Tanzania: President Samia, the Face of Tanzania Internationally

Tanzanians line the streets of Dar es Salaam to pay their last respects to President John Magufuli, who died in office.

Dar es Salaam — Samia Suluhu Hassan would sometimes represent Magufuli on foreign functions, making her "the face of Tanzania internationally."

The 61-year old new Head of State, who was sworn in as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania yesterday, attended a number of foreign events during the past five years while she was the Vice President.

Dr Magufuli, the immediate former President, who died on Wednesday evening, cut foreign trips arguing that he had decided to focus on building the country as Head of State.

The former leader was on record to have visited Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in 2016 and in 2017 he travelled to Ethiopia and Uganda. In 2018 he travelled to Uganda while in 2019 he toured South Africa, Malawi, Nambia and Zimbabwe.

Ms Hassan represented Tanzania in events including all UN, AU, Sadc and EAC meetings held outside Tanzania during the last five years.

Analysts say her exposure gave her enough experience internationally.

"She has been attending virtually all international issues and therefore was able to come into close contact with top diplomats, exchange ideas and information that made her known to them," said an academician in the International Humanitarian Law, Prof Khoti Kamanga.

According to him, through the contact, she gained experience and is also familiar to them and therefore it goes without saying that they are most definitely ready to work with her.

For his part, renowned Prof Abdallah Safari said, President Hassan has been the one who attended all international events to represent the country in her capacity as Vice President.

He noted that through such events she gained experience on what was required and how to communicate with the international audience.

"I believe she is capable because she has had the experience during these five years," he said.

For his part, Peter Msigwa who is an opposition Chadema politician, said when he was a Member of Parliament and the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs he witnessed her attending almost all international events.

"She is a diplomat who has communication skills and I am sure she will be able to represent Tanzania well in international circles and matters as she has been doing that for some time now when she was the Vice President," he said.

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