Safiya Hassan Sheikh Ali Jimale has become the first female mayor of a city in Somalia. She will head the great and famous city of Beledweyne, the capital of Hiiran Province, located in the Shebelle Valley near the border with Ethiopia and about 210 miles north of Mogadishu.
She becomes the second mayor of the city, which has more than 1,7 million inhabitants, after Beledweyne held municipal elections in 2012, the first since the beginning of the civil war in the early 1990s.
Africa News reports that Safiya Hassan Sheikh Ali Jimale is not new to public office, having previously served as an official of the Shibis district. In an interview with VOA Somali after her election, she stressed that she would not hesitate to tackle her mandate head on.
Other female mayors currently in office across the African continent include Yvonne Aki Sawyerr (Freetown, Sierra Leone), Marie-Chantal Rwakazina (Kigali, Rwanda), Rohey Malick Lowe (Banjul, The Gambia) and Soham El Wardani (Dakar, Senegal).
Today, Safiya Ali, makes history as she becomes the first female mayor to big & famous city in central Somalia. Safia was officially nominated as the mayor of #Baladweyne. To elect a woman a male dominated position like a "Mayor" inspiration to many. Kudos #HIRSHABELLE pic.twitter.com/U8h5NpRWHV
— Sahra Abdi (@SahraCabdi) May 27, 2019