October 24, 2018 - Ethiopia will get its first woman president tomorrow according to some Ethiopian media reports. The Ethiopian government has not disclosed any information so far, but the Ethiopian parliament is set to vote tomorrow to make it official, according to these reports.
Ethiopian online media, including Addis Standard, are reporting that Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde will replace President Mulatu Teshome as of tomorrow, Thursday this week.
Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde, a top official with the United Nations, resigned from her UN job this week to clear way for her appointment as President of Ehiopia, according to these reports.
Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde served as the UN Director General at its offices in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She also served as the Special representative of the UN Secretary-General to the African Union, AU, a position she resigned from this week.
In May 2018 Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Nairobi, where Abiy was on an official visit to the country and visited the UN offices, where she was still head.
Ambassador Sahle-work is said to have three decades of diplomatic experience with the UN, including Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco.
Ambassador Sahle-work also served as Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia as well as Ethiopian Ambassador to France. From 1993 to 2002, she served as Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), and to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea.
Ambassador Sahle-work was born in 1950 and raised in Addis Ababa. She reportedly has two sons. She attended her elementary and secondary school at Lycee Gebremariam in Addis Ababa and then went to France to study natural science at the University of Montpellier. She is fluent in Amharic, French and English.
The Ethiopian presidency is largely a ceremonial post, after the country adopted a parliamentary system under the EPRDF government led by the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi.
If indeed Ehiopia gets its first woman president, Ambassador Sahle-work will be the fourth President of Ehiopia since the current constitution was adopted in 1995. President Mulatu Teshome is the third president of Ethiopia since 1995. Before him, President Negasso Gidada served from 1995 to 2001, and President Girma Wolde-Giorgis from 2001 to 2013.