Ethiopia appoints Sahle-Work Zewde as first female president

Ethiopia on October 25, 2018, appointed diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde as its first-ever female President. The position of the President is largely ceremonial in the nation. Zewde was appointed by the Ethiopian lawmakers through a unanimous vote. She would be replacing Mulatu Teshome Wirtu who resigned on October 24. Prior to her appointment, she was serving as the UN’s top official at the African Union. She is now expected to serve two six-year terms as President.

The 60-year-old has previously served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to France, Djibouti, Senegal, and the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). She began her diplomatic career as an ambassador to Senegal in 1989 with responsibilities in neighboring African countries and later went to Djibouti before eventually serving as ambassador to France.

She is fluent in English and French as well as Amharic. Till recently, she was serving as the special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the African Union. Prior to that, she headed the United Nation’s Nairobi office with the rank of undersecretary general.

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