Equatorial Guinea appointed a woman as Prime Minister for the first time. Manuela Roka Botey was announced as Prime Minister by longtime President Teodoro Obiang Nguema on Tuesday, January 31st. Roka Botey replaces Francisco Pascual Obama Asue who held the position for nearly eight years. “For the first time in Equatorial Guinea, a woman is appointed prime minister,” tweeted Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the president’s son. “This is further proof of the commitment to gender equality…and opportunities in the country.”
Manuel Roka Botey
The appointment of Roka Botey as Prime Minister came as a surprise according to African Intelligence. This is because she is a low-profile politician. However, there are suggestions that President Obiang chose her with the intention to have a well-balanced cabinet, with all regions of Equatorial Guinea represented.
It is also said he chose a low-profile prime minister in order not to overshadow his son and vice president.
The new prime minister will be tasked with Administrative Coordination. Manuela Roka Botey joined the government in 2020 as the Minister of National Education, University Education, and Sports. She also served as the vice dean of the National University of Equatorial Guinea’s Faculty of Letters and Social Sciences. Before Roka Botey’s ascension to the office of prime minister, her predecessor had given it a sense of stability. In 2016, five different people held the position.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been president of Equatorial Guinea since 1979 when he carried out a coup d’état and removed his uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema. Obiang has been president since the coup and was elected to his sixth term in November 2022, winning 95% of the vote. At 80 years old, he is the world’s longest serving elected leader.
His government has been accused of corruption, repressing opposition political parties, and violating human rights laws. The Equatorial Guinea government is led by the president, three vice presidents, and the prime minister.