Following the death of Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, his Vice, Samia Suluhu Hassan is set to become Tanzania’s first female leader.
Samia Suluhu Hassan will serve the rest of Magufuli’s second five-year term, which would lapse by 2025.
Hassan who is a former office clerk and development worker, began her political career in 2000 in her native Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago, before being elected to the national assembly on mainland Tanzania and assigned a senior ministry.
Samia was nominated by Magufuli as his running mate in his first presidential election campaign in 2015.
The Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party dominated the votes during the election leading to the victory of Magufuli which led to the swearing-in of Hassan as the country’s first-ever female vice president.
Although the last October poll according to opposition and independent observers, was marred by irregularities but the duo got re-elected.
Hassan who would sometimes represent Magufuli on trips abroad had disappeared from national television until her announcement of the demise of the President at age 61, on Wednesday, following a short illness.
Samia was born on January 27, 1960, in Zanzibar. She holds university qualifications from Tanzania, Britain, and the United States.
The mother of four has spoken publicly to encourage Tanzanian women and girls to pursue their dreams and she’s also among a very small circle of women to lead East African nations.
Tanzania would therefore join leagues of Africa countries like Burundi, which briefly had an acting female president in 1993, while both Mauritius and Ethiopia have had women appointed to the ceremonial role of president.