Nahayo Immaculée, 57, was elected Speaker of Burundi's National Assembly, the lower chamber of parliament, on 16 August. She is the first woman in the country to hold this post and is convinced that wisdom, acquired with age, was one attribute that won her the vote.
Born in 1948 in Gatara, in the northern province of Kayanza, she attended primary school there and in Busiga Commune from 1955 to 1961. After primary school she entered Bukeye Secondary School in Muramvya Province, where she obtained a teaching diploma.
From 1969 to 1973, she taught in Mugera, Gitega Province, but was forced to flee the country in 1973 to the Democratic Republic of Congo where she taught at Lycée Mwangaza in Bukavu. In 1974, she enrolled in Bukavu University and graduated after three years with a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
With that she returned to teaching at Kitumani Secondary School in Bukavu until 1983, then at the Rambura and Gahini Seminary in Rwanda until 1991.
In 1991, she returned home and held several jobs: first as an adviser to the minister of sports and culture, then as a laboratory technician at the Centre for Food Technologies.
From 1993 to 1995, she worked in Bujumbura airport but in 1995 left Burundi, once again, for Tanzania after she joined the CNDD-FDD.
In Tanzania, she worked for several NGOs and returned to Burundi after the CNDD-FDD signed a global cease-fire accord in November 2003.
She is a widow of former Minister of the Interior Simon Nyandwi and has six children.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
Help make quality journalism about crises possible
The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.
Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story.
We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises.