Category: MKAPA SYMPOSIUM

Speech by H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania

H.E Samia Suhulu Hassan, Tanzania’s 6th President worked closely with H.E. The Late Benjamin William Mkapa during his tenure as the 3rd President of Tanzania. 

July 14, 2021

Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Mwinyi,

President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council;
Excellencies Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Former Presidents of Zanzibar;

Excellencies Former Heads of State and Government and Friends of Late Former President Benjamin Mkapa;

The Mkapa Family, led by Mama Anne Mkapa, Widow of the Late Former President Benjamin Mkapa;

Honourable Ministers here present; Distinguished Members of Diplomatic Corps;

Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation;

Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro, Chief Executive Officer of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation;

Invited Guest, Family and Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I SALUTE YOU IN THE NAME OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA

It is always difficult to speak last, and more so, after the elders have spoken. I have listened attentively to all those who spoke about Late President Benjamin William Mkapa. They are the people who knew him and worked with him closely. They have said it all. Summing it up, they have spoken of Late President Mkapa as a visionary leader, developmentalist, regionalist and globalist, result-driven and a great statesman.

I, too, had an opportunity of knowing Late President Mkapa. I can attest to the testimonies shared here today. He was an exceptional man! You would always leave very enriched when talking to him. He had this aura of being confident and authoritative that built his powers to convince and persuade to agree to his opinion. He was passionate about knowledge and wisdom, and that could be reflected on the quality of his writings. In short, I can say, he was a force to reckon. (‘larger than life’).

This symposium signifies the importance of the need to remember his achievements and land marks. And, it is for this reason that I would like to commend the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation for proper organization of this Symposium, but also, for the noble contribution given in health sector. Before getting in this hall, I took time to visit the exhibition. I was thrilled to see the decent work the Foundation is doing and the impact you have made. Indeed, this is the befitting way of remembering our Former President and sustain his ideas and work. I encourage all of you here present to find time to stop- over the booths and observe the noble work carried by the Mkapa Foundation team, led by the Chairman of the Board Dr. Adeline Kimambo and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is indeed no exaggeration to say, the history of this country cannot be written without a golden chapter of Late President Benjamin William Mkapa. Not only because he was our third President, but also because he did a heavy uplifting that propelled the transformation of our country. Indeed, he was fortified in his work.

During his time, he steered major transformation of our society and economy. The drastic measures he undertook that freed the private sector and attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) led to the increase of revenues from 331.2 billion Tanzania Shillings in 1995 to 2 Trillion Tanzanian Shillings in 2005. That went along side with halving the national debt from 143.7 percent in 1995 to 60.7 percent of GDP in 2005 through the High Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Consequently, Tanzania credit worthiness before the creditors and lenders was restored, and that provided once again our country with an economic ease.

The reforms and transformation he brought to our country were not only about numbers, but also about institutions and systems. Several institutions and regulatory reforms were introduced during his time. The establishment of National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), National Economic Empowering Council (NEEC), Tanzania Road Agency (TANROADS), Property and Business Formalization Program (MKURABITA), Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Prevention and Combatting of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), The Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) are some of the among many others that characterize the hallmark of his leadership. These institutions have grown and endure test of time.

He went further to articulate the new Foreign Policy for our country, the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (famously known as MKUKUTA) and a new vision for this country which came to be known as Tanzania Vision 2025. That is the testimony, that he did not only build the yesterday, but the future after him. And that is the proof of his selfless heart and a visionary, futuristic mind.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Global debates and conversation of hard talks was a unique strength bequeathed by President Mkapa. We all recall that in 1990s and early 2000s, there was anti-globalization movement, that was popular and politically correct. Yet, the late President Mkapa did not wither against the entrenched public sentiment. He defended and explained why we should embrace globalization. In this respect, he fought two battles, one inside the country to educate his people on the need to embrace globalization, and globally, he used diplomatic idioms to argue a case for inclusive globalization in the corridors of power.

That battle took him to serve as the Co-Chair of ILO Commission on Social Dimension of Globalization alongside Her Excellency Tarja Halonen, the then President of Finland. As stated here earlier, the Late Mkapa became the Co-Chair of Commission for Africa alongside Right Honourable Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of United Kingdom. He later served as the Chair of the South Commission. It suffice to say, African voice was heard because his voice mattered.

I personally experienced President Mkapa’s strength and skills in international politics in 2001. He appointed me as one of his emissaries alongside Former President Jakaya Kikwete, whom by then was a Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, together with former President of Zanzibar Ali Mohamed Shein, to undertake a mission to our donor countries and development partners. It was immediately after the 2001 political crisis in Zanzibar, and he thought there was a need to engage our friends and partners to brief them of what really transpired, and measures his government undertook to arrest the situation. It was an eye-opening experience to me and an exposure to his foreign policy acumen and his statesmanship. I take the liberty to say, the mission was successful, thanks to his personal leadership and guidance.

The Late President Mkapa also played an important role in reviving the East African Community in 1999; in transforming the Organization of the African Unity into the African Union in 2001, the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi in 2000; as well as in building the SADC Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana. Indeed, it was in 2004, while passing on the baton of the Chairmanship, he made a clarion call to all Member States to contribute to a fund for the construction of the Headquarters, and went on to pledge USD 500,000 from Tanzania. Having seen his devotion, other Member States followed suit. This clearly shows that the late President Mkapa was a defined figure, and his actions were not only limited in Tanzania, but also served in the region, in Africa and the world at large.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
After the heavy lifting, President Mkapa was expected to retire and rest. He did not. He continued to serve the Tanzanians and humanity at large. He became greatly involved with regional and global initiatives having been asked from time to time, to provide leadership in many processes. In 2007, he was a joint AU-UN three-person Team to mediate Kenya post-election conflict, along with Koffi Annan and Graca Machel. He died as a Facilitator of Inter-Burundi Dialogue and Chairperson of the African Leadership Forum, a platform for Africa’s eminent elders to interacts with current and future leaders around the strategic challenges facing the continent. I am pleased that, some of his colleagues, including former president, Olesugun Obasanjo, are virtually with us today.

Notably, however, is the Foundation he established to further and uplift his work and passion. That is the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation (BMF) that brought all of us here today. This Foundation has been and remains one of our trustworthy partner and dependable supporter in our efforts to deliver on our agenda of Health for All Tanzanians. Indeed, our Government is very grateful to the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation. In its 15 years of existence, it focused on investment in health infrastructure, strengthening institutions and health system, serving the hard-to-reach and remote areas, and most importantly addressing planning, recruitment and retention of human resources for health. The facts and figures have already been shared here today, including recruitment of 3,760 skilled staff and construction of 482 staff houses and provision of grants to 933 health students.

In his Autobiography entitled, My Life, My Purpose: A Tanzanian President Remembers, President Mkapa acknowledges that former President Bill Clinton was a brain child of his Foundation, and, therefore, I to take the occasion to pay a glowing tribute to him. Gladly, President Clinton has also joined us virtually. In a very special way, I thank all donors and partners, who have supported BMF- led initiatives worth total of Tanzanian Shilling 198 Billion, as from April 2006 to June 2021.

One of the activities scheduled for today’s occasion is the launching of an Endowment Fund for the Foundation. This is great, and I commend the Foundation leadership for coming up with this idea which shows clearly that the Foundation has taken it as one of its mission to sustain Late President Mkapa’s life and legacy. But also, augurs well with President Mkapa’s cardinal ethos of self-reliance. In this regard, I have no choice but to urge all of you, to continue to support these remarkable initiatives of the Foundation. The Government pledges full support to the idea and indeed the Fund; and for that reason, I pledge to contribute to the seed capital, and looking forward to continuing support this Foundation in any possible way in future. I, once again, ask all our partners to heed to the call and contributing generously to this Fund.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Not so long ago, we have listened to a panel discussion under the theme “Health for All: President Benjamin Mkapa’s Legacy on Building Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems”. This Panel Discussion is both appropriate and timely. As we all well know, Former President Mkapa was a strong believer of equitable health access to all. On the other hand, our Government has now embarked on measures to achieve universal health coverage. I was, therefore, delighted to hear different perspectives on the fundamental pillars towards attaining Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals. It is my sincere hope that the proposals that were put forward by our panelists today, if implemented, not only will help our country achieve universal health coverage, but also will go a long in strengthening health systems and thus improving the provision of health services in the country. In this respect, I am so passionate on seeing innovative ways to improve Maternal, Children and Adolescent Health, as it is a subject matter close to my heart.

Similarly, I believe that the recommendations provided by the Panelists will help us combat other health challenges and crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic. In this connection, speaking of COVID-19, I would wish to call upon each and every one of us to become more responsible, attentive and play our part in ensuring adherence to the public health protocols on preventing ourselves and those we serve, live and/or work with, from being infected from COVID-19. The Government is committed to ensure public safety, prevention, delivery of quality health care and rehabilitation to those affected. This shall be made possible through cooperation and support by every stakeholder including the Non- State Actors, Development Partners, Private sector, Religious Leaders, Scientists and Researchers, Media and the Community at large.

I, therefore, plead with you all to support the Government as it finalizes the process towards deployment of COVID-19 Vaccine in the country. Our aim is to ensure that every eligible individual can equitably access the vaccine in due time, for those wishing to do so. I believe that the Mkapa Foundation and other Non- State Actors will also continue being actively engaged in this endeavor.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
I am reliably informed that this commemoration is the first and not the last. That we shall have more of these in the years to come. In this regard, I do not have to exhaust it all this year. As matter of fact, even if I decide to summon my courage to continue talking, a day will not be enough to say all I have to say about him, his wisdom and courtesy.

For now, let me, once again, thank the Chair of the Board of the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation for inviting me and bringing us together to commemorate the life and legacy of our noble man. I would like to reiterate and register my continued government support to your Foundation. We look forward to working closely with you on the implementation of our 5th Health Sector Strategic Plan (2021-2026) launched couple of weeks ago. We know what to expect from your, “Excellence”!

To you Mama Anne Mkapa and the family, I am here to assure you that we shall always walk with you, be there for you and support you in all ways possible. You shall never walk alone nor shall you be lonely. The Late President Mkapa left you in our hands. You are our family. To friends, donors, and partners, I kindly request you to continue supporting this

Foundation to allow it further support and realize the national development goals.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I can think of no better way to end my speech than in the words of former Indian Leader Mahatma Ghandi, who once said, and I quote, “Great men never die, and it is up to us to keep them immortal by continuing the work they have commenced” end of quote. I fully agree with him that the life of a man who has accomplished so much and impacted many lives should not be mourned, but rather be celebrated. President Mkapa has, therefore, dutifully and diligently done his part, let us do ours.!

May the Soul of former President Benjamin William Mkapa continue to rest in Eternal Peace.
“I thank you for your kind attention”

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Speech by Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chair of the Revolutionary Council

Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi is the President of Zanzibar, also the First Chair of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation Board of Trustees

14th July, 2021

Mheshimiwa Dkt. Hussein Mwinyi, Rais wa Zanzibar na Mwenyekiti wa Baraza la Mapinduzi;

Waheshimiwa Marais Wastaafu wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania na Marais Wastaafu wa Zanzibar;

Waheshimiwa Marais wengine Wastaafu Marafiki wa Hayati Rais Mstaafu Benjamin Mkapa;

Mama Anna Mkapa, Mjane wa Hayati Rais Mstaafu Benjamin Mkapa pamoja na Wanafamilia;

Waheshimiwa Mawaziri mliopo;

Mwenyeji wetu, Mheshimiwa Amos Makalla, Mkuu wa Mkoa wa Dar es Salaam;

Waheshimiwa Mabalozi na Wawakilishi wa Taasisi za Kimataifa mliopo;

Dkt. Adeline Kimambo, Mwenyekiti wa Bodi ya Wadhamini ya Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa;

Dkt. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro, Afisa Mtendaji Mkuu wa Taasisiya Benjamin Williiam Mkapa;

Viongozi wengine wa Serikali mliopo;
Viongozi wa Vyama vya Siasa na Dini mliopo; Viongozi wa Asasi mbalimbali za Kiraia;
Wageni Waalikwa, Wana-Habari, Mabibi na Mabwana:

JAMHURI YA MUUNGANO WA TANZANIA

Siku zote ni vigumu sana kuzungumza baada ya wazee ambao wanaifahamu vyema mada husika. Nimewasikiliza kwa makini wote waliomzungumzia Hayati Rais Mstaafu Mzee Mkapa. Ni watu wenye kumfahamu na wamefanya naye kazi kwa karibu zaidi. Kwa hiyo, wamezungumza yote kuhusu Mzee Mkapa. Kwa kifupi, wamemwelezea Mzee Mkapa kuwa Kiongozi aliyekuwa na maono makubwa, jasiri, shupavu, imara, mpenda maendeleo, mwana diplomasia nguli, mwenye kutaka kuona matokeo, na mtetezi wa walionyimwa haki.

Nakubaliana na hayo yote. Mimi pia nimebahatika kumfahamu Hayati Rais Mkapa. Naweza kuthibitisha kuwa yote yaliyosemwa na walionitangulia kuzungumza ni ya kweli. Mzee Mkapa alikuwa mtu wa kipekee sana. Mara zote, ilikuwa ukipata fursa ya kukutana na kuzungumza naye, utaondoka ukiwa umevuna mambo mengi. Hakuwa mchoyo wa maarifa au taarifa anazozijua. Alikuwa mtu mwenye haiba ya mamlaka na kujiamini. Alikuwa mwenye ufahamu mkubwa na busara nyingi; na hiyo imejidhihirisha kwenye maandiko yake mengi.

