The Central African state of Gabon under the leadership of President Ali Bongo have, on Thursday, appointed defense minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda as the country’s first female Prime Minister. She served as Budget Minister in 2012, and then went on to become Libreville’s first female mayor.
This will be the fourth overhaul since an attempted coup in January 2019, which occurred while Bongo, 61, was in Saudi Arabia recovering from a stroke. Bongo has ruled the oil-producing nation since winning 2009 elections held months following his father’s demise. Omar Bongo died in office after 41 years in power.
With a global pandemic and struggling to recover from the collapse in the price of crude oil, Ossouka is inheriting a nation in trouble. In a statement, the president’s office said Ossouka Raponda’s mission would include “ensuring (Gabon’s) economic relaunch and necessary social support in the light of the world crisis linked to COVID-19”.
J’ai nommé ce jour au poste de premier ministre Mme Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda.
Pour la première fois dans l’Histoire du #Gabon, une femme occupera cette fonction.
Je remercie son prédécesseur, @Pm_JulienNkoghe, qui a rempli avec loyauté et efficacité sa mission. pic.twitter.com/vI5vQewHat
— Ali Bongo Ondimba (@PresidentABO) July 16, 2020