Tanzania’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to take over the country’s leadership as the first female president following the demise of President John Magufuli.

Magufuli, 61, died from a heart attack, according to a televised announcement by the Vice-President Hassan on Wednesday evening.

According to the Tanzanian Constitution; “Where the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death, then the Vice-President shall be sworn in and become the President for the unexpired period of the term of five years.”

But who is Samia Suluhu Hassan?

The 61-year-old vice-president is from the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, which is about 99 per cent Muslim.

She was the 10th Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, who assumed office on November 5, 2015, under President John Pombe Magufuli.

Previously, she was the Minister of State, in the office of the Vice President in charge of Union Affairs.

Born on January 27, 1960, Suluhu was an MP for Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015 and had been the Minister of State in the VP’s Office for Union Affairs since 2010.

From 2005-2010, she served as a Minister for Tourism, Trade and Investment and in 2000-2005 a Minister of Youth Employment, Women and Children Development, both in Zanzibar.

In 2000, she decided to join politics and was elected as a special seat member to the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was appointed a minister by President Amani Karume.

Education

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

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

On graduation, she was employed on a project funded by the World Food Programme.

Between 1992 and 1994, she attended the University of Manchester and graduated with a postgraduate diploma in economics.

Suluhu is married to Hafidh Ameir, a retired agriculture officer, and together they have three sons and a daughter.

Their daughter Mwanu Hafidh Ameir is a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.

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