President Samia Sulhu Hassan’s maiden address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 23 will forever remain a historical moment for Tanzania.
Not only did it mark the first time that a Tanzanian female head of state addressed the esteemed international body, but it was also the first time that President Samia was addressing international leaders from different continents.
What that speech meant for Tanzania as a country can be traced in its resonance among the general local public, most of whom were elated by the fact that a person holding the upper-most office in Tanzania’s political landscape was speaking boldly in front of other heads of states.
What was of particular significance in President Samia’s address is her call for action aimed at addressing a number of global and national hurdles. She took a great amount of her 14-minute speech to call for more action and accountability to tame the spread of Covid-19, but also did not mince words when putting the spotlight on the vaccine distribution inequities.
By showing such poise as she articulated her message to the world, President Samia cemented her status as a bold leader bent on ensuring Tanzania is respected on the international stage.
Her speech was also a signal of Tanzania’s all-rounded focus on tackling multiple issues that do not only affect national territory but have an impact beyond borders. By addressing issues of gender equality and climate change, Samia showed the entire world that Tanzania is fighting the same fight as other developing and developed countries.
The historic moment lived up to the anticipation as the entire nation turned its focus to New York while the head of state was making the public address. The positive reactions heightened by congratulatory messages from various leaders and other notable figures in the country signified that President Samia had managed to represent Tanzania well as the world paid attention.
Granted, not all that is viewed to be a pressing matter of national and international interest was addressed, furthermore, some of the words in the president’s speech have been contested, but, an overall review of Samia’s first speech at the UN as President of Tanzania shows positive reception.
Strivie for more
This should not be Tanzania’s last score on the international podium. As a growing economy, it is of great advantage to the national agenda to have consistent global visibility and appeal. The world needs to know that Tanzania embraces multilateralism and is a proponent of inclusive growth.
Being heralded by others shows that something positive is being done. The strides need to extend beyond the UN and other international organs and be brought back home for the people to truly feel that Tanzania is moving in the right direction.
A lot can be said about President Samia’s UN General Assembly speech, but what remains an undeniable fact is that the world is now aware more than ever that a strong, determined and caring leader is steering the national ship to more prosperity.