Tanzania Cancels Independence Day Celebrations

Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan during a meeting inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington. Taken April 15, 2022.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has canceled Independence Day celebrations scheduled for December 9.instead directing the funds to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The $445,000 allocated for the country’s 61st Independence Day event will be used to build eight dormitories in primary schools around the country.

Tanzania’s minister of state, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed. He said the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development.

Usually, Independence Day celebrations are marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not, however, the first time Tanzania has canceled the celebrations.

In 2015, then-President John Magufuli canceled celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. In 2020, he did the same and directed that the budget be used to buy medical facilities.

Hassan is Tanzania’s first woman head of state. Currently, only Tanzania and Ethiopia have female heads of state, though the role in Ethiopia is largely ceremonial.

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