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Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda is Gabon's first female prime minister

Gabon Elects First Female Prime Minister in Light of Government Shake Up

President Ali Bongo makes history by promoting the former defence minister into the coveted position.

History has been made in the Central African state of Gabon. On Thursday, President Ali Bongo appointed Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda as the country's first female Prime Minister.

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.


While congratulations are in order, Ossouka Raponda has great challenges ahead. With a global pandemic and struggling to recover from the collapse in the price of crude oil, Ossouka is inheriting a nation in trouble. The president said in a statement, " [Ossouka Raponda will be] ensuring Gabon's economic relaunch and necessary social support in light of the world crisis linked to COVID-19."

Her election also comes at a time when opposition and political commentators are questioning the wellbeing of President Bongo after he suffered a stroke in October 2018. After having spent some time abroad for his treatment, an attempt at a coup shocked the nation in January 2019

Months later, Bongo's right-hand man was arrested when authorities launched an anti-corruption initiative. Others arrested included four former ministers.

After spending some time away from the public eye, President Bongo reappeared in the news on Monday while pictured at a meeting of heads of the various branches of the armed forces and police.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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