President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made history as Tanzania’s first female President having been sworn in after the death of her predecessor, John Magufuli.
In a patriarchal, male-dominated political society as Africa, President Hassan first broke the political ceiling in 2015 on her emergence as Tanzania’s first female Vice- President.
Born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar in 1960, Hassan had her primary and secondary education at a time when very few girls were able to, attributed mostly to the fact that the society believed that it was irrelevant to educate the girl child, but thanks to the passion of her parents for the girl-child education.
President Samia’s political career began in 2000 when she was elected to Zanzibar’s House of Representatives. In 2014, she came to national prominence as the Vice-Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly, a role in which she was tasked with revising the country’s Constitution.
The 61-year old Mama Samia, as she is affectionately known, has been described by many as compassionate, rational and calm. She has also been described among her colleagues, as a diplomatic political figure, owing largely to her matchless ability to calmly manage outbreaks of pandemonium among MPs as well as her respect and insistence on following due process.
President Samia Hassan is a woman of great repute, rare candour and quick wit. She is also extremely determined and not giving in to the oppression of a male-dominated society. Widely travelled, she has gained a lot of international exposure, a factor that can be said to have shaped her diplomatic disposition and could influence how she governs, going forward.