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AfricaMoney | October 16, 2017

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Prominent scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim designated first woman president of Mauritius

Prominent scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim designated first woman president of Mauritius

Ameenah Gurib-Fakim will be the first lady to take on the mantle of Mauritian President, and this distinguished role follows on the heels of other great achievements in a brilliant career as an internationally renowned biologist and scientist, marked with the distinction of her being the first Mauritian to engage in medicinal plant research. (Image: Company)

The first lady to become a University Professor in Mauritius, and the first woman to be appointed dean of the Faculty of Science, internationally renowned biologist and scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim already has many firsts to her credit in the academic domain, and now, serves as a pioneer in the political sphere, where she has been designated the first woman president of the Republic of Mauritius.

When AfricaMoney asked the President for a message for women in Mauritius to whom she represents a laudable role model, she stated: “I do not consider myself to be anyone special, but I do like a job well done. If there is any message that I can give to the ladies, it is first to enjoy what you do, then surround yourselves with competent and capable people, and never cut corners or compromise on the quality of your work! Remember, quality transcends time!”

Born in 1959, Ameena Gurib-Fakim is a pioneer in Mauritius in conducting research on medicinal plants. She believes that to make headway in the agricultural sector, Mauritius would be well served to join hands with African economies, thus demonstrating a clear vision in terms of partnering Africa for the island economy’s sustainable development.

She is currently the Managing Director of the Centers for Phytotherapy Research (CEPHYR) and Professor of Organic Chemistry, with an endowed chair by the University of Mauritius. She was elected Chairperson of the International Council for Scientific Union –Regional Office for Africa —for the period (2011-2014). Since 2001, she has served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor (2004-2010) of the University of Mauritius. She has also worked at the Mauritius Research Council as Manager for Research (1995-1997).

On her first steps as the premier lady President of Mauritius, she told AfricaMoney: “I personally think —and this is entirely my own opinion and vouches only for my involvement in the process —that the Office of the President should be called upon to act as a ‘Think Tank’and engage in issues that are relevant to the economy and country at large. There is a lot that can be achieved if only we put our minds behind solving critical economic issues!”

Finally, Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth will propose the name of Dr Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, for election as President of the Republic of Mauritius at the National Assembly on 4 June 2015.

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