President Samia Hassan engages Pope Francis for social initiatives

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The partnership-oriented president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, recently visited the Vatican to discuss a few key issues. The president of the budding East African country met with the head of the catholic church to discuss Tanzania’s social development and African peacekeeping efforts. 2007 was the last time a Tanzanian president visited the Vatican.

  • Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan meets Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss social development.
  • Both parties agree to strengthen ties between Tanzania and the Catholic Church, emphasizing education and healthcare.
  • The visit marks a significant diplomatic effort, with Tanzania’s last presidential visit to the Vatican dating back to 2007.

A report by the publication; East African, revealed that the president of Tanzania and the head of the catholic church, Pope Francis met to discuss several social issues.

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Ultimately both parties agreed to strengthen the relationship between the church and the East African country. President Samia expressed her satisfaction with the Catholic Church’s role in advancing social welfare in Tanzania, particularly in education and health care.

The president visited the Vatican at the request of the pope and took with her a delegation of Catholic leaders from her country.

The Vatican issued a statement shortly after the president met with the Pope on Monday, noting how cordial and productive the meeting was. According to the statement, the primary topic discussed was Tanzania’s present ties with the Holy See.

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“Samia also held discussions with the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin in the company of the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States and International Organisations Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher,” the report by the East African, read.

The last time a Tanzanian head of state visited the Vatican was in 2007 when Jakaya Kikwete was the president. Then he met with the late Pope Benedict XVI.

Between September 1 and 5, 1990, the late Pope John Paul II traveled to Tanzania, where he met Hassan Mwinyi and Julius Nyerere, two former presidents.

On October 1, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI had a meeting at the Vatican with the late Benjamin William Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania.

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Approximately 12 million people in Tanzania are Catholic, making up over 25% of the country’s 61 million total population.

According to the East African, “the Catholic Church in Tanzania is among the leading social services providers, mostly education and health through its 240 nursery schools, 147 primary schools, 245 secondary schools, 110 vocational training centers, and five (5) universities all established in Tanzania. The universities are registered with more than 31,000 students pursuing higher studies in key fields of education.”


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