From Indonesia to the Vatican to Norway: Samia’s packed itinerary
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan is set to visit the Vatican next month, shortly after a trip to Indonesia in southeast Asia and later a tour of Norway in northern Europe.
President Hassan is expected to meet Pope Francis at the Holy See on February 11 and 12. The Catholic Church is one of the major stakeholders in Tanzania in the provision of education and health services.
Tanzania Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister January Makamba said the church runs 240 nursery schools, 147 primary schools, 245 secondary schools, 110 vocational training centres and five universities.
It also operates at least 473 health facilities.
Read:Two years of Samia’s reforms in Tanzania
Ms Hassan’s visit will be the first by Tanzanian President since October 2007 when former President Jakaya Kikwete met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
“In 2016, the late President John Magufuli invited Pope Francis to Tanzania. Unfortunately, the pontiff was unable to come that year due to health reasons. However, he has reciprocated by inviting Tanzania’s sitting head of State,” Mr Makamba said Sunday.
Before jetting to the Vatican, President Hassan will tour Indonesia from January 24 to 26, where she is expected to hold talks with President Joko Widodo on trade and investments, agriculture and education.
Mr Makamba said she will lead a delegation of 100 Tanzania businesspeople to Jakarta.
“She will also meet with members of Indonesia’s Association of Women Chief Executive Officers,” he added.
From the Vatican, President Hassan will head north to Norway for a visit on February 13 and 14 to strengthen ties between the two countries.
Unlike her predecessor Magufuli, President Samia has made frequent travels to shore up Tanzania’s diplomatic, economic and investment ties with the world.