Five things to know about Samia Suluhu, Africa’s 3rd female president

Samia Suluhu, Tanzania’s first female vice-president will become Africa’s third female president after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia and Joyce Banda former president of Malawi.

This is because John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania has died of suspected complications from Covid-19.

Here are five things to know about Suluhu.

61 years old

Suluhu was born on January 27, 1960, in the Sultanate of Zanzibar. She went to school in Zanzibar and studied statistics at the Zanzibar Institute of Financial Administration before getting employed by the Ministry of Planning and Development as a clerk.

She has been in politics since 2000

She was first elected as a member of the Zanzibar House of Representative for a special seat in 2000 and was appointed minister by then-President Amani Abeid Karume of Zanzibar. She was the only high-ranking woman minister in that cabinet.

She joined the National Assembly in 2010

Suluhu was elected to the National Assembly in a landslide win in 2010 as the Member of Parliament (MP) representing Makunduchi constituency, marking her entry into national electoral politics.

Joined cabinet in 2014

In 2014, President Jakaya Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania appointed her Minister of State for Union matters for the office of the Vice President.
In the same year, she was also elected the Vice-chairperson for the Constitutional Assembly – the body tasked with drafting the country’s new constitution.

First female running mate on a CCM party ticket, second female vice-president in East Africa

In July 2015, the ruling party CCM’s presidential nominee John Magufuli chose her as his running mate ahead of the country’s 2015 general elections.
The Magufuli-Suluhu ticket won the 2015 general elections making her the first female vice-president in the region since Uganda’s Specioza Naigaga Wandira who was in office from 1994 to 2003.

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