Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes Tanzania’s first female President

On March 19, Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan was sworn in as the sixth president of the East African country following the death of President John Magufuli.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at State House in Dar es Salaam, with Ms Suluhu making history as the first female president in Tanzania. She also became one of two serving female heads of state in Africa.

As the Tanzanian presidency is an executive one, Suluhu is the third female head of government of an East African Community.

She became the first female vice-president following the 2015 general election, after elected on the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party ticket with President John Magufuli. Suluhu and Magufuli were however re-elected to a second term in 2020.

Ms Suluhu, 61, took oath under the Chief Justice, Prof Ibrahim Juma, and will serve the remainder of the late President John Magufuli’s second term in office until 2025.

According to the Tanzanian constitution, she will be eligible to run for another five-year term.

Dressed in a red hijab and black suit – the ceremonial colours of the army – President Suluhu received a 21-gun salute with the military singing the Tanzanian and East African Community anthems.

With an estimated population of 46 million, Tanzania is a country located in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region.

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.