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Sahle-Work Zewde becomes first female president of Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA named Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president on Thursday as she stressed the need for unity and promised to be a voice for women.

Ms Zewde became Africa’s only serving female head of state having been appointed to the role with the unanimous support of the country’s two houses of parliament – the House of People’s Representatives and the House of the Federation.

She is the latest woman to take on a prominent role in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government with half of the 20-strong Ethiopian cabinet posts going to women in a recent reshuffle.

The career diplomat replaces Mulatu Teshome and is expected to serve two six-year terms.

Speaking in parliament after her appointment, she said: “Government and opposition parties have to understand we are living in a common house and focus on things that unite us, not what divides us, to create a country and generation that will make all of us proud.

“The absence of peace victimises firstly women, so during my tenure I will emphasise women’s roles in ensuring peace and the dividends of peace for women.”

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