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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.

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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Amapiano Pioneer DJ Stokie Shares His Journey In New Documentary ‘iPiano eSoweto: The DJ Stokie Story’

Pioneering amapiano deejay, Stokie's newly released documentary 'iPiano eSoweto' details his musical journey through his lens and that of friends, peers and fans.