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Edith Zewelani Nawakwi
Profile by Eric Gondwe

Edith Nawakwi  is Zambia’s first elected woman president of a political party - the Forum for Democratic Development ((FDD) formerly led by retired army general, Christon Tembo).

She was also Zambia’s first woman Minister of Finance, in 1998, after 33 years of  Zambia's independence and the first in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Nawakwi is among the women pioneers that opened the door for gender equality and representation in Zambian politics and development. Other pillars include Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, Gwendolyn Konie and Professor Nkandu Luo (Zambia’s first woman professor).

Born in 1958, Nawakwi has a degree in economics and business management and a post-graduate diploma in the economics of energy and development from the University of London Imperial College. Her tough minded personality has enabled her to survive the male-dominated political environment.

The Zambian political environment, influenced by long followed societal norms, is still in its infancy in embracing gender equality. Says the Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL), “Very few women in Zambian Politics survive the wrath of a volatile, partisan, highly commercialised political system. Very few, indeed, stand up against injustices that have been targeted at them. Most women would rather “die quietly.” Not with Zambia's first woman Minister of Finance (Edith Nawakwi).”

Political Positions Held by Edith Nawakwi:
* President - Forum for Democracy and Development (Apr 2005 - )
* Secretary General - Forum for Democracy and Development (2001 - 2001)
* Vice President - Forum for Democracy and Development (2001 - 2005)
* Minister of Labour & Social Security - Government of Zambia (1999 - 2001)
* Minister of Finance - Government of Zambia (1997 - 1999)
* Minister of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries - Government of Zambia (1996 - 1997)
* Minister of Energy & Water Development - Government of Zambia (1993 - 1996)
* Minister of State for Energy & Water Development - Government of Zambia (1992 - 1993)

Contemporary Africa Database, on Edith Nawakwi, Rose Nyaywa  on Edith Nawakwi

Maidstone Mulenga - Famous Zambian Leaders, on Edith Nawakwi

Zambia National Women's Lobby, on Edith Nawakwi



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