- In October 2018, Sahle-Work Zewde became Ethiopia’s first woman president and the only serving female head of state in Africa.
- A seasoned diplomat and veteran of the United Nations, Zewde was appointed with a unanimous vote by parliament.
- In her first address to parliament, Zewde promised to be a voice for women and stressed the importance of unity.
- The appointment joins a series of unprecedented shifts as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reforms focused on easing government control.
- Traditionally a ceremonial role, Zewde’s appointment is a tremendously symbolic move for the conservative country, opening the door for gender parity.
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