First Female Leader for African Union

Getty Images
Getty Images

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, South Africa's home affairs minister, has become the first female leader of the African Union after being elected on Sunday at a summit of heads of state and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She beat incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon after a hard-fought race for the position, BBC News reports:

In January, neither got the required two-thirds majority, leaving Mr Ping in office for another six months.

The dispute has overshadowed other issues, especially security and trade.

Voting had been broadly split along linguistic lines, with English-speaking countries tending to support Ms Dlamini-Zuma and French-speaking countries lining up behind Mr Ping.

Senior officials had warned that failure to resolve the leadership deadlock would divide the AU and undermine its credibility.

Ms Dlamini-Zuma, the former wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, won the leadership of the AU commission in a third round of voting.

She got 37 votes at the 54-member body, giving her the 60% majority she needed to be elected.

The 63-year-old is currently South Africa's home affairs minister, and has also had spells as minister of health and of foreign affairs.


Read more at the BBC.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter