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Suluhu Hassan take over from Magufuli

By Reuters and Wambua Sammy | Mar 18th 2021 | 2 min read
The late President Magufuli (left) and Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

According to Tanzania’s Constitution, Vice President Hassan, 61, should assume the presidency for the remainder of the five-year term that Magufuli began serving last year after winning a second term. She would be the East African nation’s first female president.

Born in the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, Hassan studied economics in Britain, worked for the UN’s World Food Programme and then held various government posts prior to becoming Tanzania’s first female vice president in 2015.

Samia Suluhu Hassan 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.

She was first elected as a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives for the special seat in 2000, and was appointed Minister by then-President Amani Abeid Karume of Zanzibar.

Tanzanians watch the television announcement of the death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania March 18, 2021. [Reuters/Emmanuel Herman]

She was the only high-ranking woman minister in that cabinet.

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.

In 2014, President Jakaya Kikwete appointed her Minister of State for Union matters for the office of the Vice President.

In the same year, she was also elected the Vice-chairperson for the Constitutional Assembly – the body tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

In July 2015, the ruling party CCM’s presidential nominee John Magufuli chose her as his running mate ahead of the country’s 2015 General Elections.

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.

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