Ethiopia names first woman in ceremonial role of president

The ascension of Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, a former ambassador and United Nations employee, to the largely ceremonial role would make her Africa's only current woman President.
The ascension of Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, a former ambassador and United Nations employee, to the largely ceremonial role would make her Africa's only current woman President.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SAHLEWORK ZEWDE

NAIROBI (BLOOMBERG) - Ethiopia's Parliament on Thursday (Oct 25) appointed the nation's first female President, about a week after the government was reorganised to give women half of all Cabinet posts.

The ascension of Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, a former ambassador and United Nations employee, to the largely ceremonial role would make her Africa's only current woman President.

It's the latest change since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in April, promising greater political freedoms and urging exiled opposition groups to take part in multi-party elections.

Parliament in the capital, Addis Ababa, backed Ms Sahle-Work as President on Thursday in a vote televised by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp.

The previous president, Mr Mulatu Teshome, resigned this week with a year of his term still remaining. He didn't publicly give his reason for doing so.