President Sahle-Work Recognised for her role in Empowering African Women

ADDIS ABABA – DR Congo, the current chair of the African Union,  has given President Sahle-Work Zewde an award for her significant contribution to the empowerment of women in Ethiopia and Africa.

DR Congo’s Ministry of Women, Family and Children presented the award to President Sahle-Work on the occasion of the annual Pan African Women’s Day.



The Ministry recognized outstanding African women who have made significant contributions to their country and their continent, the President Office of Ethiopia said on Wednesday.

Sahle-work was recognized for “her outstanding contribution to the empowerment of women in various fields at home, Africa and internationally, as well as to increase women’s participation in various economic, social and political fields,” the Office added.

Ethiopian Ambassador to the DR Congo Woinshet Tadesse received the award.

Apart from Sahle-Work, the DR Congo has awarded other former and current African Presidents including former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

DR Congo is the current chair of the African Union, after its President Felix- Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo received the baton from President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa, last February.

About Sahle-Work

​Sahle-Work was elected as the fifth President and first woman President of Ethiopia on 25 October 2018.  

Her career started in the Ministry of Education but, in 1988, she went on to later join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where her long diplomatic carrier began. She first served as Ethiopian Ambassador to Senegal with accreditation to Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and the Gambia.

She served as Ambassador in Djibouti and as Permanent Representative to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for 10 years. Sahle-work was subsequently appointed as Ambassador of Ethiopia to France, Tunisia and Morocco and Permanent Representative to UNESCO.

After her return to Ethiopia, she was appointed Permanent Representative to the African Union and Director General for African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

President Sahle-Work joined the United Nations in 2009 and served as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peace-building Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) thus becoming the first African woman to become an SRSG.  

In 2011, she was appointed as the first dedicated Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) at the level of Under-Secretary-General. In June 2018, Sahle-Work was appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as his Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU). She was the first woman to hold these two positions.

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