Samia Suluhu Hassan: Tanzania Swears In First Female President


61-year-old Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn-in as the President of Tanzania on 19th March 2021, creating history by becoming the first woman to ever hold the post.

She also became the only other current serving female head of state in the African region along with Sahle-Work Zewde, the President of Ethiopia, whose role is primarily ceremonial.

Affectionately known as Mama Samia, she is considered to be thoughtful, considered, and a good listener.

She was elevated to the post after the sudden death of the previous president John Magufuli from an heart illness.

Suluhu has had a long career in politics. Before taking the office of the president, Suluhu had served as the vice president of the East African nation for a period of six years. She was also became the first Tanzanian vice president when she took the office in 2015 on a ticket from the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. However, she came into limelight when she was selected as the vice-chairperson of the Constituent Assembly, created to draft a new constitution in 2014.

Prior to this, Suluhu served as the Zanzibar minister of tourism in the period from 2005 to 2010. She was the parliamentary member of Makunduchi area of Tanzania from 2010 to 2015. She also served as a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives from 2000 to 2005. It was also during this time that she was elected as the minister of labour by then President Amani Karume.

In her first statement as the president of Tanzania, Suluhu told the nation: “The oath I took today of office is different and unlike any other I have ever taken in comfort, excitement and joy. I took this oath with sorrow and all across the country there is great sadness, I took this oath on a day of mourning.”

Despite serving as the Vice-President for more than half a decade, not much is known about her personal life.

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