From Clerk To President: Meet Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania’s First Female Leader


Following the demise of president John Magufuli of Tanzania on Wednesday evening March 17, 2021, fate beckon on his vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan who according to the constitution automatically becomes the president.

Hassan, 61, was born in Zanzibar.

She became Tanzania’s first female Vice-President following the 2015 General election, elected on the CCM ticket with the President.

Suluhu Hassan and late John Magufuli were reelected in November, 2020.

Before her tenure as vice president, she served as the Member of Parliament for Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015, and was also Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office for Union Affairs.

Her career development has been that of a slow and steady wins the race.

After completing her secondary education in 1977, she was employed by the Ministry of Planning and Development as a clerk.

Samia pursued a number of short-courses on a part-time basis. In 1986, she graduated from the Institute of Development Management (present-day Mzumbe University) with an advanced diploma in public administration

She continued on to the University of Manchester where she received a postgraduate diploma in Economics in 1994.

Not relenting on her oars, even with her political engagements, she received a Masters in Science in Community Economic Development through a joint-program between the Open University of Tanzania and the Southern New Hampshire University.

She is married to Hafidh Ameir and the union is blessed with four children.

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