Rwanda’s top diplomat Louise Mushikiwabo has been chosen to lead the body that represents French speakers around the world, becoming the first African woman to hold the post.

The foreign minister replaces Canada’s Michaelle Jean, who had sought re-election for the top job at the International Organization of Francophonie.

Francophonie Secretary-General designate Louise Mushikiwabo delivers a speech during the closing session of the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, Armenia on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

The decision was announced Friday by the organization and by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian at a summit of member countries in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in the closing session of the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, Armenia on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

Mushikiwabo promised to work to spread the French language and boost employment opportunities for youth in the organization’s member states.

Armenia’s President Armen Sarkisian, right, speaks with French president Emmanuel Macron as Charles Aznavour’s son Nicolas, left, looks on during visit to Charles Aznavour Centre in Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to Armenia to attend a summit of French-speaking countries.France and other European countries are backing Rwanda’s top diplomat Louise Mushikiwabo to lead the International Organization of Francophonie. (Davit Hakobyan/PAN Photo via AP)

The group has 54 member states and 30 associate or observer members, representing more than 900 million people, mostly in Africa.

French President Emmanuel Macron had backed Mushikiwabo’s candidacy.

Source: The Associated Press

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.