Forbes Names Ethiopian President One of World’s Most Powerful Women

By Staff Reporter

Sahle-Work-Zewdie-Forbes-ListDecember 16, 2019 ( -- Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has been named one of the World’s Most Powerful Women of 2019 by Forbes magazine, Ethiopian Embassy in Brussels disclosed. The Ethiopian President is the only African woman on the list.

President Sahle-Work Zewde is a role model not only for Ethiopian women but women all around the world, Forbes quoted as saying.

Sahle-Work is ranked Number 93 on Forbes’ 2019 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list and is the only African woman listed this year.

In October 2018, Ms. Zewde became Ethiopia’s first female president and is currently the only serving female head of state in Africa.

A seasoned diplomat and a veteran of the United Nations, Sahle-Work was appointed with a unanimous vote by parliament after being nominated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

In her first address to the Ethiopian parliament, Sahle-Work Zewde promised to be a voice for women and stressed the importance of unity. Traditionally a ceremonial role, Sahle-Work Zewde’s appointment is a tremendously symbolic move for Ethiopia, opening the door for gender parity.

In the 16th year of the annual list, German Chancellor Angela Merkel retained the top spot for the ninth consecutive year, followed by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Firm

“Forbes’ Most Powerful Women 2019 list reflects what is always known about power, how ephemeral it is and how volatile it can be,” says Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes Media.

“The world’s most powerful women are leading amidst a tumultuous time where geopolitical tensions are on the rise, key economies are facing instability, and where trust in institutions is at an all-time low.”

President Sahle-Work’s appointment is a tremendously symbolic move for the country, opening the door for gender parity.

President Sahle-Work also gets a mention, as Ethiopia’s first female president, in New African Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Africans of 2018, which stated: “Ethiopia’s advances in gender diversity enhance the standing of the region, where Rwanda is celebrated for having numerous female lawmakers in parliament.” This progress was applauded by the AU Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who said: “The momentum to recognize men and women as equal in politics is vital as we work towards the Africa we want.”

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