DAR ES-SALAM - Tanzania’s vice-president, Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan will serve out the current presidential term until 2025.

She is the first woman president of Tanzania. From the island of Zanzibar, she has been a longtime member of the ruling party, holding various government posts in tourism, trade, and investment. She was also involved in youth, women’s, and children’s programs in Zanzibar.

How her presidency will affect conservation and the role of tourism is unknown. Will she keep and increase protections for the environment and wildlife? Will she promote sustainable tourism? There is hope. Having been involved in tourism and trade, she is undoubtedly well aware of the importance of tourism to the economy, especially since Zanzibar is highly dependent on foreign visitors.

We wish President Muhulu all the best for her new and vitally important role in reversing Tanzania’s downward spiral. We hope that she will change direction on human rights, including policies that affect women and girls.

President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, passed away on March 17 after a long public absence and wide speculation about his health.

Since taking office in 2015, Magufuli went from corruption fighter to authoritarian, taking Tanzania from a tradition of free press and open elections to a closed society with autocratic rule, press repression, election fraud, and science denial.