Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé has appointed the country’s first ever female prime minister. Victoire Tomegah Dogbe, aged 60, became the first female prime minister of the tiny West African nation of about eight million people on Monday.
Dogbe replaces Komi Selom Klassou, who resigned as prime minister on Friday, a position he held since 2015.
Victoire Tomegah Dogbé is an economics and marketing graduate and had held a senior post in the president’s office.
Dogbe is a popular figure in the West African country, having served in several positions under Gnassingbe’s government in the past decade, including working as his chief-of-staff, director of the cabinet of the President of the Republic and more recently as Minister for youth and grassroots development, according to local media reports.
Prior to joining politics, she worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) according to information from the agency.
Dogbe reputedly has vast experience in governance and administration, and has been deeply involved in the country’s fight against youth unemployment and poverty, introducing reforms that have been praised as a local success in her country, according to Togo-First, an online publication in the country.
Her appointment comes after an expected cabinet reshuffle, which was delayed by the country’s fight against coronavirus pandemic, following the controversial re-election of Gnassingbe, who has ruled Togo since 2005.
He inherited power from his father who, before his death, ruled Togo for 38 years, dating back to a 1967 coup.
Despite a series of protests between 2017 — 2019 calling for an end to a single family rule in Togo, Gnassingbe forced a constitutional reform in 2019 that allowed him to run for an election which he won easily in February 2020. His current tenure runs till 2025.
The 56-year-old leader has seen growing opposition, following slowed economic growth, accusations of electoral fraud, corruption and human rights violations.
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