Zimbabwe’s Marjorie Ngwenya has been announced as the next president-elect of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), becoming the first African woman to hold the post and the first person to attain the position outside of the United Kingdom.

Based in South Africa, Ngwenya, an overseas member of the IFoA Council will take up her position as President-elect in June 2016, and ascend to  the role of president of the institute in June 2017.

Commenting on her appointment, Ngwenya said: “I am proud to be the first IFoA President-elect to be based outside the UK,”

“I am looking forward to continuing the important work done by those who have held the role before me, and to bringing the benefits of actuarial science to more people around the world.”

The appointment certainly sends a positive message and it will undoubtedly inspire young girls and women to reach for their goals.

Research suggest that women have been consistently underrepresented in many math and science fields across the world, and actuarial sciences have generally been a preserve for men.

Ngwenya’s ground-breaking achievement is a strong and welcome statement, which asserts the capabilities of female actuaries in the profession.

The historic development proves that women in Africa are prepared to continue pushing boundaries and scaling barriers, which previously seemed insurmountable.

Read: Smashing the glass ceiling: Linda Kasonde appointed Law Association of Zambia’s first female president

Following Ngwenya’s appointment, social media has been awash with congratulatory messages on the historic feat.

Source: Institute and Faculty of Actuaries