The gender-parity cabinet has reached West Africa with the new government in Guinea-Bissau boasting as many men as there are women.
The new government under the leadership of Prime Minister Aristides Gomes has 16 ministries – eight of which will be headed by women. There are also 15 deputy ministers to help in running government business.
Guinea-Bissau is thus following in the footsteps of Rwanda and more recently Ethiopia under Abiy Ahmed and in South Africa as per President Ramaphosa’s first cabinet after elections in May.
The formation of the cabinet came via a decree issued by President José Mário Vaz. It comes almost four months after the March 10 legislative elections which the ruling party won, and is in line with demands by the subregional bloc, ECOWAS’s directives.
Portfolios held by women include:
- Ministry of Territorial Administration and Electoral Management – Odete Costa Semedo
- Ministry of Fisheries – Adiatu Djalo Nandigna
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communities – Suzi Barbosa
- Ministry of Public Administration and Modernization of the State – Fatumata Djau Bucket
- Ministry of Public Health – Magda Nely Robalo Silva
- Ministry of Women, Family and Social Protection – Cadi Seidi
- Ministry of Justice and Human Rights – Rute Monteiro
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry – Nelvina Barreto
Another three women made the deputy ministerial list: Ms. Quite Djalo: Deputy Minister for the Environment and Biodiversity, Mrs Catarina Taborda: Deputy Minister for Tourism and Crafts and Ms. Tomásia Manjuba: Deputy Minister for Regional Integration and Planning.
Portfolios held by men:
- Ministry of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Matters – Armando Mango
- Ministry of the Interior – Juliano Augusto Fernandes
- Ministry of Defense and Combatants of the Liberty of the Homeland – Luís Melo
- Ministry of Economy and Finance – Geraldo João Martins
- Ministry of Commerce and Industry – Iaia Djaló
- Ministry of National Education and Higher Education – Dautarin Monteiro da Costa
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy – Issufo Balde
- Ministry of Infrastructures, Housing and Human Development – Osvaldo Abreu