Maria das Neves was elected the first woman Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, a position which she held from 2002 to 2004.
Maria das Neves was born in 1958 and received education as an economist in Cuba with a specialization in public finances. Before becoming head of government, Maria das Neves worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance, in the World Bank and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
She held major government posts including Minister of Economics (1999–2001), Minister of Finance (2001-2002) and Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism (2002).
Image via STP Digital