Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president following the death of President John Magufuli.
Hassan took the oath wearing a hijab while clutching a Quran with her right hand at the statehouse in the city of Dar es Salaam. Millions across the country watched the history-making moment in a live broadcast.
Former presidents Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Jakaya Kikwete and Abeid Karume were in attendance.
Under the constitution, Hassan will serve the remainder of Magufuli’s second five-year term, which does not expire until 2025.
In 2015, Hassan became the second woman to become vice president in the region since Uganda’s Specioza Naigaga Wandira, who was in office from 1994 to 2003. She is also the second woman in East Africa to serve as the head of government.
Hassan has given little away about the direction she is planning on taking the country.
“It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart,” said Hassan, speaking in Swahili. “Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career. Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning,” she said.
“This is the time to stand together and get connected. It’s time to bury our differences, show love to one another and look forward with confidence,” she said. “It is not the time to point fingers at each other but to hold hands and move forward to build the new Tanzania that President Magufuli aspired to.”