Samia Suluhu Hassan's historic appointment as the country's first woman president comes after the death of Tanzania's former president, John Magufuli, who passed away last week.
During her swearing into office at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Hassan addressed a crowd saying, "This is a time to bury our differences, and be one as a nation." She went on to add that, "This is not a time for finger pointing, but it is a time to hold hands and move forward together." The remarks were an attempt to dispel lingering uncertainty which resulted from Magufuli's mysterious 2-week absence from the public prior to his death.
Following Hassan's historic appointment, US Vice President Kamala Harris extended her congratulations on social media and expressed her desire for their two countries to develop stronger ties. Harris wrote, "Sending best wishes to [Samia Suluhu Hassan] following her swearing in as Tanzania's new President - the first woman to hold the office." Harris added, "The United States stands ready to work with you to strengthen relations between our countries."
As with any presidential incumbent, Hassan faces a number of challenges following her predecessor's 6-year rule. The Guardian reports that according to Tanzanian analysts, Magufuli's terms in office were marred by numerous and arbitrary arrests, a crackdown on any political dissent, shutdowns of social media and internet access as well as censorship of free media.