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Egypt’s Sisi Congratulates Ethiopia’s First Female President Sahle-Work Zewde

Egypt’s Sisi Congratulates Ethiopia’s First Female President Sahle-Work Zewde

Eduardo Soteras/AFP/Getty Images

President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi sent a cable of greetings to Ethiopia’s newly-elected first female president Sahle Zewde and congratulated her over her new post, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement on Friday.

In the statement, the president said that he aspires to “further strengthen the relations of cooperation and brotherhood between Egypt and Ethiopia to achieve the common interests of the two countries, and guarantee the two brotherly peoples more development and progress.”

El Sisi also praised the Ethiopian parliament for showing trust in Sahle Zewde and electing her as Ethiopia’s new leader.

Sahle Zewde, 68, is a seasoned diplomat who has held positions in the United Nations and worked with peace keeping operations in Africa, as well as leading Defence Ministry and the secret intelligence agency (which is now named as the Ministry of Peace).

Prime Minister’s chief of staff Fitsum Arega said on Twitter that, “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.”

“I am a product of people who fought for equality and political freedom in this country, and I will work hard to serve them,” Ms Zewde said in her acceptance speech to Parliament.

She also added that she will focus on a lot of issues regarding women, stating, “If you thought I spoke a lot about women already, know that I am just getting started.”

A week earlier, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed filled half of his new cabinet with women, which was marked as historical for the country.

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