Speech By The Guest Of Honour, H. E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice-President Of The United Republic Of Tanzania And The Patron Of Tanzania Girl Guides Association At The Opening Ceremony Of The 36th World Association Of Girl Guides And Girl Scouts (Wagggs) Conference Held In New Delhi, India 18th September 2017.

(The speech was read out by the former female Finance Minister and Member of the Tanzania Girl Guides Association (TGGA), Honourable Zakhia Meghji).

Honorable Nicola Grinstead, Chairperson of the World Board,

Honorable Chair, WOSM,

Honorable World Board Members,

Honorable Regional Committee Members,

All Member Organizations,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

All protocols observed.




I am delighted and feel greatly honoured and privileged to represent Honorable Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Madam Vice-President had wished and was eagerly looking forward to joining you at this auspicious occasion, but she could not make it due to other equally pressing domestic and international exigencies. She has wished us a very successful conference.

Madam Chairperson,

Let me also, on behalf of the Government of Tanzania, thank the Government of India for the warm reception accorded to me and my delegation. I also wish to use this opportunity to use this opportunity to thank the High Commissioner who is here with us this evening for extending a logistical support to me and members of this delegation.

Madam Chair,

Although I stand here to represent the Vice-President, I promise that I will be true and faithful to her instructions as to what I should speak to you tonight. But let me share with this august assembly that for the very first time in the history of Tanzania, we have a female Vice-President who has accepted wholeheartedly to be the Patron of the Tanzania Girl Guide Association (TGGA). This has had positive implications for girl guiding in Tanzania; and I hope for WAGGGS too. I am very sure that if WAGGGS conducts a survey or a research on women leaders in most countries, we may find out that, most of them have evolved through Girl Guides. A case in point is the Vice-President herself and also myself, having served as the first female Finance Minister of Tanzania and currently Member of TGGA Board of Trustees).

Madam Chair,

There is a saying that when you educate a girl, you educate the whole community. This is in line with the mission of TGGA, which is guiding, coaching and empowering girls and young women to be self-reliant, to be confident through provision of life skills, education and creation of opportunities globally. It complements what has been carried out by WAGGGS globally since its inception to the present day. The results of these efforts are visible through African member organizations whose membership has grown to over one million to date, as has been reported by the Chairperson of the African Region today. I sincerely commend delegates from Africa as a whole for this achievement.

Madam Chair, Conference Participants,

Girl Guides deal with the development and sustainability issues among communities; and this is not by accident. It is believed generally that by nature, God has made man and woman to complement one another. We can see this in the concerns that men and women generally focus on in their lives. Generally, it is believed that while men are more concerned with power and who has the final say in the here and now; women, on the other hand are more concerned with sustenance and sustainability. That is, with women, questions such as what have we done for the next generation: children, grand children and those to come after we leave? How do we relate to the environment? Who is going to take care of whom? etc are high on the agenda. That may help to explain why issues of sustenance and sustainability occupy women’s minds as we can also see that in many WAGGGS initiatives. This makes guiding a movement that is regarded as the safest place for a girl child to belong and be identified with. “For her World”, as the theme of this 36th World Conference shows, the importance of girl guides is to develop and prepare girls and young women to be future leaders in their communities so as to take part in decision making and to speak for themselves for issues they face. Guiding leads girls and young women to have a greater voice and to make a better world for themselves and their communities for today and tomorrow.

Dear World Conference Participants,

Decision making is key to development and to positive change; there is, therefore, a need for Girl Guides in all countries to have programmes, which are not only attractive and relevant, but also that will make girls to be confident, self assertive, conscious and bring positive development in their families as well as to impact their local, national and global communities. Getting more women in decision making positions by raising them up through guiding should be the major preoccupation of the WAGGGS. To that effect, I suggest that we focus on creating conditions that will expose girls and young women to:
    a. Leadership training,
    b. Projects such as Free being Me (for self-confidence, self-esteem and self-acceptance),
    c. Having a succession plan,
    d. Encouraging young women to vie for governance positions, etc.
These are just, but a few conditions that we need to create and think of more and that only the sky is the limit! In the case of Tanzania, TGGA has been growing in numbers with strong governance. The Government of Tanzania is committed to support the girl guides at every level, including the most senior levels.

In closing, Dear World Conference Participants, I wish to reiterate my sincere thanks to WAGGGS, for making this conference possible and I urge you to consider holding one of your many activities in Tanzania.