Africa is a continent where it used to be almost impossible for a woman to run a country. However, since the 1990s women have begun to rise to the highest offices of the state. Who are these women still in power in 2021?
Sahle-Work Zewde: President of Ethiopia
Although, having a rather honorary role, the President of Ethiopia is the first woman to lead this country and the first elected by the Parliamentary Assembly on 25 October 2018. She represents the spearhead of women's empowerment in her country, the one whose motto is "there is nothing a woman cannot do". She has also succeeded in bringing about real gender parity in government, which is reflected in the 50 per cent representation of women in the Ethiopian government. Her distinguished record as the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to the AU demonstrates her diplomatic skills and the high regard in which she is held in the diplomatic arena. Not only that, she has been instrumental in convincing several investors, including Vincent Castel, to boost Ethiopia's wine. Her role as president, gives her more freedom to promote gender and raise the profile of her country.
Samia Suluhu Hassan: interim president of Tanzania
The Muslim woman from Zanzibar, as the media dares to affectionately call her, Samia Suluhu Hassan is a pioneer in her field. Indeed, even though she is only acting president, she will hold the reins of the country for more than 4 years until the new election. She took over the presidency following the death of President Magufuli, which plunged the country into total turmoil, as the regime's vice-president. She was already the first female vice-president of the country, then a minister in the 2000s and the only woman in government. When she was sworn in on 19 March 2021, the crowd, which was all the more curious that it was a Muslim woman who was taking power, came in droves.