- Dedicates honour to leaders, members of CCM
- Says it is inspirational to Tanzanian girl child
- Promises to move forward with renewed commitment
INDIA: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes the first woman to be conferred with an Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) degree by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) of India.
The prestigious recognition highlights her contributions and accomplishments in various fields and is a symbol of the strong ties between Tanzania and India. Such also includes promoting economic diplomacy and achieving success in regional integration and multilateralism.
In a special convocation ceremony held in India, on Tuesday, the Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof Santishree Dhulipudi said “It is my privilege to confer the Honorary Doctorate (Honoris Causa) degree to President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of Tanzania from now Doctor Samia Suluhu Hassan for fostering Indo-Tanzania relations and India-African relations.”
Prof Dhulipudi revealed that this was not the first time JNU grants the honorary doctorate to a Tanzanian, as in 1985, the founding father of the nation, the late Julius Nyerere also received the honour, noting that they were extremely proud of that.
However, on November 30, last year, President Samia was also conferred with another Honorary Doctorate Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) Honoris Causa) of University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM). The recognition was given in honour of her outstanding contribution to education and human rights.
On the occasion, Dr Samia acknowledged herself as a “product of Indian education”, attributing it to her training at Hyderabad.
She expressed profound recognition bestowed upon her as it was the first to be awarded to her by a foreign university.
Dr Samia while delivering her acceptance speech, also expressed gratitude to the esteemed institution for the privilege of receiving this honorary doctorate.
“This Honorary Causa degree will forever be etched in my history as the first to be awarded to me by a foreign university. Thank you for decorating and adding colour to my history,” said Dr Samia.
She added: “I accept it not as a culmination of my efforts, but as a reaffirmation of the boundless potential that hard work, dedication and selflessness holds for us all.
“Let us move forward with a renewed commitment to harness the transformative power of cooperation, and in doing so, let us forge a future that is marked by unity, understanding, and a steadfast dedication to the betterment of humanity.”
President Samia noted that the honour comes with responsibility and expectations, indicating that it reflected a call to action, a call to leverage the privilege that it confers for the betterment of the world.
“It is a call to use our knowledge, our skills and our resources to effect positive change, to advocate for those whose voices have been marginalised, and to champion causes that resonate with the values we hold dear,” stated the President.
She expressed deepest appreciation to her late parents who saw the importance of investing into a girl child, by taking her to school and supported her quest in furthering her education.
Thus, Dr Samia dedicated the honour to the leaders and members of her party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) which entrusted her with many roles and opportunities, including being the Presidential Running Mate, and later the Chair of the Party, and the President of Tanzania.
She equally sent tribute to Tanzanians who gave her the honour of being the President, and lent her their trust and overwhelming support.
“In this particular award, I dedicate it to the Tanzanian girl child who lives in the remotest parts of the country. I want them to know with hard work and commitment all glass ceilings can be torn down.
“I am acutely aware that, whatever I achieve as a leader of my country, is partly because I am standing on the broad shoulders of my brothers, my predecessors who have dedicated their lives into making the institution of Presidency into what I have inherited. Their legacy is woven into the very fabric of this institution, and it is with profound reverence that I accept this honour also in their names,” she said.
For his part, India Minister of External Affairs, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar noted that by honouring President Samia with an educational conferment, the university does not only recognise her long association with India but highlight on this particular aspect of her relationship.
He observed that education and capacity building are important assets of India-Tanzania bilateral ties, noting that over 5000 Tanzanian nationals have been trained in educational institutions in India under the country’s Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.
Besides, India also plays host to other several Tanzania students who study in India. “In India’s universities young minds dream with confidence as they shape their future through start-ups, invention and innovations,”.
“This conferment is a message that relations between our two countries will continue to grow further and prosper in the times to come” he said.
The event was attended by ministers from Tanzania and India among other dignitaries