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Gabon appoints its first female prime minister

Gabon’s first female prime minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda will replace Julien Nkoghe Bekale, who had been in the position since January 2019.

Gabon appoints its first female prime minister www.africanstand.com
Ossouka Raponda’s appointment comes at a time when opposition and civil society leaders are once more openly questioning Bongo’s fitness to govern after he suffered a stroke in October 2018.

(African Stand) — Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba on Thursday named a new Prime Minister in the person of Madame Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. She becomes the country’s first female Prime Minister.

She will replace Julien Nkoghe Bekale, who had been in the position since January 2019. Her appointment was announced by the presidential spokesperson. Until her appointment, she was the Minister of Defense under her predecessor.

He said the president had instructed her to form a new government to run the affairs of the central Africa oil producer. She is the fifth premier to serve under the Ali Bongo presidency.

But Prime Minister Raponda is not new to political history. She became the first woman to be elected mayor of the capital Libreville in 2014.

The role of PM has so far being occupied by 11 men since the first occupant in the person of Leon M’ba. The PM post was abolished between 1961 and 1975.

The longest-serving PM was Leon Mebiame who lasted 15 years in the role under the presidency of Omar Bongo, father of the current president. Serving between 1975 and 1990.

Who is Gabon’s new prime minister?

Ossouka Raponda, 56, was promoted from the defence ministry and takes over from Julien Nkoghe Bekale, who was appointed prime minister in January 2019.

She is an economist by training who graduated from the Gabonese Institute of Economy and Finance, specialising in public finance.

In 2012, she first became a budget minister and then the first female mayor of the capital Libreville in 2014, as a candidate for Bongo’s Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG).

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