Ethiopia’s parliament today approved Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s new president, the first woman to hold the post.
Sahle-Work is at present U.N. under secretary general and special representative of the secretary general to the African Union.
She replaces Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, who tendered his resignation to parliament earlier on Wednesday.
Fitsum Arega, Chief of staff to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed described the appointment of Zewde as historic.
In a tweet today, Arega said:
“In a historic move, the two Houses have elected Ambassador Shalework Zewde as the next President of #Ethiopia.
“She is the first female head of state in modern Ethiopia. A career diplomat & senior official at the UN, she brings the right competence & experience to the office.
“In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life