Tanzania’s president has canceled Friday’s Independence Day celebrations and directed that the budget be used instead to construct dorms for children with special needs.
Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has canceled Friday’s Independence Day celebrations and directed that the budget be used instead to build dormitories for children with special needs. The 61st Independence Day celebration was expected to cost $445,000, which will be used to construct eight dormitories in primary schools across the country.
Tanzania’s state minister, George Simbachawene, announced on Monday that the funds had been distributed. He stated that the East African country will commemorate Independence Day by holding public development dialogues.
Typically, Independence Day celebrations include pomp and state banquets. However, this is not the first time Tanzania has canceled the celebrations. In 2015, the country’s then-President John Magufuli canceled celebrations and used the money to build a road in Dar es Salaam, the commercial center. He repeated it in 2020 and instructed that medical facility purchases be made from the budget.
Hassan, the current president, is Tanzania’s first female leader. Only Ethiopia and Tanzania currently have female heads of state, and Ethiopia’s position is mostly ceremonial. Hassan previously gained prominence by directing police officers with large bellies to reduce weight in order to be more productive at work. She also advocated for family planning, reversing her predecessor’s position on contraceptives. Magufuli advised against using birth control.