Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president at the government offices of State House in Dar-es-Salaam, the country’s largest city.
Hassan, 61, gorgeously dressed in red Hijab, took an oath of office while holding the Noble Qur’an, pledged to uphold the constitution of the country.
Muslim News presents 10 interesting facts about the Hijab-wearing first female President of Tanzania.
1. She is a Muslim: Samia’s religion needs no introduction as her physical appearance and religious activities reveal that the newly sworn-in President of Tanzania is a practising Muslim who adorns the Hijab, an attire ordained by Allah. She is a model and example that women can play important roles in nation building by holding public offices without necessarily losing their faith.
2. She is 61
Suluhu was born on January 27, 1960 in the Sultanate of Zanzibar. She went to school in Zanzibar and studied statistics at the Zanzibar Institute of Financial Administration before getting employed by the Ministry of Planning and Development as a clerk.
In 1986 joined Mzumbe University for advanced studies in Public Administration before joining the Institute of Management for Leaders, Hyderabad in India or a course in management.
She also attended the University of Manchester for her postgraduate diploma in economic and in 2005 she did her master degree in community economic development through a joint program between Open University of Tanzania and Southern New Hampshire University, USA.
3.She’s been in politics since 2000
She was first elected as a member of the Zanzibar House of Representative for special seat in 2000, and was appointed Minister by then President Amani Abeid Karume of Zanzibar.
4. She was the only high-ranking woman minister in that cabinet
Joined National Assembly in 2010
Suluhu was elected to the National Assembly in a landslide win in 2010 as the MP representing Makunduchi constituency, marking her entry into national electoral politics.
5. Joined cabinet in 2014
In 2014, President Dr. Jakaya Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania appointed her minister of State for Union matters for the office of the Vice President.
In the same year, she was also elected the Vive chairperson for the Constitutional Assembly – the body tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.
6. The first female running mate on a CCM party ticket
In July 2015, the ruling party CCM’s presidential nominee Hon John Magufuli chose her as his running mate ahead of the country’s 2015 General Elections.
7. The second female vice-president in East Africa
The Magufuli-Suluhu ticket won the 2015 General Elections making her the first female vice-president in the region since Uganda’s Specioza Naigaga Wandira who was in office from 1994 to 2003.
8. Her daughter is also a politician
Hon. Suluhu is married to Hafidh Ameir and together they have three sons and daughter. While her husband is a retired agriculture officer, her daughter Mwanu Hafidh Ameir, is the only one in the family who has followed in her political footsteps. Mwanu is a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.
9. Tanzania’s first female president
Following President Magufuli’s demise on Wednesday 17 March, all eyes fixed on his deputy, Hon. Suluhu, who stands to take over as the president until 2025.
The Tanzanian constitution upholds that the vice president should step in as president if the incumbent is incapacitated either by physical or mental health or the office if president is left vacant following death of the office bearer.
Hon. Suluhu will now be the first fenmale president of Tanzania and the first president of the country hailing from Zanzibar.
10. The first female president in East Africa
When she gets sworn in as the President of Tanzania, Suluhu will only be the second woman to head an East African country.
Agathe Uwilingiyimanain was the first woman to head an East Africa country when she served as Prime Minister of Rwanda from July 18 1993 until her death in April 7 1994.
– Additional information from Standardmedia
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