Meet Catherine Samba-Panza, the first female President of the Central African Republic

by Oge Okonkwo


After beating seven other candidates, Catherine Samba-Panza emerged interim president of the Central African Republic currently  faced with religious crisis.

The 59-year-old interim president, Samba-Panza was born in Chad and studied law in France where two of her three children currently reside.


Samba-Panza was elected in hopes she would be able to resolve the current conflict between the Muslim Seleka fighters and the Christian anti-balaka militias, which has resulted in the death of many and also secure the return of refugees who lost their homes and fled the country for fear of being killed.


Samba-Panza was appointed mayor of the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui by the National Transitional Council (CNT) during the 2012–13 civil conflict and her appointment was accepted by both sides in the conflict.

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