing Ethiopia in France and Djibouti.
“In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life,” tweeted Fitsum Arega, the top aide to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who leads Ethiopia’s government and policy.
Sahle-Work’s appointment comes amid a Cabinet reshuffle and radical political reforms by Abiy, who took office in April and, at 41, is Africa’s youngest leader.