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.
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.