Tanzania has wasted no time by appointing Vice-President, Samia Suluhu Hassan today as the country’s first female President becoming Africa’s only current female President and joins a short list of women on the continent to have run their countries.
Samia Suhulu Hassan who announced the death of John Magufuli on Wednesday, was first elected as Magufuli’s running mate in 2015, Hassan was re-elected last year along with him and, according to the constitution, she should serve out the rest of the five-year term in the top job.
The 61-year-old is affectionately known as Mama Samia, in Tanzanian culture that reflects the respect she is held in, rather than reducing her to a gendered role.
Hassan was born in January 1960 on Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous islands off the coast of mainland Tanzania. Later she went on to study public administration, first in Tanzania and then as a post-graduate at UK’s Manchester University.