As Tanzania’s first woman head of state, Samia Suluhu Hassan’s presidency is contributing to a sense of hope for the future of women’s leadership in Africa, said Amujae Leader Upendo Furaha Peneza.
Joining host Alan Kasujja on the BBC World Service’s Africa Daily podcast, Ms. Peneza, a former Member of Parliament in the United Republic of Tanzania, was optimistic about what President Hassan’s appointment could mean for her country and for the continent:
“This will help to actually change a part of the patriarchal mindset within the public, and we’ll have more women who’ve been dreaming of becoming president become government leaders.”
Ms. Peneza also expressed her hope that President Hassan would use her position as an opportunity to help get more women into leadership and decision making roles:
“Just as the former President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf… said when she got into office: she [said she would] use [her] position to actually lift up many more women… and actually help them [into] positions of power.”
Finally, reflecting on some of President Hassan’s actions in office so far—which have included the decision to institute a panel of experts to advise the government on its COVID-19 response—Ms. Peneza said that President Hassan’s leadership was “sending out a message of hope.”