Kwa hakika, yaliyoelezwa hapa yanathibitisha umuhimu wa kuandaliwa kwa Kongamano hili. Hivyo basi, naishukuru na kuipongeza Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa kwa maandalizi mazuri ya Kongamano hili na kunialika. Kabla ya kuingia Ukumbini, nimepata fursa ya kutembelea Mabanda ya Maonesho ya Kazi za Taasisi hapo nje. Nimefurahi sana kuona jinsi Taasisi inavyojitahidi kuendeleza kazi nzuri iliyoasisiwa na Mzee Mkapa. Nawasihi wote mliopo Ukumbuni, na wale wanaonisikiliza, kutafuta muda wa kutembelea Mabanda hayo ili kujionea wenyewe kazi nzuri inayofanywa na Taasisi hii, kwa kuongozwa na Mwenyekiti wa Bodi Dkt. Adeline Kimambo na Afisa Mtendaji Mkuu Dkt. Ellen Senkoro; ambao wote ni wanawake. Na hii inathibitisha kuwa, wanawake ukiwakabidhi jambo haliharibiki.

Waheshimiwa Viongozi, Mabibi na Mabwana;

Nina uhakika nitakuwa sijaongeza chumvi nikisema, Kitabu cha Historia ya Taifa letu hakiwezi kukamilika bila ya kuwepo kwa Sura nzima itakayomwelezea Hayati Rais Mstaafu Benjamin William Mkapa. Na hii sio tu kwa sababu Mzee Mkapa alikuwa Rais wa Awamu ya Tatu wa nchi yetu bali pia kutokana na mageuzi makubwa aliyoifanyia nchi yetu.

Sote tunafahamu, jinsi ambavyo, wakati wa Uongozi wake, Mzee Mkapa alisimamia mageuzi makubwa ya kiuchumi nchini. Miongoni mwa hatua kubwa alizochukua ni kutoa fursa kubwa zaidi kwa sekta binafsi na kukaribisha uwekezaji kutoka nje. Hatua hizi zilisaidia kuongeza mapato ya Serikali kutoka shilingi bilioni 331.2 mwaka 1995 hadi kufikia shilingi trilioni 2 mwaka 2005. Aidha, Mzee Mkapa alifanikiwa kupunguza deni la taifa kwa zaidi ya asilimia 50, kutoka asilimia 143.7 ya Pato la Taifa mwaka 1995 hadi asilimia 60.7 mwaka 2005. Na hii iliwezekana baada ya Mzee Mkapa, kwa kutumia uzoefu wake wa diplomasia, kuzishawishi taasisi za kifedha za kimataifa na nchi wahisani kuisamehe madeni iliyodaiwa nchi yetu kupitia Mpango wa HIPC uliosimamiwa na Benki ya Dunia na Shirika la Fedha Duniani (IMF). Hii pia ilisaidia nchi wahisani na taasisi za kifedha za kimataifa kurejesha uhusiano na nchi yetu na hivyo kuanza tena kutupatia mikopo na misaada.

Vilevile, Mzee Mkapa ataendelea kukumbukwa kwa kujenga mifumo imara ya kitaasisi ya Serikali. Miongoni mwa taasisi zilizoanzishwa kipindi cha Mzee Mkapa ni Mamlaka ya Mapato Tanzania (TRA); Taasisi ya Kuzuia na Kupambana na Rushwa (PCCB), Mfuko wa Kusaidia Masikini (TASAF); Wakala wa Barabara Tanzania (TANROADS), Baraza la Taifa la Uwezeshaji (NEEC), Baraza la Taifa la Biashara (TNBC), Mpango wa Kurasimisha Mali (MKURABITA), Mfuko wa Taifa wa Bima ya Afya (NHIF) na Tume ya Kupambana na UKIMWI (TACAIDS). Taasisi hizi mpaka leo zipo na zinaendelea kutoa huduma na kuchochea ukuaji uchumi wa nchi yetu.

Ni katika kipindi cha Mzee Mkapa pia ndipo Mkakati wa Kukuza Uchumi na Kupambana na Umasikini (MKUKUTA), Sera Mpya ya Mambo ya Nje pamoja na Dira ya Taifa ya Maendeleo ya Mwaka 2000 – 2025 ilipitishwa. Hii inaonesha kuwa, mbali na kuangalia matatizo ya wakati huo, Mzee Mkapa alikuwa pia ana maono ya kuangalia mustakabali wa nchi kwa nyakati za mbele zaidi.

