Kenya appoints Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed as First Woman Air Force Head

By: GWL Team | Monday, 6 May 2024

Kenya has created history by naming a woman to head the country’s air force. Maj Gen Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed has been appointed for the prestigious role.

Maj Gen Fatuma’s appointment by Kenyan President, William Ruto, is especially critical owing to last month’s tragic helicopter crash incident.

The unfortunate crash saw the loss of lives of several important military figures which included the previous leader. The crash’s aftermath prompted an urgent need for new leadership to be appointed for the air force. Maj Gen Fatuma will take up the critical position, which will herald a new era for the Kenyan military. Her appointment also exemplifies Kenya’s journey towards adopting gender equality and representation in the country’s armed forces.

Maj Gen Fatuma is also the first woman to hold the title of a brigadier and major general in the Kenyan armed forces.

Maj Gen Fatuma joined the Kenya Military Academy as an officer cadet in 1984. Her subsequent progress was commendable. After finishing her training, she was named as the second lieutenant in the Kenyan Women’s Service Corps in 1985.

Maj Gen Fatuma is popular for being the very first woman in Kenyan military history to advance in rank.

She was elevated to the rank of Brigadier by then President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015. In 2021 she was promoted to the rank of Major General owing to her spectacular success. 

President William Ruto appointed her as the Senior Directing Staff Air in 2023.

Maj Gen Fatuma is also the second-in-command of a battalion. She also works as a staff officer handling audit, personnel, and records.