Rise of A Female President In East Africa
Samia Suluhu Hassan a Tanzanian politician breaks ups the glass ceiling as she took office on the 19 March 2021 becoming the sixth president following the death of President John Magufuli and the first female president in East Africa.
By Lissah Munoti
As soon as Suluhu announced the death of Magufuli after his long illness, she was then sworn in as his successor which will serve the balance of Magufuli's second five-year term.
Hassan completed her secondary education in 1977, she pursued a number of short courses on a part-time basis.
She served as a minister in the semi-autonomous region during the administration of President Amani Karume, she served as a member of parliament for Makunduchi constituency from 2010-2015.
In July 2015, Chama Cha Mapinduzi's (CCM) presidential nominee Magufuli chose Suluhu as his running mate for the election making her the first female running mate in the party's history. Chama Cha Mapinduzi(CCM) is the second longest-ruling party in Africa, only after the True Whig Party of Liberia.
Suluhu became Tanzania's first female Vice President following the 2015 general election after being elected on the CCM ticket with the late President Magufuli. She briefly served as the second female interim head of state in the EAC .
Magufuli's last public appearance was during a virtual East African Heads of state meeting where he appeared but only for the introductions and then left Suluhu to continue with the rest of the discussion, she became the most famous female public figure in the parliament.
The Tanzanian constitution upholds that the vice president should step in as president if the incumbent is incapacitated either by physically or mentally healthy. Suluhu is the first woman to head an East African country.
She has been the face of Tanzania in most of the international meetings and represented her nation at all UN, AU, SADC, and EAC meetings hold outside Tanzania therefore she has been the most noticeable figure.
14 years since joining politics, Hassan has risen through the ranks to become the Vice-Chairperson of the ongoing constituency Assembly in Dodoma and she is responsible for Union Affairs between the mainland and the lsles Zanzibar.
However, the rise to power of Hassan becoming the first female president has clearly proven that women are capable of being in any position of power in this life.