First female president of Ethiopia and only female head of state in Africa in 2018, Sahle-Work Zewde is a seasoned diplomat who has dedicated her career to promoting peace, development and international cooperation.

Born in Addis Ababa in 1950, Sahle-Work Zewde made history by becoming the first female president of Ethiopia in 2018. A seasoned diplomat, she has extensive experience with the United Nations and the African Union, having served as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the African Union.

Her career illustrates the excellence and leadership of African women on the international stage. Her election to the presidency of Ethiopia is a strong symbol for gender equality and the empowerment of women on the continent.

A Diplomat Without Equal

A graduate in natural sciences from the University of Montpellier, Sahle-Work Zewde began her diplomatic career in 1989 as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Senegal. She then held various high-level diplomatic positions, representing her country in Djibouti, France and at the United Nations.

Her appointment in 2009 as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Central African Republic is a testament to her skills and commitment to peace and security in Africa.

A Committed President

As the first female president of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde has pledged to promote peace, democracy, and sustainable development in her country. She has also played a crucial role in defending the rights of women and girls in Africa.

Her leadership inspires new generations of African women to get involved in politics and break the glass ceiling.

A Role Model for African Women

Sahle-Work Zewde is an inspiring role model for women in Africa and around the world. Her exceptional career demonstrates that women are capable of holding the highest positions and making significant contributions to the development of their countries and the continent.

Her unanimous election to the presidency of Ethiopia by parliament is a victory for gender equality and a symbol of hope for a better future in Africa.

Sahle-Work Zewde is a true trailblazer who is paving the way for other women to achieve their full potential. She is an inspiration to all of us.

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