Waheshimiwa Viongozi, Mabibi na Mabwana;

Mchango wa Mzee Mkapa haukuishia kwenye mipaka ya nchi yetu bali pia nje ya Tanzania. Alishiriki kikamilifu katika kuifufua Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki (EAC) akichukua kijiti kutoka kwa Mzee Mwinyi. Aidha, alitoa mchango wake wakati wa kugeuza uliokuwa Umoja wa Nchi Huru za Afrika (OAU) kuwa Umoja wa Afrika (2001) na halikadhalika, kwenye mchakato wa kutafuta amani wa Burundi uliopelekea Kusainiwa kwa Mkataba wa Amani na Maridhiano wa Burundi mwaka 2000.

Zaidi ya hapo, Mzee Mkapa alitoa mchango mkubwa kwenye Ujenzi wa Ofisi za Makao Makuu ya Jumuiya ya Maendeleo Kusini mwa Afrika (SADC) Gaborone nchini Botswana. Wakati akikabidhi Uenyekiti wa SADC mwaka 2004, baada ya kuona wafadhili wanasuasua, Mzee Mkapa alitoa wito kwa Nchi Wanachama kutoa michango kuanza ujenzi wa Ofisi hiyo. Wazo hilo liliungwa mkono na Nchi zote Wanachama. Katika hilo, alitangaza kuwa Tanzania ingechangia Dola za Marekani 500,000.

Waheshimiwa Viongozi, Mabibi na Mabwana;

Sambamba na hayo, sifa nyingine kubwa ya Mzee Mkapa ni uwezo wake mkubwa wa kuhimili ama kutoogopa mijadala ya kimataifa. Na hapa kuna mifano mingi. Sote tunakumbuka, kwenye miaka ya 1990 na mwanzoni mwa miaka 2000, kulikuwa na vuguvugu kubwa la kupinga masuala ya Utandawazi; na baadhi ya watu, wakiwemo baadhi ya viongozi walitumia fursa hiyo kujipatia umaarufu. Mzee Mkapa yeye akufuata mkumbo. Badala yake, alijitokeza hadharani kutetea Utawandazi na kueleza kwanini tunapaswa kuupokea. Na katika hili, alifanya kazi kubwa mbili. Kwanza, kuwaelimisha wananchi kuhusu umuhimu wa Utandawazi; na pili, kutumia uzoefu wake kidiplomasia, kuieleza dunia kuhusu umuhimu wa kuwa na Utandawazi unaojali maslahi ya makundi yote.

Hii ndiyo ilipelekea Mzee Mkapa akateuliwa kuwa Mwenyekiti Mwenza wa Tume iliyoundwa na Shirika la Kazi Duniani ya Kushughulikia Masuala ya Utandawazi (ILO Commission on Social Dimension of Globalization), akishirikiana na Mheshimiwa Tarja Halonen, aliyekuwa Rais wa Finland. Aidha, kama alivyoeleza, tulivyomsikia Mheshimiwa Tony Blair, Waziri Mkuu wa zamani wa Uingereza, alikuwa Mwenyekiti Mwenza na Mzee Mkapa kwenye Kamisheni kuhusu Masuala ya Afrika (Commission for Africa). Zaidi ya hapo, Mzee Mkapa alikuwa Mwenyekiti wa Kamisheni ya kushughulikia Masuala ya Nchi Zinazoendelea (South Commission). Kupitia ushiriki wa Mzee Mkapa kwenye vyombo hivyo, sauti ya Afrika na nchi zinazoendelea iliweza kusikika.

Lakini niseme, mimi binafsi pia nimewahi kuushuhudia uwezo wa Mzee Mkapa kwenye masuala ya kimataifa. Nakumbuka, mwaka 2001, baada ya kutokea kwa machafuko kule Zanzibar, Mzee Mkapa aliniteua pamoja na Rais Mstaafu, kaka yangu, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, na Rais mstaafu wa Zanzibar Mhe. Ali Mohamed Sheni kwenda nchi mbalimbali kuelezea kilichotokea Zanzibar na hatua ambazo nchi imepanga kuzichukua. Katika kuifanya kazi hiyo, nilijifunza mambo mengi ya siasa na diplomasia pamoja na hekima ambayo Wakuu wa Nchi wanapaswa kutumia kunapotokea changamoto hasa za kisiasa. Hatua hii ndiyo iliyoleta muafaka wa kisiasa Zanzibar na nchi kwa ujumla kuendelea na shughuli zake bila vikwazo vya ndani walaVya kimataifa.

