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Liberian lawyer and diplomat and the first African woman to preside over the General Assembly of the United Nations, was born on 24 August 1928 (or 1929, according to some accounts) in Virginia, Montserrado County, Liberia. Her parents were of mixed ethnic background representing several of Liberia’s indigenous groups, and her father was a Baptist minister. As one of nine children, she was fostered out to a widowed seamstress as a child and attended Monrovia public schools. Although she had a great desire to continue her education, she entered an early marriage with Richard A. Henries (1908–1980 a member of a prominent Americo Liberian family who was twenty years her senior Her husband was a lawyer and politician who eventually became the speaker for the Liberian House of Representatives She and Henries had two sons but the marriage ended in divorce and she turned her attention to ...

Article

Leland Conley Barrows

Beninese jurist, historian, international civil servant, human rights activist, and chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Benin, was born on 15 March 1934 in the town of Zinvié, not far from Abomey, the former royal capital of the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey. Because Glélé’s intellectual talents were recognized by his Roman Catholic primary school teachers, he was enabled to complete his secondary education at the Lycée van Vollenhoven in Dakar, Senegal, where he earned the lettres classiques baccalaureate in 1955. After a year of studying law at the newly founded University of Dakar, he entered the preparatory section of the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris in order to qualify, in 1958, for the diploma of civil administration, awarded by the National School for the Training of Overseas Administrators (the former École Coloniale). He then went on to earn the licence in law in 1960 ...

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Hannington Ochwada

Senegalese educator and director-general of the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), was born in Dakar, Senegal, on 20 March 1921, to Farah Ndiaye M’Bow, a leatherworker and farmer, and Ngoné Casset, a homemaker. M’Bow’s father was a devout Muslim and prominent local leader. Raised in a traditional Senegalese family compound, from a very young age M’Bow, like most African children, performed the family and community obligations of farming and herding. After serving in the colonial French army in North Africa in World War II, he passed his baccalaureate exam in Dakar before attending the Sorbonne University in Paris. Upon graduating in 1951 with a degree in geography, he taught geography and history in the Senegalese school system prior to serving as director of basic education for the colonial Senegalese Ministry of Education from 1952 to 1957. Appointed as minister of education and culture in 1957 he ...