Meet the 12 Past African Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly

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The President of the United Nations General Assembly is a position voted for by representatives in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on a yearly basis. The President presides over the sessions of the General Assembly. Since its inception in 1946′ only 12-Africans have had the opportunity to lead the United Nations General Assembly; and they are all listed below.

Meet the 12 Past African President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Meet the 12 Past African President of the United Nations General Assembly
Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly 2014–2015

1. Mongi Slim (Tunisia)

(September 1, 1906 – October 23, 1969)

Mongi Slim was a Tunisian diplomat who became the first African to become the President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1961.

Mr. Slim has also served as Permanent Representative of Tunisia and, from January 1959 through December 1960, as his country’s representative on the Security Council.

He received a degree from the faculty of law of the University of Paris. He was twice imprisoned by the French during the Tunisian struggle for independence.

2. Dr. Alex Quaison-Sackey (Ghana)

(9 August 1924 – 21 December 1992)

Dr. Alex Quaison-Sackey was a Ghanaian diplomat who served during the first and third republics. He was the first black African to serve as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

He was  elected President of the nineteenth session, of the General Assembly in 1964.

He was also the First Secretary at the Ghana High Commission from 1957 to 1959 and served as the country’s representative at the United Nations from 1959 to 1965.

3. Angie Elizabeth Brooks (Liberia)

(August 24, 1928 – September 9, 2007)

A diplomat and a jurist. Angie Elizabeth Brooks is notable for being the first and only African female President of the United Nations General Assembly a position she held in 1969.
She was also the second woman from any nation to head the U.N.

angie brooks first female president of united nations general assembly
Angie Elizabeth Brooks is notable for being the first and only African female President of the United Nations General Assembly – Image credit: Toxipedia.org

4. Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria)

Abdelaziz is an Algerian politician who has been the fifth president of Algeria since 1999.

As President, he presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002, and he ended emergency rule in February 2011 amidst regional unrest.

He was elected President of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly in 1975..

5. Salim Ahmed Salim (Tanzania)

Born on the 23rd of January 1942, Salim Ahmed is a Tanzanian diplomat who has worked in the international diplomatic arena since the early 1960s. In 1979:Salim Ahmed became the President of the United Nations General Assembly for the Thirty-fourth, Sixth emergency special, Seventh emergency special, and Eleventh special sessions.

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6. Paul John Firmino Lusaka (Zambia)

Paul Lusaka was a Zambian politician and diplomat who became President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1984. He has also served as President of the United Nations Council for Namibia.

7. Major General Joseph Nanven Garba (Nigeria)

A Nigerian general, diplomat, and politician who served as president of the United Nations General Assembly for its forty-fourth session from 1989 to 1990.

Garba also held the position of a Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 1984, a role he continued in until 1989 .

8. Amara Essy (Ivory-coast)

In 1990 Amara became Minister of Foreign Affairs, and while in that position he was also serving as President of the 49th Session of the United Nations General Assembly from 1994 to 1995.

9. Theo-Ben Gurirab (Namibia)

Theo Ben Gurirab is a Namibian politician who served as the second Prime Minister of Namibia between August 2002 and March 2005, following the dismissal of Hage Geingob. Previously he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 2002, and during that time he was President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1999 to 2000. He was Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia from 2005 to 2015. Gurirab retired from active politics in 2015

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10. Jean Ping (Gabon)

Jean Ping was a Gabonese diplomat and politician who was the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union from 2008 to 2012.  He was previously the Foreign Minister of Gabon from 1999 to 2008 and served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 2004 to 2005.

11. Ali Abdussalam Treki (Libya)

Ali treki was a Libyan diplomat in Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Treki served as one of Libya’s top diplomats beginning in the 1970s and ending with the 2011 Libyan Civil War.

He was the President of the United Nations General Assembly from September 2009 – September 2010.

12. Sam Kahamba Kutesa (Uganda)

Sam Kahaba Kutesa is an Ugandan politician and lawyer. He is the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of Uganda, a position he has held since 2005 and maintained through three cabinet reshuffles. He was the President of the United Nations General Assembly during its 69th session in 2014–2015



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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