East Africa

Tanzania’s first female president confirms she will run for office in 2025

When Samia Suluhu assumed Tanzania’s presidency on March 19 2021, she made history as the first female president of Tanzania following the death of her predecessor, John Magufuli.

Six months after her appointment, President Samia has now confirmed her political ambitions to run for office in 2025 – to become the country’s first elected female president were she to win.

The Tanzanian President announced at an event to mark the International Day of Democracy in Dar es Salaam, saying her appointment was thanks to “the grace of God” and constitutional requirements. While giving her speech, President Samia urged Tanzanian women to support her political ambition by joining forces to ensure she emerges victorious in the next presidential election.

“This president (her) is leading because of God’s wish and constitutional requirements,” she said.

“We have favoured men to become presidents for far too long. God has given us this special opportunity… if we don’t grab it with both hands, it will become like a curse upon us (women),” she noted while reiterating her pledge to appoint more women to leadership positions as a way of bridging the political gender gap.

President Samia’s remarks about appointing more women to leadership positions came on the back of her first significant Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, which included two more women among four new ministerial appointments.

In the reshuffle, Dr Stergomena Tax was appointed Tanzania’s Minister of Defence and National Service two days after she was sworn in as Member of Parliament. She is the first woman to hold the title since the country’s independence.

President Samia also appointed Dr Ashatu Kijaji as Minister of Communication and Information Technology, taking the number of female ministers running key dockets to seven in a 23-strong cabinet (still under 30 per cent).

President Samia became the first female vice-president in the country’s history upon Magufuli’s victory in the 2015 presidential elections. Both Magufuli and Suluhu were re-elected for a second five-year term on 28 October 2020. However, John Magufuli died after a long illness in 2021 and Samia was sworn in as his successor on 19 March 2021 to serve the balance of Magufuli’s second five-year.

Under the Constitution, since she took office with more than three years remaining in Magufuli’s term, she will only be eligible for one full term in her own right should she decide to run for elective office.



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