SOAS, University of London
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Her Excellency Luisa Dias Diogo, was Prime Minister of Mozambique from 2004 to 2010. She is one of a number of senior government officials from Mozambique to hold a qualification from the University of London. When Mozambique was planning to enter the modern world economy at the start of the 1990s, government members chose to educate themselves by studying for MSc Financial Economics degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) via distance learning. The success of this programme combined with financial support from the Swedish International Development Authority, saw similar schemes run in Vietnam, Cambodia and Namibia. Diogo has been a strong advocate for providing free reproductive and health services in Africam, drove economic and judicial reform, and improved social services in Mozambique.
Diogo started working in Mozambique's Finance Ministry in 1980. She became a department's head in 1986 and in 1989 became national budget director. Then she worked for the World Bank as program officer in Mozambique. In 1994 she joined the FRELIMO government as Deputy Minister of Finance.
In September 2005, she was the international guest speaker at the British Labour Party Conference.
Diogo has urged the African health ministers to offer reproductive and sexual health services free of charge throughout the continent. These services could reduce infant mortality by two thirds, reduce maternal mortality by three quarters, reverse the spread of AIDS, and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. The target set by the UN is to achieve these goals by 2015.
Diogo lately has focused on gender equality and women's empowerment through a recently launched "Network of Women Ministers and Parliamentarians" (MUNIPA). The MUNIPA network aims to strengthen advocacy and lobbying activities so that policies and legislation are adopted favourable to gender equity and women's empowerment. Promoting equality between men and women is a central concern of the Mozambican government, which has been adopting instruments to promote women's empowerment at all levels [of government].
Diogo is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development. She has been listed among Forbes’ list of ‘100 Most Powerful Women In The World’ several times.