Tanzania: President Samia and the Zanzibari curse

By Erick Kabendera

Posted on Tuesday, 28 February 2023 20:30, updated on Wednesday, 1 March 2023 00:00
President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan in Addis Ababa on February 17, 2023. (Photo by Amanuel Sileshi / AFP)

As the first Zanzibar-born politician to serve as the president of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Hassan has an unprecedented opportunity to steer political and economic reforms without being bogged down by competing interests as her predecessors were. This, however, depends on how she continues to manoeuvre the political scene.

Until President John Magufuli’s death in office in 2021, the possibility of a Zanzibari becoming the union leader seemed distant, even though the nation’s founding president, Julius Nyerere, deliberately advocated for his successor to come from Zanzibar.