Sahle-Work Zewde becomes Ethiopia’s first female president

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Ethiopian lawmakers picked career diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde to replace Mulatu Teshome who resigned as president. 

The position of president is ceremonial in Ethiopia, with executive power vested in the office of the prime minister, but the appointment is deeply symbolic and follows up on last week’s cabinet reshuffle in which made half the ministers are now women in Africa’s second-most populous country.

Sahle-Work, who is in her late 60s, has been Ethiopia’s ambassador to France, Djibouti, Senegal and the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

As president she is expected to serve two six-year terms.

Political power in Ethiopia is wielded by the prime minister with the president’s role is restricted to attending ceremonies and functions.



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