Samia Suluhu Hassan
Samia Suluhu Hassan
|6th President of Tanzania|
|Assumed office |
19 March 2021
|Prime Minister||Kassim Majaliwa|
|Vice President||Philip Mpango|
|Preceded by||John Magufuli|
|10th Vice-President of Tanzania|
5 November 2015 – 19 March 2021
|Preceded by||Mohamed Gharib Bilal|
|Succeeded by||Philip Mpango|
|Minister of State for Union Affairs in the Vice President's Office|
29 November 2010 – 5 November 2015
|Preceded by||Muhammed Seif Khatib|
|Succeeded by||January Makamba|
|Member of Parliament|
November 2010 – July 2015
|Succeeded by||Ameir Timbe|
|Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment|
|Preceded by||Mussa Silima|
|Succeeded by||Said Ali Mbarouk|
|Born||27 January 1960|
Makunduchi, Sultanate of Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania)
|Political party||Chama Cha Mapinduzi|
|Education||Mzumbe University (AdvDip)|
University of Manchester (PGDip)
Open University of Tanzania (MSc)
Samia Suluhu Hassan[a] (born 27 January 1960) is a Tanzanian politician who has been serving since 2021 as the sixth (and first female) president of Tanzania. She is a member of the ruling social-democrat Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party and the third female head of government of an East African Community (EAC) country.
A native of Zanzibar, Suluhu served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region during the administration of President Amani Karume. She served as the Member of Parliament for the Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015 and was the Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office for Union Affairs from 2010 to 2015. In 2014, she was elected as the vice-chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with the drafting of the country's new constitution.
Suluhu became Tanzania's first female vice-president following the 2015 general election, after being elected on the CCM ticket with President Magufuli. Suluhu and Magufuli were re-elected to a second term in 2020. She briefly served as the second female interim Head of State in the EAC – 27 years after Sylvie Kinigi of Burundi, spanning a period around the end of the year 1993.
She completed her secondary education in 1977 and began working. Subsequently, she pursued a number of short-courses on a part-time basis. In 1986, she graduated from the Institute of Development Management (present-day Mzumbe University) with an advanced diploma in public administration.
Between 1992 and 1994, she attended the University of Manchester and earned a postgraduate diploma in economics. In 2015, she obtained her MSc in Community Economic Development via a joint-programme between the Open University of Tanzania and the Southern New Hampshire University.
In 2000, she decided to run for public office. She was elected as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed a minister by President Amani Karume. She was the only high-ranking woman minister in the cabinet and was "looked down on" by her male colleagues because she was female. She was re-elected in 2005 and was re-appointed as a minister in another portfolio.
In 2010, she sought election to the National Assembly, standing in the parliamentary constituency of Makunduchi and winning by more than 80%. President Jakaya Kikwete appointed her as the Minister of State for Union Affairs. In 2014, she was elected as the Vice Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the country's new constitution.
In July 2015, CCM's presidential nominee John Magufuli chose her as his running mate for the 2015 election, making her the first female running mate in the party's history. On 5 November 2015 she subsequently became the first female vice-president in the history of the country upon Magufuli's victory in the election. Both Magufuli and Suluhu were re-elected for a second five-year term on 28 October 2020.
On 17 March 2021, Mama Samia announced that Magufuli had died after a long illness; Magufuli had not been seen in public since late February. She was sworn in as his successor on 19 March 2021, and will serve the balance of Magufuli's second five-year term. The delay in the start of her term came because the Constitution of Tanzania explicitly requires the vice-president to take the presidential oath before ascending to the presidency; opposition leaders had expressed concern about a possible "vacuum" when 18 March passed without Suluhu being sworn in. Upon her swearing-in, Suluhu became Tanzania's first female president. She is also the second Zanzibari to hold the post, and the third Muslim after Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Jakaya Kikwete. She also became one of two serving female heads of state in Africa, alongside Ethiopia's Sahle-Work Zewde. Under the Constitution, since she took office with more than three years remaining in Magufuli's term, if she completes this term she will only be eligible for one full term in her own right should she decide to stand at the next election.[clarification needed]
Suluhu's administration initiated efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania, in stark contrast to the skepticism of the virus under Magufuli's tenure. Mandatory 14-day quarantines for travellers entering Tanzania from countries housing newly risen variants of SARS-CoV-2 were imposed. Visitors were recommended to wear face masks, sanitize themselves, and practice social distancing. Suluhu permitted embassies and other international organizations to import vaccines into the country to vaccinate foreign nationals for their Tanzanian day-to-day work, aided by the Ministry of Health.
