H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
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H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, South Africa
South Africa

Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma is a trailblazer in the empowerment of women across the African continent. She became an active underground member of the African National Congress (a liberation movement in South Africa). She was also a member of the South African Students’ Organisation and was elected as its deputy president in 1976.


In July 2012, the African heads of state and government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, elected her chairperson of the African Union Commission. She is the first woman to lead the continental organisation, including its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity


After the 1994 elections, she was appointed as minister of health in the cabinet of then President Nelson Mandela.


During her tenure, she de-segregated the health system and championed the radical health reforms that introduced access to free basic health care. In 1999, then President Thabo Mbeki appointed Dr Dlamini Zuma as minister of foreign affairs. In this role, she actively championed South Africa’s foreign policy, which centered on the promotion of human rights, stability, peace, collective development and advancement of Africa.


In 2009, she was appointed minister of the Department of Home Affairs and brought about radical changes in the department, which subsequently achieved a clean audit for the first time in many years in 2011.


She started her studies in zoology and botany at the University of Zululand in 1971. She obtained her BSc degree and started her medical studies at the University of Natal. She completed her medical studies at the University of Bristol in the UK in 1978.


She was named among the Inaugural List of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2019 by Avance Media.

Photo Credit: Facebook