The Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) has elected Sahlework Zewde as the first female president in Ethiopia.

The appointment of Sahilework makes her the first female president in the modern history of the nation.


But who’s Salhlework Zewude?

The newly elected president, Sahilework Zewde graduated in natural sciences from the University of Montpellier, France and is fluent in French and English on the top of the national language Amharic.

She is a high-flying Ethiopian diplomat with years of experience with the UN and the Foreign Ministry of Ethiopia.

Prior to her appointment as the first female president of Ethiopia, Sahilework Zewde served as 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. She was the first African woman appointed to this position.

Few months back, she also worked as a Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).

Other international positions she has previously held including Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peace build Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).

Moreover, she served as Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sahilework also served as Ethiopian Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco (2002-2006).

She has played a major role in the efforts made to return the Axum obelisk from Rome, which was plundered by the Italian fascist in 1930’s.

From 1993 to 2002, she served as Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), and served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea (1989-1993).

According to Article 70 of the Ethiopian constitution, “The House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) shall nominate the candidate for President and the nominee shall be elected President if a joint session of the HPR and the House of the Federation approves his candidacy by a two-thirds majority vote.”

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