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Sahle-Work Zewde Becomes Ethiopia's First Female President

The former diplomat was chosen for the ceremonial role in a unanimous vote by parliament on Thursday.

In yet another history-making move, Ethiopia's parliament has chosen former top diplomat, Sahle-Work Zewde as the country's new president, making her the first woman to serve in the position and the only current female head of state in Africa.

Her appointment comes after the landmark decision, spearheaded by reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last week, to appoint 50 precent of Ethiopia's cabinet positions to women.

President Zewde was sworn in by a unanimous vote during the second Special Joint Session of Ethiopia's two houses of parliament on Thursday, reports Al Jazeera. She takes on the largely ceremonial position, following the unexpected resignation of former president Mulatu Teshome.


During her speech in parliament the new head of state urged members to work towards peace in the nation, especially for the sake of women. "I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace."

Zewde has served in several high-level diplomatic positions throughout her career. She was the head of the UN office to the African Union immediately before her appointment. Prior to that she head of peace-building in Central African Republic for the UN, and she served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti, according to BBC Africa.

"In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life," wrote the prime minister's chief of staff, Fitsum Arega on Twitter.

The symbolic decision is being celebrated by Ethiopians and international observers, who are expressing pride at the progress being made in the country's political sphere towards gender inclusion.











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The 8 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (February)

Featuring Davido, Teni, Joeboy, Mr Eazi, Tems, Burna Boy, Femi Kuti and more.

Here are the best, and most noteworthy, Nigerian tracks we had on repeat this month.

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Here are 11 Oscar-Worthy African Feature Films to Watch

While Ivory Coast's 'Night of the Kings' and Tunisia's 'The Man Who Sold His Skin' have been shortlisted for the "Best International Feature Film", here are 9 additional films that made strong contenders for an Oscar.

The Oscars are only a few months away. While Tunisia and Ivory Coast were the only African countries to have been shortlisted for the Oscars in the "Best International Feature Film" category, there are a number of African feature films that are certainly Oscar-worthy and a must-watch. Africa is no stranger to the Oscars party having triumphed in this category three times already, starting with 1970 when the Costa-Gavras Algerian-French co-production, Z dazzled the world. The latest win arrived in 2006 with South Africa's crime drama, Tsotsi.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the professional organization that awards the Oscars, put forward, at the beginning of this year, an approved list of ninety-three countries that submitted films eligible for consideration in the "Best International Feature Film" category for the forthcoming 93rd Oscars. In order to qualify for the category, the film must be feature-length (more than 40 minutes), produced outside of the United States with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue.

This year had African films being some of the strongest Oscars submissions they have ever been. Eleven African countries were initially represented in the Academy's approved list. Algeria had submitted its entry, Heliopolis earlier but it was curiously missing. Sources report that the country voluntarily withdrew its submission but the reason is yet to be made clear. Among the countries, Sudan and Lesotho were first-time participants in the process. Although Tunisia and Ivory Coast ultimately outcompeted the rest, the high quality of submissions this year is a reflection of the filmmaking talent on the continent despite severe structural limitations.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on April 25. In the meanwhile, here is a list of 11 African feature films that were initially submitted to this year's Oscars and made (or still make, in two instances) strong contenders for an award in the "Best International Feature Film" category.

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Nasty C Set to Appear on the 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

Nasty C will make his daytime US television debut on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' this Friday. He's also set to perform his latest single 'Black and White' alongside Ari Lennox.

South African rapper Nasty C has announced that he will be appearing on the popular US television show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, this Friday. This will be the artist's debut on US daytime television having previously performed "They Don't" alongside T.I. on late night television show, Late Night with Seth Meyers. The artist recently shared the exciting news via social media.

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Interview: Rexxie Steers His Street Sound Into Mainstream Afropop

In conversation with Nigerian producer Rexxie on the rise of his Afro-streets sound.