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6 Facts About Samia Suluhu, the First Female President of Tanzania



Photo Credit: @SuluhuSamia

After the sad passing of John Magufuli, Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu was sworn in as the country’s president on Friday, becoming the country’s first female president.

“I, Samia Suluhu Hassan, promise to be honest and obey and protect the constitution of Tanzania,” said Samia Suluhu, dressed in a black suit and red headscarf, before dignitaries at a ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Ibrahim Juma in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam, according to the BBC.

According to Aljazeera, in her first public address as president, she declared 21 days of mourning for Magufuli, as well as public holidays on March 22 and March 25, the day the late president will be laid to rest. “It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart,” she said. “Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career. Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning.”

Watch the swearing-in-ceremony here:

Here are six facts about her:

  • Suluhu was born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar on January 27, 1960.
  • In 1977, she finished her secondary education and went to college. She went on to take a variety of part-time short courses after that. She earned an advanced diploma in public administration from the Institute of Development Management (now Mzumbe University) in 1986.
  • She studied economics at the University of Manchester between 1992 and 1994, graduating with a postgraduate diploma. She received her MSc in Community Economic Development from the Free University of Tanzania and Southern New Hampshire University in 2015.
  • She chose to run for public office in the year 2000. President Amani Karume named her as a minister after she was elected as a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives. She was the only high-ranking female minister in the cabinet.  In 2005, she was re-elected and re-appointed as a minister in a new portfolio.
  • CCM presidential candidate, late John Magufuli picked her as his running mate for the 2015 election in July 2015, making her the party’s first female running mate. Following Magufuli’s election victory, she became the country’s first female vice-president.
  • She’s now the second Zanzibarian and Muslim to hold the position. She also became one of two serving female heads of state in Africa, alongside Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde.

Photo Credit: @SuluhuSamia

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