Port Louis: Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, a prominent scientist who was sworn as president of Mauritius on Friday, becoming the first women to hold the ceremonial position in the Indian Ocean island nation, dedicated the moment to her parents.
"Credit goes to my parents who had the vision to educate their daughter at a time when it was boys who were given the priority,” Gurib-Fakim said after her inauguration, held at the presidency outside the capital Port Louis, adding she was “proud and filled with humility.”
Gurib-Fakim, 56, is the first female president of the island, which gained independence from Britain in 1968 and replaced Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state in 1992.
“My ambition is to bring the Mauritian nation together around the national flag,” she said.
The Mauritius parliament had on Thursday appointed Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as the island nation's new president, making her the first woman to hold the position.
The motion moved by Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth for her election was unanimously approved in parliament, Xinhua news agency reported.
"This is the first time in the history of Mauritius that a woman has reached this position," said parliament Speaker, Hanoomanjee Maya, who congratulated the well known biologist.
Jugnauth said he was proud of the "historical change", adding that Gurib-Fakim "has the capacity to assume this position."