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Then-South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma speaks during a meeting with Condoleezza Rice at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Monday, Sept 22, 2008.A female leader has taken up the top leadership position at the African Union for the first time. South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma today took charge of the African Union, where she will be in charge of peace, security, politics, and economic affairs of the continent. Dlamini-Zuma was most recently South Africa’s minister of home affairs, and also served as the country’s minister of foreign affairs. Outgoing AU chair Jean Ping gave the gavel to Dlamini-Zuma during a ceremony at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ping had held the position since 2008. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, who attended the ceremony, wished Dlamini-Zuma good success, but warned that her tasks will be arduous.

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