Waheshimiwa Viongozi, Mabibi na Mabwana;

Baada ya kustaafu, Mzee Mkapa hakupumzika, aliendelea kujishughulisha na masuala mbalimbali ya Kikanda, Barani Afrika na Kimataifa. Sote tunakumbuka, wakati mauti yanamkuta, Mzee Mkapa alikuwa Msuluhishi wa Mgogoro nchini Burundi na Mwenyekiti wa Jukwaa la Viongozi wa Afrika (the African Leadership Forum). Nimefurahi kuona kuwa viongozi wenzake wa Jukwaa hilo, akiwemo Rais Mstaafu, Olesegun Obasanjo wanafuatilia Kongamano hili kwa Njia ya Mtandao.

Ndani ya nchi Rais Mstaafu Mkapa aliendelea kutoa mchango wake kupitia Taasisi aliyoianzisha. Taasisi hii inatoa mchango mkubwa kwa nchi yetu, hususan katika sekta ya afya. Kama ilivyoelezwa hapa kwamba, mbali na mambo mengine, Taasisi imeweza kuajiri wataalam wa afya 3,760, kujenga nyumba za watumishi wa afya 482 na kutoa ufadhili wa masomo ya afya kwa wanafunzi 933.

Kwenye Kitabu cha Wasifu wake, Mzee Mkapa amekiri kuwa wazo la kuanzisha Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa alilipata kutoka kwa Rais Mstaafu wa Marekani, Mheshimiwa Bill Clinton. Hivyo basi, mniruhusu kutumia jukwaa hili kumshukuru na kumpongeza Rais Mstaafu Clinton kwa kumshawishi Hayati Mzee Mkapa kutekeleza wazo hilo. Nina taarifa kwamba, Mheshimiwa Clinton naye anashiriki Kongamano hili kwa njia ya mtandao. Ahsante sana.

Aidha, kwa namna ya pekee, nawashukuru na kuwapongeza wadau na wahisani wote ambao wamekuwa wakiunga mkono kazi zinazofanywa na Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa kwa kutoa kiasi cha shilingi bilioni 198 hadi kufikia mwezi Juni, 2021. Nawasihi mwendelee kuiunga mkono Taasisi hii.

Na katika hilo, nitumie fursa hii kuipongeza Taasisi ya Benjamin Mkapa kwa kubuni wazo la kuanzisha Mfuko wa Uwekezaji (Endowment Fund). Hili ni wazo zuri, ambalo sio tu litatoa uhakika wa Taasisi kuendelea na kazi zake, bali pia linaendana na msimamo wa Mzee Mkapa kuhusu umuhimu wa kujitegemea. Kwa msingi huo, Serikali inaunga mkono kuanzishwa kwa Mfuko huo na ni ahadi yangu kwamba Serikali itachangia. Nawasihi wadau wengine nao kuchangia ili kuukuza Mfuko huu.

Waheshimiwa Viongozi, Mabibi na Mabwana;

Muda mfupi uliopita, umefanyika Mjadala wenye kaulimbiu “Huduma za Afya kwa Wote: Urithi wa Rais Benjamin William Mkapa katika kujenga Mifumo Imara ya Sekta ya Afya”. Mjadala huu ni muafaka na umefanyika kipindi sahihi. Hayati Rais Mkapa alikuwa muumini mzuri wa masuala ya afya kwa wote. Kwa upande mwingine, kama mnavyofahamu, hivi sasa Serikali ipo kwenye mchakato wa Mfumo wa Kutoa Huduma za Bima ya Afya kwa wote. Na kwa sababu hiyo, nimefurahishwa sana na Majadiliano yaliyofanyika. Nina uhakika, endapo wataalam wetu wa afya, wakiyafanyia kazi mapendekezo yaliyotolewa na kuyatekeleza, yatasaidia sio tu katika kuharakisha kufikia utoaji huduma za afya kwa wote, lakini pia kuboresha upatikanaji wa huduma za afya nchini. Na hapa nataka niwe mkweli, binafsi, natamani na kwa hakika nitafurahi sana, endapo majadiliano yaliyofanyika, yatatuwezesha kuboresha huduma za Afya ya Uzazi na Afya ya Mtoto kwa kuwa masuala haya ni ajenda ya moyoni mwangu.

