Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation on the passing of the Settlor, His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation, we join our fellow Tanzanians, partners in development and well-wishers to express our deepest sorrows following the demise of our Founder and Settlor, His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa on 23rd July 2020.
We offer our condolences to His Excellency Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mrs Anna Mkapa – the widow of the Late Former President Benjamin Mkapa, the family and all Tanzanians, for the loss of a patriotic, inspiring and great leader.
We are grateful for the gift of President Mkapa’s life to us, and to millions more others, whose lives were touched by his leadership and service.
President Mkapa’s vision in establishing the Foundation after his retirement from office was to promote his efforts in combating HIV/AIDS as well as reinforcing better access to health care and services amongst Tanzanians. In this regard the Foundation has had an exceptional working relationship with the Government and Partners in development on improving availability and accessibility to quality health care, with special focus on remote, low resource settings and underserved areas.
In 14 years of its existence, the Foundation has successfully undertaken and implemented multiple projects that have positively improved and impacted health sector in both Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar. These have contributed towards the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. They have also supported Maternal, Adolescent and Children’s Health, increasing availability of skilled health workers at the health facilities, community health workers and overall improvements of health facility infrastructure. These remarkable successes were made possible by President Mkapa’s strong vision, able guidance, and his sound leadership.
The untimely death of President Benjamin William Mkapa is an irreplaceable loss to our Foundation. Nonetheless, it gives us reason to celebrate his accomplishments and achievements. It is also challenging us to carry on his legacy. The Foundation shall continue from where he ended. It will tirelessly work with the Government, Development partners, Private sector, and the people to ensure improvements in provision of healthcare, and more important the healthy lives of our people.
I would like to assure the general public that the Foundation is firmly anchored on the strong philosophy and vision of our Founder. It is well grounded and aligned with the existing national priorities, changing global realities, and it has built and strengthened its frameworks, systems and structures in good governance, leadership, innovativeness and dedicated staffing. In addition, it has well devised strategies that enhances the Foundation’s independence and sustainability. It is this spirit and dedication that gives us confidence and renewed vigor to sustain the legacy of our Founder.
In his memoirs “My Life, My Purpose: A Tanzanian President Remembers”, Late President Mkapa euphemistically borrowed a quote by Rabbi Harold Kushner as follows:
“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so the world will at least be a little bit different for our having passed through it”.
He went further to close his memoir by his words, “I will leave it to my God and you to decide what difference I have made in this world”.
We, at the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation confidently stands as a witness to say that, his life touched many of his compatriots, and there are many more whose lives are much better today because of his life and his contribution.
We pledge to continue to build on his dream, vision and sustain this Foundation to greater heights, to grow in strength, reach and positive impact in the health sector in Tanzania and Africa. Our Settlor was a life well lived, and time meaningfully spent. We thank God for the gift of his life. We pray for his eternal peace.
Dr. Adeline Kimambo
Chair of the Board of Trustees
BENJAMIN W. MKAPA FOUNDATION