Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has appointed the country’s first female Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda to the role of vice president

and named a new PM to replace her, his secretary-general said. The announcements were made on Monday.

Former Defence Minister Ossouka Raponda, 59, who had been appointed premier in July 2020 after her predecessor stepped down,

will now “assist” the head of state though the position does not allow for an interim role as president. She is the country’s first-ever female vice president.

The new vice president has had a steady political rise in Gabon which has been ruled by the same family for more than five decades.

She was named budget minister in 2012 before being elected mayor of the capital, Libreville, in 2014, becoming the first woman to hold that position since 1956.

She is an economist by training who graduated from the Gabonese Institute of Economy and Finance, specialising in public finance.