Mahawa Sylla is Guinea’s first-ever female Brigadier-General since the creation of the country’s armed forces on November 1, 1960.
Guinea’s President Alpha Conde announced Sylla’s history-making promotion on Sunday, March 8, coinciding with the International Women’s Day celebration.
“For the first time in the history of Guinea, a woman has been promoted to the rank of General, it is Mrs. Mahawa Sylla,” President Condé said.
Sylla is a graduate of the International College of Defence Studies, NDU, PLA, China, earning a diploma in 2014.
Appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary-General of Guinea’s national Defence Council in 2017, she served with rectitude in the United Nations troops in Côte d’Ivoire.
In a statement, the information and public relations unit of the Guinean armed forces said Sylla’s promotion followed recommendations by the country’s National Defence Minister.
Speaking to La Voix du people (The Voice of the people) on her promotion, Sylla said: “…The rank must be a surprise for a good executive. Because the general grade is not the ordinary advance, it is the confidence of the Superior Authority, the first magistrate of the Nation. So it’s always a surprise.”
“I will put myself at the disposal of the Authority, for all that is within my competence, I would be available to serve my nation and I will take the same opportunity to thank the first magistrate, the President of the Republic, President Alpha Condé who really knew how to write a page in the history of Guinea through my person by appointing me to this great general title of Brigadier of this Great Army as the first woman,” she added.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria Kafayat Sanni had also etched her name in history, becoming Africa’s most populace country’s first female fighter pilot.
Emerging as the overall best pilot at the Nigerian Air Force’s 401 training school in 2017, Sanni moved to the United States to train at the US Aviation Leadership program.
Upon completion, Sanni returned to Nigeria where she alongside 12 new fighter pilots were decorated.
Joined by Sanni in making history is Tolulope Arotile who also became the Force’s first female combat helicopter pilot. Arotile trained in South Africa.
“It is a privilege for me to be winged as the first female fighter pilot in the Nigerian Air Force,” Sanni said after being decorated.