The Kenya Forum | Kenya appoints first female Air Force Commander: Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed - The Kenya Forum

May 3, 2024

Summary

Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed was also  the first woman to rise to the rank of brigadier and major general following her appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018.

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Kenya appoints first female Air Force Commander: Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed

Kenya appoints first female Air Force Commander: Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed

Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed becomes the first woman in Kenya's history to head one of the military services.

President Ruto on Thursday appointed Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed as Commander of the Air Force, making her the first woman in Kenya’s history to head one of the military services.

The historic move marks a significant milestone for gender equality in the country and will go a long way in inspiring a new generation of women in the armed forces.

Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed was appointed alongside other leaders including a new head of the Kenya defence forces, following the death of former military chief Francis Ogolla and others in a helicopter crash last month.

Gen Charles Kahariri is now the new commander of the armed forces.

Maj Gen Ahmed has had other firsts before, breaking the glass ceiling in dockets previously dominated by men; she was the first woman to rise to the rank of brigadier and major general following her appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018.

Until her latest appointment as Commander of the Air Forces, Maj Gen. Fatuma was serving as a Senior Directing Staff Air, a position she was appointed in 2023.

According to a Ministry of Defence publication, Maj Gen Ahmed was enlisted in the Kenya Defence Forces in 1983 and served under the Women Service Corps. She was commissioned to the rank of Second Lieutenant in 1985 and posted to the Kenya Air Force in 1999.

Maj Gen Ahmed is a graduate of the National Defence College, one of the Military Centers of Excellence, an affiliate of the University of Nairobi’s Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies.

She is also an alumnus of the Defence Staff College having graduated in July 2000. In addition, she holds a Diploma in Management from Strathmore University College.

She joined the military in 1983, serving under the Women Service Corps, a woman-only outfit that operated as a separate entity from the other arms of the defence forces.

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