Lakini, sambamba na hayo, naamini, majadiliano yaliyofanyika yatatuwezesha kukabiliana na changamoto nyingine za afya zinazokabili nchi yetu na dunia kwa ujumla, ikiwemo mlipuko wa ugonjwa wa UVIKO-19. Kuhusu janga hili la UVIKO-19, Serikali inaendelea kumtaka kila mwananchi kuchukua tahadhari za kujikinga na ugonjwa kwa kufuata maelekezo ya wataalam wetu wa afya kwa kuwa kinga ni bora kuliko tiba. Kwa upande mwingine, Serikali tunaendelea kuchukua hatua mbalimbali za kakabiliana na ugonjwa huu, ambapo kwa sasa tunakamiilisha taratibu za kuagiza chanjo kwa ajili ya kinga. Mwelekeo ni kwamba kila atakayehitaji huduma ya chanjo hiyo iwe inapatikana. Kama nilivyosema awali, kuwa chanjo hiyo ni ya hiari; hivyo basi, napenda kutumia fursa hii kuwaomba wadau wa afya kuunga mkono jitihada hizo za Serikali.

Waheshimiwa Viongozi, Mabibi na Mabwana;

Nimehakikishiwa kuwa Kongamano hili litakuwa linafanyika kila mwaka. Kwa sababu hiyo, haitakuwa vyema kumaliza kueleza yote yanayomhusu Mzee Mkapa hasa kwa kuwa Mzee huyu tulimfahamu kama Kiongozi wa Serikali na vilevile Kiongozi wa Kisiasa. Hivyo, kwa leo, ningependa niishie hapa.

Hata hivyo, kabla sijahitimisha napenda kurudia kuishukuru Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa kwa kuandaa Kongamano hili la Kumbukizi ya Maisha ya Hayati Rais Mstaafu Benjamin William Mkapa. Nataka niwahakikishie kuwa Serikali itaendeleza ushirikiano uliopo, ikiwemo katika kutekeleza Mpango Mkakati wenu wa Tano wa Afya utakaotekelezwa katika kipindi cha Miaka Mitano ijayo, ambao mmeuzindua hivi karibuni. Kwa bahati nzuri yote yaliyomo kwenye Mpango Mkakati wenu, yamo pia kwenye Mpango wetu wa Tatu wa Taifa wa Maendeleo wa Miaka Mitano (2021/22 – 2025/26).

Kwa Mama yetu Anna Mkapa pamoja na familia, nataka niwahakikishie kuwa Serikali ipo na itakuwa pamoja nanyi kwa kila hali. Na hapa nataka niwape taarifa ndugu washiriki wa Kongamano hili kuwa mimi nimebahatika kulelewa na wote, Mzee Mkapa (akiwa Kiongozi kwenye Serikali – Kazi/Vijana na Wanawake) na Mama Mkapa (EOTF – alinipa ujasiri wa kuingia kwenye shughuli za kisiasa). Kwa marafiki, wahisani na wadau wetu wa maendeleo; nawasihi mwendelee kushirikiana nasi na kuiunga mkono Taasisi ya Benjamin William Mkapa ili iendelee kuwahudumia mamilioni ya Watanzania. Nimefurahi na kupata moyo kuona Waheshimiwa Mabalozi pamoja na Wakuu na Wawakilishi wa Taasisi, Mashirika na Kampuni wenyeji na wale wa kimataifa mko hapa pamoja nasi. Hii ni kuonesha jinsi mnavyoithamini taasisi hii.

Mabibi na Mabwana; napenda nihitimishe hotuba yangu kwa kutumia maneno ya aliyekuwa Kiongozi wa India, Mahatma Gandi ambaye aliwahi kusema, nanukuu “Great men never die, and it is up to us to keep them immortal by continuing the work they have commenced” akimaanisha kuwa Watu au Viongozi Mahiri huwa hawafi na ni juu yetu kuwahuisha/kuwafanya waendelee kuishi kwa kuendeleza kazi walizozianzishaKwa hiyo, niwasihi ndugu zangu twende kuendeleza mambo mazuri yaliyoanzishwa na Mzee wetu.

Serikali huwa tuna ahadi yetu ya kuyatunza na kuyaendeleza mema yote yaliyofanywa na Viongozi wa Awamu zote zilizotangulia na kuleta mema mapya. Na katika hilo, tunatambua kuwa, viatu vyao ni vikubwa, lakini tutajitahidi, ikibidi, tutaweka na sponji au kuongeza soksi.

“AHSANTENI SANA KWA KUNISIKILIZA”

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Remarks by H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Former President of The United Republic of Tanzania

14TH JULY 2021 – DAR ES SALAAM

Your Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Your Excellency, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Mama Anna Mkapa,
Your Excellencies,
Honourable Dorothy Gwajima, Minister of Health, Community

Development, Gender, Elderly and Children,
Honourable Nassor Mazrui, Minister of Health, Social Welfare,

Gender and Children,
The Board and Management of the H.E. Benjamin Mkapa

Foundation,
Fellow Invitees,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I thank the organisers for inviting me and for associating me with this historic event. I commend the Board and Management of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation for conceiving the idea of organising this symposium and doing it so well. The late President Benjamin William Mkapa, my big brother, my leader, my mentor and my predecessor very much deserves this kind of treatment. Celebrating his Life and Living his Legacy is the right thing to do. I am glad this symposium is reminding us the importance of doing that and how best to do it. I am hoping this will not be a one-off event but it is going to be held at regular intervals.

