Africa is on the rise and women on the continent are poised to be among Africa’s leaders. Recently, South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma narrowly beat incumbent African Union Chairman Jean Ping to take over leadership of the collective.

Although voting has been contentious and largely split among linguistic lines, with Dlamini-Zuma earning most of the votes from English-speaking countries and Ping securing votes from French-speaking nations, the six-month deadlock was finally resolved, bestowing leadership upon Dlamini-Zuma, making her the African Union’s first female chairperson.

The BBC reports:

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. 

She is one of her country’s longest-serving ministers.

Although some are critical that Dlamini-Zuma’s chairpersonship violates the unofficial rule that the AU’s leader shouldn’t come from one of the continent’s dominate nations, it’s hard not to root for a sister who has made history. Let’s hope she can help the AU live up to its goal of increasing intra-Africa trade and stabilizing many of the continent’s struggling governments.

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  • jamesfrmphilly


  • First female? What kind of female? Lion? Tiger? Parrot? I only ask because human females are correctly referred to a women!

    • T.

      I agree with you in gneral – I hate the use of female as a *noun* to refer to a woman. However, in this case the use of female as an *adjective* to qualify “leader” is, I think, acceptable.

  • tee

    Too proud of our minister, this women in power pact. Congratulations!!