The Island nation Mauritius can proudly say that they recognized the mettle of a female candidate. The MSM -PSMD  – ML alliance became the first government to usher in change by unanimously enabling a woman’s appointment to the country’s highest office. Ameenah Gurib Fakim is the first female head of state for the nation. Here’s five things you need to know about the circumstances surrounding her appointment, her own history, and what is expected of her as President:


1. Resignation of Incumbent President Kailash Purryag:

Ameenah Gurib Fakim’s appointment followed the stepping down of Kailash Purryag, who was the acting figurehead of the state since his appointment back in 2012. However, the MSM/PSMD/ML alliance led by Sir Anerood Jugnauth emerged as the victors in the in December 2014 elections, and the alliance coerced Purryag to step down, to make way for the election of their candidate Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. At the end of a five month process to ensure a smooth transition, he finally stepped down on 29 May 2015.


2. Ameenah Gurib Fakim is in fact, ‘DR.’ Ameenah Gurib Fakim:


Ameenah Gurib Fakim, the woman of the hour, is no stranger to the limelight. She is already an internationally renowned public figure, in her capacity as a scientist and Biologist. She is the Managing Director of the Centre for Phytotherapy Research (CEPHYR) and also full Professor with a personal chair in Organic Chemistry at the University of Mauritius – where she has also served as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro Vice Chancellor.


3. The Ph. D and Author:

The Ph. D holder is an alumnus of the University of Surrey and the University of Exeter. She is also a published author, and has written numerous scientific articles and authored and co-edited more than 26 books and several book chapters. In fact, she was the lead author on the ‘Global Agricultural Assessment’ spearheaded by the World Bank.



4. The Environmentalist:

That’s right – she is an environmentalist before anything else. Being a champion of environmental conservation and sustainable development, she was invited to several consultation meetings of the World Bank on environmental issues. Interestingly enough, she has also delivered a TED Talk with almost a million hits, on rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa which might offer a new treatment for asthma, and could hold the key to the future of food.


5. Appointment and Term:


The Mauritian Parliament is to go ahead with the protocol of putting it to final vote today that is Monday, June 1.  Following that, she will be grandly appointed through a swearing-in ceremony set to take place later in the day, according to officials. She stands at the brink of a five-year term as President.



Image Courtesy: TED