Tanzania swears in first female president

President Samia Suluhu Hassan

Tanzanian Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn as the country’s first female president.

Hassan took the oath at the statehouse in the city of Dar es Salaam in a televised ceremony on state TV, two days after the country’s COVID-denying president, John Magufuli, died after reportedly contracting the virus.

She will also be Tanzania’s first president born in Zanzibar, the archipelago that forms part of the union of the Republic of Tanzania.

Hassan is described as a soft-spoken consensus-builder, and her leadership style is seen as the opposite of Magufuli’s.

In an address shortly after she was sworn in, Hassan said Magufuli’s body would be moved to several locations around the country over the next few days for private and public farewell events. He will then be laid to rest in his hometown, Chato, on March 25, she said.