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.