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Mauritius gets a new president in the person of a female scientist

June 9, 2015 Renowned scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has become the first female president of Mauritius after getting the thumbs up from the country’s parliament. The 56 year old takes over from former ceremonial president, Kailash Purryag, who stepped down recently. She has high ambitions and hopes to steer the Indian Ocean Island famed for being the country with the least corruption in Africa, towards a new direction.

Maya Hanoomanjee, a speaker of parliament, said Gurib-Fakim had overwhelming support of the parliament, even the opposition, as well as the country. She described the scientist’s appointment as a historic day for the people of Mauritius, saying “I have always believed in the equality of men and women,”

President Gurib-Fakim is currently director of the Mauritius-headquartered Centre for Phytotherapy Research which carries out research on plants for use in cosmetics, nutrition and therapy. She studied in Britain and has worked with various institutions such as the World Bank. In 1989, she was awarded the C.Chem award by the Royal Society of Chemistry in recognition of her skills and contribution to the field.

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