Saara Kuugongelwa

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Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila
MP
2020 Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (cropped).jpg
4th Prime Minister of Namibia
Assumed office
21 March 2015
PresidentHage Geingob
DeputyNetumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
Preceded byHage Geingob
Minister of Finance
In office
2003 – 21 March 2015
PresidentSam Nujoma
Hifikepunye Pohamba
Preceded byNangolo Mbumba
Succeeded byCalle Schlettwein
Director general of the National Planning Commission of Namibia
In office
1995–2003
PresidentSam Nujoma
Succeeded byImmanuel Ngatjizeko
Personal details
Born (1967-10-12) 12 October 1967 (age 54)
Otamanzi, South West Africa (now Namibia)
NationalityNamibia Namibian
Political partyFlag of South West Africa People's Organisation.svg SWAPO
Alma materLincoln University

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (born 12 October 1967) is the Prime Minister of Namibia, in office since 21 March 2015. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is a member of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). She has been a member of the National Assembly of Namibia since 1995 and served as Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2015. She is the first woman to serve as Prime Minister of Namibia.

Early life and education[edit]

Saara Kuugongelwa was born on 12 October 1967 in Otamanzi, South West Africa (present day Namibia). She went into exile with SWAPO in 1980 at the age of 13 and left for Sierra Leone in 1982 at the age of 15.[1] She attended Koidu Girls Secondary School from 1982 to 1984 and Saint Joseph's Secondary School from 1984 to 1987. From 1991 to 1994, she attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, United States, where she graduated with a MSc in financial economics.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila returned to Namibia following her graduation from Lincoln University and took a position as economist in the Office of the President under Sam Nujoma. In 1995, after only a few months in the job, Nujoma appointed her to parliament at the age of 27, and made her director general of the National Planning Commission,[2] a position in the rank of a minister. In 2003 Nujoma promoted her to Minister of Finance.[4][5]

Alongside President Hage Geingob, she was sworn in as the 4th Prime Minister of Namibia on 21 March 2015.[6] She is the first woman to hold the position.[4]

In May 2016, she took part in "A Conversation with The Right Honourable Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia," a moderated discussion with Wilson Center's Women in Public Service Project, the Wilson Center Africa Program, and the Constituency for Africa.[7] She has spoken about gender equality on numerous occasions, including during the Mali Prime Minister Modibo Keita's visit and in a speech (read by Christine Hoebes on her behalf) at the 10th Namibian Women's Summit where she stated that it would take 70 years to close the gender pay gap across Africa.[8][9]

Private life[edit]

Kuugongelwa is married to businessman Onesmus Tobias Amadhila.[5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

On Heroes' Day 2014, she was conferred the Most Brilliant Order of the Sun, Second Class.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE PRIME MINISTER OF REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA". OPM.gov.na. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Graham Hopwood:Who's Who, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Saara - Swapo Namibian Institute for Democracy Archived June 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Saara". Government of Namibia. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Profile: Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila". New Era. 12 March 2015.
  5. ^ a b Mongudhi, Tileni; Smith, Sonja (17 June 2022). "Kuugongelwa-Amadhila eyes presidential throne". The Namibian. pp. 1, 6.
  6. ^ Shinovene Immanuel and Theresia Tjihenuna, "Emotional transition", The Namibian, 23 March 2015.
  7. ^ "A Conversation with The Right Honourable Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia". WilsonCenter.org. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Gender equity vital to sustained growth". Namibia Economist. 19 August 2016.
  9. ^ Kahiurika, Ndanki (15 August 2016). "70 years to close gender gap – PM". The Namibian. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Namibians honoured by President". New Era. 28 August 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Namibia
2015–present
Incumbent