Samia Suluhu Hassan, 56, was appointed as the first female Vice –President of the Republic of Tanzania by the country’s new President John Magufuli. Born on January 27, 1960 in, Zanzibar, Hassan is a rarity in Africa where politics is a male dominated dirty arena.
Here are eight things you should know about Hassan;
Only one of her four children is a politician
Samia Hassan married Afidh Ameir, who was an agricultural officer, in 1978. They have four children. The only child to follow in her political footsteps is her daughter, Wanu Afidh Ameir, who holds a special seat in the Zanzibar House of Representatives.
She is well educated
She attended Chawaka and Mahonda primary schools in Unguja and Ziwani Primary in Pemba Island. She went to Ngambo for her secondary education but later transferred to Lumumba, both in Unguja Islands. After completing her studies she joined public service in 1977 as a clerk in the Ministry of Labour and National Planning.
She joined Mzumbe University where she got an Advanced Diploma in 1986. Last year, Southern New Hampshire University, in partnership with the Open University of Tanzania, awarded her Masters Degree in Science (Community Development). In 1994, she was awarded a postgraduate diploma, from University of Manchester.
Her distinguished public service
In 2000, Zanzibar President Amani Karume, appointed Hassan to be Minister of Labour, Gender Development and Children. She served as the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment from 2005 to 2010, after which she was appointed Minister of State for Union Affairs, which she headed from 2010 to November, 2015. On November 5, last year, Samia was sworn in as the first ever female vice president of the Republic of Tanzania, under President John Pombe Magufuli.
She had an active political career
She started her career in active politics in 2000, when she was elected to a special seat in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. She sought a successful re-election in 2005. 2010, she won the Makunduchi Parliamentary elections, on a CCM ticket. John Pombe Magufuli chose her as his running mate in last year’s General elections, which they won on a CCM ticket. She is the 10th Vice-president.
She was an ardent women rights activist
Samia Suluhu Hassan was a revered activist, before she fully got into politics. She campaigned for empowerment of women, gender balance and equality. Her swearing in as the 10th Vice-president, was described by Tanzanian women activists as a sign that women empowerment has a brighter future.
She was one of the architects of Tanzania’s new constitutional
She was the Vice-chairperson of the Tanzanian Constituent Assembly in 2014. This body was responsible for the drafting of the new Tanzania constitution.
First woman to be nominated as a running mate by the ruling party
Samia Suluhu Hassan became the first woman to be nominated as a running mate in the history of CCM. She won the nomination in July, last year, beating two other female candidates, Amina Ali and Asha-Rose Migiro.
She the second female Vice-President in East Africa
She is only the second female vice-president in East Africa, after Uganda’s Wandira Specioza Kazibwe, who served from 1994-2003.
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