Togo Makes Historic Appointment with First Ever Woman Prime Minister

Togo made history this past Monday after it appointed Victoire Tomegah Dogbe as the country’s first ever woman Prime Minister, according to the BBC. Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe appointed Dogbe, his chief-of-staff since 2009, following the resignation of Komi Selom Klassou last week Friday. President Gnassingbe was reportedly due for a cabinet reshuffle in February of this year, however, this was delayed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Togo’s historic appointment follows that of Gabon which this past July, also appointed its first ever woman Prime Minister in Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. An economist by training, Ossouka Raponda has a history within the Gabonese government as she served as Budget Minister in 2012, and then went on to become Libraville’s first female mayor, writes OkayAfrica‘s Zinhle Ngema. Additionally, Ethiopia appointed its first ever woman president in former top diplomat, Sahle-Work Zewde.

While these are important sides especially for the advancement and representation of women in positions of leadership and governance, Dogbe (as has been the case with her peers) faces a number of challenges ahead. Her appointment comes shortly after ongoing protests which saw Togolese citizens demonstrating against President Gnassingbewho sought, and recently secured, a fourth term in office. As many as 800 000 protesters took part in massive national demonstrations in 2017 where, at the time, Reuters reported that at least two people were killed and 13 others injured.

However, congratulations are nonetheless still in order for Dogbe and only time will tell how her recent appointment will affect the Togloese government structures overall and more so, the country’s current political landscape.