For the first time ever, the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a woman. Her name is Sahle-Work Zewde, she is 68-years old, and she was formally an Ambassador of the United Nations and the diplomatic corps. Although there have formerly been female empresses in ancient Ethiopia, Zewde is modern Ethiopia’s first female head of state
Born in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Sahle-Work went on to study natural science at the University of Montpellier, France. She fluent speaks three languages – English, French, and the country’s native language Amharic.
She formerly served as the Ethiopian Ambassador to France, and was also the first woman to become the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) at the level of Under-Secretary-General.
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, congratulated her on Twitter by saying: “Ethiopia has joined a growing list of countries with gender-balanced cabinets. And this week, the country’s Parliament appointed its first female president. Congratulations to @SahleWorkZewde on the milestone. We look forward to continuing to work with Ethiopia’s government.”
Zewde herself also tweeted: “It is an honor and immense privilege to have been appointed as the 4th President of FDR#Ethiopia. I am very much humbled by this unique opportunity to once again serve my beloved country Ethiopia.”