Political reforms and unity
President Samia inherited a politically highly divided situation in which her predecessor, Magufuli, had centralized governance towards single party politics. Upon phase 6, Suluhu's government, Mama Samia voiced desire to reverse the political direction of Tanzania. None-the-less, shortly after Suluhu became President the leader of the opposition party CHADEMA, Freeman Mbowe, was arrested under charges of treason. All charges would later be dropped. Upon day of his release Mbowe was summoned and met with Mama Samia at the State House in Dar es Salaam. The meeting was said to be greatly successful, and has lead to further meetings between the two as well as other opposition leaders to improve communication and repair the political division and create unity within the countries' political parties. On February 16th, 2022, Mama Samia met with opposition leader Tundu Lissu in Belgium, where he had been living in exile after shot 16 times in an attempted assassination in 2017. Both spoke greatly of the conversation and for Lissu to return home to Tanzania to again participate in politics.
President Samia's meetings and reconciliations between the parties has not been universally welcomed, and has received criticism particularly within her own party. Following the release of Freeman Mbowe, and his immediate conversation with Mama Samia, his first appearance days later was at the International Women's Day event in Iringa. This caused critics to accuse Mama Samia of releasing Mbowe on condition of support for Western feminist policies.
In addition to meeting and repairing the divide between the politicians of the parties, Mama Samia has lifted restrictions of press put in place by her predecessor and reissued licenses to opposition publications. Most notably the reissue of licenses for the publications of Mwanahalisi, Mawio, Mseto, and Tanzania Daima which is owned by opposition leader Freeman Mbowe.
Since taking over the presidential position in 2021, She has ensured that the flagship projects that were initiated by the late President Magufuli are completed on time. Besides that, she has also signed new development projects. In 2022, she attended the Expo 2020 to promote its products and opportunities which lead her to sign business partnership deal with Dubai.
Tanzania: The Royal Tour
In early 2021, she filmed a movie of "The Royal Tour" with journalist and filmmaker Peter Greenberg with the intention of getting different people to invest in her country. It premiered in Los Angeles, Paramount Theatre, followed by Tanzania.
In 1978, Suluhu married Hafidh Ameirin, an agricultural officer who, by 2014, had retired. They have four children. Her daughter Wanu Hafidh Ameir (born 1982), the couple's second child, is a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives. On 28 July 2021, COVID-19 vaccination campaign started under her charge in Tanzania, with her receiving the first dose of the vaccine and urging all Tanzanians to get their jabs saying that the country "is not an island".
Travel to Ghana
In May 2022, Suluhu visited Ghana to receive the African Road Builders–Babacar Ndiaye Trophy in Accra for “personal leadership, huge investments and commitment” to extending roads and the railway network in her country Tanzania.
|2022||The Royal Tour Tanzania||Herself||Documentary film|
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- "Constitution of Tanzania".
Where the office of President becomes vacant by reason of the death of the President, his resignation, loss of the electoral qualifications or inability to perform his functions due to physical infirmity, or failure to discharge the duties and functions of the office of President, then the Vice-President shall be sworn in and become the President for the unexpired period of the term of five years
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samia Suluhu.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to Samia Suluhu Hassan.|
- Professional Newsletter Production by Samia Suluhu et al., (PDF) 2005, OUT/NSHU.