Friday, November 28, 2014

Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma-1st Woman Chairperson of African Union Commission

Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma is a South African politician and former anti-apartheid activist. She was South Africa's Minister of Health from 1994 to 1999, under President Nelson Mandela, then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 17 June 1999 to 10 May 2009, under Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Molanthe. She was moved to the position of Minister of Home Affairs in the Cabinet of President Jacob Zuma, her ex-husband, on 10 May 2009 a capacity in which she served until her resignation on 2 October 2012.
On 15 July 2012, Dlamini-Zuma was elected by the African Union Commission as its chairperson, making her the 1st woman to lead the organization (including its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity).  She took office on 15 October 2012. During her studies in the early 1970s, Dlamini-Zuma became an active underground member of the (then banned) African National Congress (ANC). At the same time, she was also a member of the South African Students Organisation and was elected as its deputy president in 1976. During her tenure as Minister of Health she de-segregated the health system and gave poor people access to free basic healthcare. Dlamini-Zuma was also criticized for supporting the anti-AIDS drug, Virodene, which was cheaper than other drugs but rejected by the scientific community as ineffective. Dlamini-Zuma brought forward the Tobacco Products Control Bill in 1999, which made it illegal for anyone to smoke in public places. Dlamini-Zuma has been awarded honorary Doctor of Law degrees by both the University of Natal (1995) and the University of Bristol (1996).                                                                

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