Saara Kuugongelwa

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Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

MP
4th Prime Minister of Namibia
Assumed office
21 March 2015
PresidentHage Geingob
Preceded byHage Geingob
Minister of Finance
In office
2003 – 21 March 2015
PresidentSam Nujoma
Hifikepunye Pohamba
Hage Geingob
Preceded byNangolo Mbumba
Succeeded byCalle Schlettwein
Director General of the National Planning Commission of Namibia
In office
1995–2003
PresidentSam Nujoma
Succeeded byImmanuel Ngatjizeko
Personal details
Born (1967-10-12) 12 October 1967 (age 51)
Otamanzi, South West Africa (now Namibia)
Political partySWAPO
Alma materLincoln University,
Pennsylvania

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (born 12 October 1967) is the fourth and current Prime Minister of Namibia, in office since 21 March 2015. Kuugongelwa is a member of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). She has been a member of the National Assembly of Namibia since 1995 and served as Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2015.[1][2] She is the first woman to serve as Prime Minister of Namibia.

Exile[edit]

Born in Otamanzi, Omusati, Kuugongelwa went into exile with SWAPO in 1980 at the age of 13 and left for Sierra Leone in 1982 at the age of 15.[3] She attended Koidu Girls Secondary School from 1982 to 1984 and Saint Joseph's Secondary School from 1984 to 1987. From 1991 to 1994, Kuugongelwa attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, United States, where she graduated with a degree in economics.[1]

Political career[edit]

Kuugongelwa returned to Namibia following graduation from Lincoln and took a position as a desk officer in the Office of the President under President Sam Nujoma. At the age of 27 in 1995, Kuugongelwa was named Director General of the National Planning Commission, a position in the rank of a minister. She was appointed as Minister of Finance in 2003.[2]

On Heroes' Day 2014 she was conferred the Most Brilliant Order of the Sun, Second Class.[4]

Alongside President Hage Geingob, Kuugongelwa was sworn in as the 4th Prime Minister of Namibia on 21 March 2015.[5] She is the first woman to hold the position.[2]

In May 2016 Kuugongelwa took part in "A Conversation with The Right Honourable Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia," a moderated discussion with Wilson Center's Women in Public Service Project, the Wilson Center Africa Program, and the Constituency for Africa.[6] She has spoken about gender equality on numerous occasions, including during the Mali Prime Minister Modibo Keita's visit and in a speech (read by Christine Hoebes on her behalf) at the 10th Namibian Women's Summit where she stated that it would take 70 years to close the gender pay gap across Africa.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Graham Hopwood:Who's Who, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Saara - Swapo Namibian Institute for Democracy Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c "Profile: Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila". New Era. 12 March 2015.
  3. ^ "THE PRIME MINISTER OF REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA". OPM.gov.na. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Namibians honoured by President". New Era. 28 August 2014.
  5. ^ Shinovene Immanuel and Theresia Tjihenuna, "Emotional transition", The Namibian, 23 March 2015.
  6. ^ "A Conversation with The Right Honourable Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia". WilsonCenter.org. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Gender equity vital to sustained growth". Namibia Economist. 19 August 2016.
  8. ^ Kahiurika, Ndanki (15 August 2016). "70 years to close gender gap – PM". The Namibian. p. 1.
Political offices
Preceded by
Hage Geingob
Prime Minister of Namibia
2015–present
Incumbent