Africa is set to remain without a single female head of state after Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim resigned on Saturday, with her lawyer saying she would vacate office on Friday 23 March.
Ammenah has been the only female president in Africa since January 22 when Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf handed over to incumbent President George Weah.
The African continent is made up of 54 fully recognized states, but most of which have never been led by a woman.
Ameenah is among just five women that have had a stint as heads of state in various nations.
- Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri: acting President of South Africa (24 September 2008 – 25 September 2008).
- Rose Francine Rogombé: acting President of Gabon (10 June 2009 – 16 October 2009).
- Monique Ohsan Bellepeau: acting President of Mauritius (29 May 2015 – 5 June 2015).
- Joyce Banda: President of Malawi (7 April 2012 – 31 May 2014).
- Catherine Samba-Panza: acting President of the Central African Republic (23 January 2014 – 30 March 2016).
Ameenah’s resignation means none of the 54 countries in Africa will has a female head of state, though the number of female politicians across the continent continues to soar higher.
Though the continent now lacks a female head of state, there are a few vice presidents and prime ministers including;
- Inonge Wina – vice president of Zambia
- Fatoumata Tambajang – vice president of The Gambia
- Jewel Taylor – vice president of Liberia
- Samia Suluhu – vice president of Tanzania
- Saara Kuugongelwa – prime minister of Namibia