Veteran human rights activist Aminata Touré was named Prime Minister of Senegal on Sunday after the ouster of her predecessor, Abdoul Mbaye.

The appointment makes Touré, who formally served as the nation’s justice minister, the second female Prime Minister in Senegal’s history.

After taking office, Touré wasted no time naming her cabinet, which includes four other women. Although she’s been on the job for less than a week, Touré has already received both praise and criticism for tapping Sidiki Kaba as her replacement as justice minister because of his support of decimalizing homosexuality in Senegal.

Touré, 51, has been an activist her entire life, working for the Communist Worker’s League while attending university; advocating for humans rights as head of the United Nations Population Fund’s gender and human right’s branch; pushing her government to do more to empower women; and fighting corruption in Senegal through her position as justice minister.

Dubbed Senegal’s “Iron Lady,” Touré holds a Masters in Economics and a PhD in International Financial Management.

In a speech to reporters announcing her appointment, Touré promised to continue to work to improve the lives of Senegal’s citizens.

“We will speed up the pace of our public development programs and reforms to enable every person in Senegal to feel the change in their daily livelihood.”

*Read more about Touré at the awesome blog, Africa Is A Country

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  • Miss E

    Yass!!! how i wish this would happen in my native country Ghana which sadly has only 30 women in the legislature/ house of parliament (out of over 200 parliamentarians). I have always said that because Africa is the cradle of humanity, most African cultures appreciated the value of women & were very pro-women & feminist before foreign religions were introduced into Africa. This is the reason why we black people boast of a history full of amazing women like Queen Amina, the brave warrior queen who swore never to get married because she would not be ‘dominated’ by a man, Queen Yaa Asantewa who led an army to fight British invaders & women like Harriet Tubman who bravely fought against slavery & helped people to escape to freedom without losing even one person!To all my fellow black sisters of African descent (Africans, African Americans, Carribbeans, Afro Latinas, all black women) I say that it’s time for us to take back the power & take our rightful places in society!

    • Don’t worry it will soon come to be so in your country Ghana. Your country and many African countries are young but with time there are female leaders being cultivated as we speak right now. There is even an Ellen Sirleaf for Ghana and every African country. Africa is rising. Even Malawi has a female president….there is something amazing happening.

  • She looks so wise and lovely…the epitome of a powerhouse woman. I can see promise for Senegal in her smile.

  • niksmit

    She sounds like a good leader. I hope her administration is a good one and “decimalizing” is a typo for “decriminalizing.”

  • nice – hope she can do great things

  • Anthony

    Wow, it is great to see truly progressive people gain power. As an American, constantly dealing with full blown reactionaries or overly timid moderates, it is nice to see someone elected somewhere who really wants to implement change.