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10 Things To Know About Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania’s First Female President

Samia Suluhu Hassan

Samia Suluhu Hassan is described as a soft-spoken consensus-builder | Image: Tony Karumba/AFP

Samia Suluhu Hassan on Friday was sworn in as the sixth President of Tanzania after the sudden death of John Magufuli, making her the country’s first female president.


The soft-spoken 61-year-old will finish Magufuli’s second five-year term, set to run until 2025. She rose through the ranks over a 20-year political career from local government to the national assembly.

Here are some quick facts about Samia Suluhu Hassan:

  • Samia Suluhu Hassan was born on the 27th of January, 1960 in the Sultanate of Zanzibar.
  • 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 graduated with 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.
Samia Suluhu Hassan

Samia Suluhu Hassan, right, speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania, March 16, 2021. | Image: AP

Hassan was an activist before she joined politics. “Having worked as an activist at grassroots level and witnessing on first-hand what people go through on a daily basis; I thought it was high time I joined politics and made changes in society,” she said in an interview quoted in Tanzania’s Daily News.

  • A former office clerk and development worker, Hassan was elected in 2000 as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed by President Amani Karume as the Minister for Employment, Youth, Women and Children Development.
  • She was appointed by President Karume again in the Tourism, Trade and Investment docket where she served between 2005 and 2010.
  • 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.
  • She became Tanzania’s first female vice-president following the 2015 general election, after being elected on the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party ticket with President Magufuli.
  • Samia Suluhu Hassan is married to Hafidh Ameir, who is a retired agricultural officer. They have four children. Her daughter Mwanu Hafidh Ameir is a special seat member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.
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