She made this decision after carrying out a cost-benefit analysis of the celebrations which she concluded as extravagant. The President decided to use the allocated budget to handle a more urgent project.
Instead of a grand festival, Tanzania’s 61st birthday would be used to host debates and conferences to discuss various issues of social development held in all the districts in the country.
The celebration was budgeted at Sh960 million, which the president decided would be better used to construct dormitories for children with special needs.
The funds will be channelled to the schools through the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG).
Tanzania’s Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Coordination, and Parliamentary Affairs), Mr. George Simbachawene, revealed that the funds would be used to construct dormitories for a total of 8 schools.
The schools include Buhangija (Shinyanga), Goeko (Tabora), Darajani (Singida), Mtanga (Lindi), Songambele (Manyara), Msanzi (Rukwa), Idofi (Njombe), and Longido (Arusha).
In a statement by the Minister, he iterated that productive discussions to address the state of the country, and social activities would be a better way to commemorate the country’s 61st birthday.
“The debates and conferences will be preceded by various schedules for regional and district leaders to carry out social activities in different areas including cleaning hospitals, schools, elderly homes, and groups with special needs,” the minister said.
“Therefore, this year’s celebrations will not have parades and other National activities,” he added.
The idea of using the independence day celebration funds to take on urgent projects is no new idea. The former president of the country, John Magufuli, had a habit of doing the same.
In 2015, he used the independence day funds to build (Mwenge-Morocco) Road in Dar es Salaam. In 2020, he did the same and directed that the budget be used to buy medical facilities.
The current president, Hassan, is Tanzania’s first female head of state. Currently, only Tanzania and Ethiopia have female heads of state, though the role in Ethiopia is largely ceremonial.
Hassan previously drew attention by ordering big-bellied policemen to lose weight to be more effective at work. She also reversed her predecessor’s stance on contraceptives by urging Tanzanians to embrace family planning. Magufuli discouraged the use of contraceptives.
For her impressive leadership, President Hassan scooped quite a number of accolades. In 2022 alone she won herself some of the global most prestigious awards such as the 2022 SDG Presidential Gold Award, Africa Road Builders–Babacar Ndiaye Trophy and the transformational Leadership Award for the 2022 African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA).
She is revered for her outstanding display of political wisdom in running an inclusive government and assuring peace and stability in the United Republic of Tanzania. Under Hassan’s leadership, Tanzania has emerged in the league of fastest growing economies in the African continent.