Tanzania: TTU President turns Education Minister

It is a victory in the history of teacher trade unionism in Africa that the President of the Tanzania Teachers' Union (TTU), Margaret Sitta, has recently been appointed the country's Minister of Education and Vocational Training.

Newly elected Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete announced his cabinet on 4 January, comprising 29 ministers and 30 deputies. The new cabinet has the highest number of women the country has had since independence - 7 ministers and 10 deputy ministers. The appointment of Margaret Sitta marks a victory not only for Tanzanian teachers in general, but more specifically for women teachers. Tanzania is one of the countries involved in the Education For All programme. Free and compulsory education was reintroduced in 2002 but improvement has not been forthcoming. Tanzania's education sector is also ravaged by the spread of HIV/AIDS. Currently, the Tanzania Teachers' Union (TTU) is participating in EI's EFAIDS Programme, which involves educators in the implementation of education for all and the stopping of the spread of HIV/AIDS. On behalf of all affiliates, EI congratulates Margaret Sitta and the TTU on her appointment.