Ameenah Gurib-Fakim: Muslim woman and Mauritius’s first female president

On June 1st, Ameenag Gurib-Fakim was elected president of Mauritius. This makes her the third female president of Africa. Gurib-Fakim is a renowned scientist and biologist, she even has a PhD in Chemistry. And to top it all: she was dean at the University of Mauritius and she even published over twenty books.

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She has led a number of projects supported by international agencies such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Canadian Development Agency. She is an adviser to the International Science Foundation of Sweden and a member of the scientific committee of the international program in chemical sciences at the University of Uppsala. She is an expert consultant on infectious diseases for Unicef, the United Nations Development Programme, World Bank and the World Health Organisation. Additionally, as a Muslim woman in a country where a mere 17.3% of the entire population is Muslim, she was able to gain enough votes to get elected.

At the moment, Gurib-Fakim is the only president who has no political background. When she was asked how she stumbled into politics, she replied: ‘I did not choose politics, but politics chose me.’ She explains that Lepep (her party) was looking for someone that had never been a part of the political area, and someone who portrayed credibility for both the people of Mauritius and the world. That person would be suitable to man a position which is not meant to be apolitical.

Source: Mail & Guardian

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Written by Hayat El Khattabi

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Hayat Jamal is a 22-year-old History student. She likes to read, write and practice sports.