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Meet Emma Theofelus, The Current Youngest Serving Government Minister In Africa

Emma Theofelus | How Africa News
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At 27, Emma Inamutila Theofelus became the youngest current sitting minister in Namibia and Africa on March 27, 2020, after President Hage Geingob appointed her as the Deputy Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology for a five-year tenure (March 2020 – March 2025). Theofelus, who was 23 at the time of her appointment, was appointed as a member of parliament and cabinet minister in charge of Namibia’s official Covid-19 communication program.

Theofelus was a young activist and campaigner for gender equality, child rights, youth employment, and sustainable development prior to her nomination. Her prior responsibilities as Speaker of Namibia’s Youth Parliament (2013-2018) and former Junior Mayor of Windhoek equipped her with the necessary leadership qualities to manage her duties as deputy minister.

“We all started somewhere. I am not new to leadership and I will leverage the skills and experience I gained in my activism to make a success of this new role. I believe that I am well on my way.” – Theofelus.

Theofelus was born on March 28, 1996, graduated from the University of Namibia with a law degree, and holds a diploma in African feminism and gender studies from the University of South Africa. Before being called to serve the country in a higher ministerial post, she began her career as a legal officer in the Ministry of Justice.

She is a former Vice Chairperson of the Global Entrepreneurs Network Namibia Board, a UNESCO Namibia Commissioner, and a member of the AfriYAN Namibia Chapter. She presently serves on the Leadership Council of Africa REACH.

In 2021, she introduced a proposal in parliament to repeal the sanitary pad fee. The motion was carried out when the Minister of Finance, Lipumbu Shiime, announced the abolition of Value Added Tax on sanitary pads in accordance with the Tax Reform Act of 2022, which went into effect on January 1, 2023.

In her current position, she is focused on the key goals of effectively communicating government programs, optimizing the use of Multi-Purpose Community Centers as ICT hubs for communities with limited access to ICT, and ending the country’s digital disparity through the prioritization of ICT infrastructure development, climate change, youth participation in parliament, E-parliament, and parliamentary research.

Her appointment has helped to represent Namibia as a young and gender-sensitive country. Theofelus follows in the footsteps of Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who became Namibia’s first female Prime Minister in March 2015, making her the country’s first female Prime Minister.

Theofelus was named one of the BBC’s 100 Women to Watch in 2021.

Written by How Africa News

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