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Senegalese-Born Sibeth Ndiaye Named Government Spokeswoman In France

Her appointment has been called "a strong endorsement of diversity" by President Macron, but some are skeptical.

In a series of cabinet changes made by France's President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the European Parliament elections, Senegalese-born media advisor Sibeth Ndiaye has been given the prestigious title of government spokeswoman.

Born in Dakar, 39-year-old Ndiaye is the first person of African-descent to hold the position. She became a French citizen in 2016 when working as communications advisor for Macron's presidential campaign, Yahoo News reports. Ndiaye comes from a family of politicians, her mother was president of Senegal's Constitutional Council.

Ndiaye has been dedicated to the president since, reportedly telling a French newspaper that she'd be "perfectly comfortable lying to protect the president," according to BBC Africa. Though she later denied making the statement, incidents such as these have made her a target for criticism in opposition circles.

READ: Why Harassing Powerful Black Women Is Fair Game In France

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Op-Ed

100 Women Letter From the Editor

OkayAfrica's Editor in Chief Rachel Hislop tells us what 100 Women 2019 means to her.

Every time I reflect on my career in journalism, a memory close enough to touch reappears. The feel of the smooth glossy paper under my index finger while I sat, legs folded, on the iron-burned carpet in the Brooklyn bedroom I shared with my sister is still palpable. I would run my finger down the magazine mastheads, reading every name and corresponding title as I tried to imagine what their jobs entailed. This was long before we had access to content in a digital space. There wasn't a quick place for me to explore the world that existed within the binds of a magazine, so I assumed this space was out of reach.

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