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Friday, December 4, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

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Gabon names 1st woman prime minister amid government shakeup

Gabon President Ali Bongo on Thursday promoted his defence minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, to prime minister on Thursday, the first time a woman has held the role in the country.

Ossouka Raponda, 56, is the sixth prime minister appointed since Bongo succeeded his father in 2009. Her first job is to form a new government after her predecessor, Julien Nkoghe Bekale, stepped down earlier in the day.

The president confirmed the appointment, through a message on his verified twitter handle which reads:

Today I appointed Ms. Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda as Prime Minister. For the first time in the history of #Gabon , a woman will hold this office. I thank his predecessor, @Pm_JulienNkoghe, which fulfilled its mission with loyalty and efficiency.

She will take on two major challenges: declining oil production and prices, which have weighed on growth in recent years, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The Central African country has registered nearly 6 000 cases to date.

Ossouka Raponda will also have to navigate a delicate political scene that was shaken up when Bongo, 61, had a stroke in 2018, followed by a long medical leave abroad, during which there was a brief coup attempt.

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