Manuela Roka Botey was appointed prime minister of Equatorial Guinea, becoming the first woman in the central African country’s history to hold the post, state television announced on Tuesday.

Joining the government as the minister for national education in 2020, she is also the vice dean of the National University of Equatorial Guinea’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“For the first time in Equatorial Guinea, a woman is appointed prime minister,” tweeted vice president Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who is also the son of the head of state.

“This is further proof of the commitment to gender equality… in the country,” he said. “Congratulations, Manuela Roka Botey!”

Roka Botey replaces former premier Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, who held the post for nearly eight years.

Equatorial Guinea has been ruled since 1979 by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The 80-year-old seized power in a coup, and holds the world record for being the longest-living head of state, excluding monarchs.

His regime is regularly accused by international NGOs and Western nations of repressing all opposition and flouting human rights, and is blamed for endemic corruption.

According to