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Society | Gender - Women | Politics

First female Prime Minister in Mozambique

Prime Minister Luísa Dias Diogo

© Mozambican Presidency / afrol News
afrol News, 17 February
- Luísa Dias Diogo, until now Finance Minister of Mozambique, has today been named the country's first female Prime Minister ever. Mozambican President Joaquim Alberto Chissano gave Ms Diogo the post after long-serving Prime Minister Pascoal Manual Mocumbi had resigned from office.

According to the Mozambican Presidency, Mr Mocumbi had resigned from his post as Prime Minister due to the "new obligations" he had acquired in an international organisation. No further information was however given on the new work of Mr Mocumbi.

The 63-year-old ex-Prime Minister, a trained doctor, had occupied the largely ceremonial post since 1994, before that, Mr Mocumbi had been the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) Minister of Health and of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Mocumbi last year for the first time indicated that he was heading for an international office when he was one of the favourite candidates to become the new Secretary-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Last month, Mr Mocumbi announced that he would step down before this year's presidential elections - a move that has been connected to Frelimo's choice of businessman Armando Guebuza to succeed President Chissano.

After Mr Mocumbi's resignation, President Chissano today named Ms Diogo as the new Prime Minister of Mozambique. She now occupies the office of Finance Minister and, according to the Presidency, is to combine the two posts until the elections.

Luísa Dias Diogo, who is 46 years old, married and the mother of three children, will enter Mozambican history books as the country's first ever woman Head of Government. She has been Minister of Finance and Planning since 1994. Before that, Ms Diogo was Deputy Minister in the same Ministry between 1986 and 1989, while also heading the National Budgetary Direction between 1982 and 1989.

She has an education of development economy from various international universities. Since working in government, Ms Diogo has been the chief responsible for heading Mozambique's negotiations with international finance institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). During her time as Finance Minister, Mozambique has noted substantial economic growth, but has been unable to substantially reduce poverty.

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