Who says Females can’t emerge as presidents or be political involved in Africa? Well, Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania new President has again changed that narrative.
She was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president following the death of John Magufuli at the State House in Dar es Salaam on Friday, Making history as the first woman to hold the top job in the East African country.
The inauguration of the 61-year-old’ Zanzibar native came two days after she announced the passing of President John Magufuli.
Prior to his death, Magufuli had not been seen in public for over two weeks, prompting speculation that he may have been suffering from COVID-19, which he had repeatedly denied was a problem in Tanzania. The government has blamed Magufuli’s death on heart problems.
Suluhu is the third female head of government of an East African Community (EAC) country, after Sylvie Kinigi in Burundi and Agathe Uwilingiyimana in Rwanda.
Suluhu served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region during the administration of President Amani Karume. She served as the Member of Parliament for the Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015 and was the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office for Union Affairs from 2010 to 2015. In 2014, she was elected as the Vice-Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly tasked with the drafting of the country’s new constitution.
Suluhu became Tanzania’s first female vice-president following the 2015 general election, after being elected on the CCM ticket with President Magufuli. Suluhu and Magufuli were re-elected to a second term in 2020.
Although she is not the first female president recorded in Africa but she has strongly followed the footstep of Ellen Johnson Sirlefaf, Liberian’s 24th President from 2006 to 2018, and first female president in Africa.