On March 17th, 2021, the former President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, passed away. Two days later, Tanzania’s first female president, President Samia Suluhu Hassan assumed the position. Since the unexpected transition, President Hassan has begun to make slow changes to the Tanzanian government’s approach on important issues such as, the COVID-19 Pandemic, the media and regional trade. In April, President Hassan announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Committee that would be tasked with creating policies to strengthen Tanzania’s response to the pandemic. Hassan has approved of face masks, often seen in public wearing one, and has ordered visitors entering the country to present a negative COVID-19 test, be tested at time of entry or quarantine for 14 days. None of these measures existed under Magufuli.
President Hassan has also emphasized the point that Tanzania cannot live in isolation and is dedicated to mending ties with regional and global partners. Hassan has already traveled to two important regional allies, Uganda and Kenya, to discuss new economic projects. Tanzania and Uganda will be partnering on an oil-pipeline project; and Tanzania and Kenya are working on building a joint gas-pipeline.