By Staff Reporter
October 25, 2018 - Ethiopia named the first woman president on Thursday named Sahle-Work Zewde. The Ethiopian parliament on Thursday appointed Ambassador Sahle-Work Zewde unianimously as the country’s first woman president.
Sahle-Work Zewde replaced Dr. Mulatu Teshome who announced his resignation the same day as the country’s head of state at the joint special session of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) and the House of Federation (HoF).
The national parliament last week endorsed a new cabinet in which half of the ministerial portfolios were taken up by women.
Dr. Mulatu has given no reason for his resignation which happened a year before his term ends in 2019.
Dr. Mulatu Teshome has been president of Ethiopia since October 7, 2013, the third president since the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) came to power 27 years ago, under the constitution proclaimed in 1995.
Before President Mulatu Teshome, President Negasso Gidada served as head of state from 1995 to 2001, and President Girma Wolde-Giorgis from 2001 to 2013.
“Instability and turmoil were common during his presidency and until reform measures have been taken by the new government led by reformist Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed,” Dr. Mulatu said.
Ambassador Sahlework has been serving as Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union at the level of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.
She was the first person to hold the post at the level of Under-Secretary-General.
She served as Ambassador to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea, from 1989 to 1993.
From 1993 to 2002, she was Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
She later served as Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco from 2002 to 2006.
She also served as Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peace building Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).
Previously, she also held a number of other high level positions including as Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and as Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
In 2011, Ambassador Sahlework was appointed to the position of Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The national parliament unanimously approved the appointment of Sahle-Work Zewde as Ethiopia's first woman president who called on all competing parties to work with the government for a prosperous and peaceful nation.