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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called off the country’s independence day celebrations scheduled for Friday, ordering the budget to instead be spent on urgent projects and public discussions on development, Business Insider Africa reported Tuesday.

The president said the $445,000 budget for Tanzania’s independence day celebration on Dec. 9 would instead be used to build more dormitories for children with special needs.

Minister of State George Simbachawene added that discussions to address the state of the country and activities to promote social goods would be better ways to commemorate the national day.

Tanzania’s independence days are usually marked by extravagance and pomp, Africanews noted.

Even so, Hassan is not the first president to divert funds from the national celebration to other public projects.

Her late predecessor, John Magufuli, canceled celebrations in 2015 and used the funds to build a road in the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

He did the same in 2020, directing the budget toward the purchase of medical facilities.

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