I have known and worked with the late President Benjamin William Mkapa for over four decades before and after he became President. Both of us were Members of the National Executive Committee of Chama cha Mapinduzi since the 1980s to 2006 when he retired as Chairman of the Party. I continued for 10 more years. When he was a Member of Parliament for Nanyumbu Constituency in Masasi District in 1988, I was the Party Secretary for that District. For seven years we were together in the Cabinet of our Second President H.E. Ali Hassan Mwinyi. When he was elected President for two terms in 1995 and 2000 he appointed me to be his Foreign Minister throughout the ten years he served at the highest office of our nation. This was the time we came to work closely and I became one of his confidants not only on diplomacy but on other national issues as well. I am eternally grateful that when I contested for the Presidency in 2005 to succeed him he supported me.

Throughout his life in public service as a civil servant, journalist, Ambassador, Member of Parliament, Minister and President he put service to the people his topmost priority. He was a very bright guy, visionary, hard working, eloquent and a great Pan-Africanist and an unwavering believer and promoter of regional and African unity and integration. He was passionate in pursuit of his goals and uncompromising on issues he had strong beliefs for. He was tough and at times rough when it was necessary for him to be one. But, he was a very compassionate person who cared for the sick, poor and disadvantaged. There are a number of policy initiatives he took and instruments he put in place and institutions he established which speak for themselves about how compassionate he was. Among them the major ones include for example the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 to take Tanzania from least developed country to lower middle income status, the establishment of TACAIDS to spearhead the fight against HIV and AIDS, the Tanzania Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy to help people move from poverty to property and the Tanzania Social Action Fund to improve livelihoods at household level.


Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was his compassionate heart which lead him to establish the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation in 2006 with the objective of advancing the health agenda in Tanzania and Africa. The founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees was H.E. Dr. Hussein A. H. Mwinyi the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government. At that time he was the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office responsible for Union Affairs. Guided by the vision of its founder the late Mkapa and able leadership of the Board Chair, strong foundations were built which have enabled the BMF to become the formidable institution it is today. Hearty congratulations to its founder but many compliments to Dr. Hussein Mwinyi for his able stewardship and laying the solid foundation.

I was privileged to have witnessed the establishment of this wonderful institutiion. I would happily say, the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation was born and thrived during my administration. At the time of its establishment, our country was in the grip of the menace of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB as major health related risks and there was a serious shortage of Human Resource for Health in our health facilities. The BMF volunteered to work hand and glove with the government to find home grown solutions to these and other challenges facing the health sector. Indeed, in many ways the BMF complemented government’s efforts in implementing the 10 years Health Sector Development Plan (2007-2017).

Your Excellency,

One of the toughest challenges I had during my Presidency was about getting skilled healthcare workers to work in needy remote setting despite the fact that we in government were capable of paying their personal emoluments. The Foundation in collaboration with the Government at all levels developed innovative HRH solutions which led to:

  • Retaining 1147 skilled health workers and later transitioning them to the government systems both in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar;
  • Provision of scholarships for pre-service training to 937 health workers;
  • Furthermore, through collaborative efforts with the Government and development partners the Foundation constructed 482 staff houses at primary health facilities;
  • The Foundation constructed and equipped 11 operating theatres and trained 55 health providers on Comprehensive Obstetric Care;
  • Trained all health managers from 134 local government authorities;These remarkable investments contributed to not only retaining skilled health workers but also to the increase of patients enrolled in HIV care and treatment. That marked a great improvement to Tanzania’s efforts to address the effects of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.Your Excellency;The list of good things we were able to do together with the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation is long. I would like to use this opportunity to applaud the Foundation for being reliable and dependable partner of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. Please stay the course. I would also like to commend our two governments for sustaining an enabling environment for Non- State Actors to flourish. The results speak for themselves. Take, for example, the scaling down of HIV/AIDS infections. During the late Mkapa time infections fell from 7.7 to 7.1 but during my time the drop was from 7.1 to 5.1. This was made possible through collaboration between the government and its institutions on the one hand and on the other development partners and Non-state Actors like the BMF.

The example of President Benjamin William Mkapa of establishing the BMF inspired me on my retirement to establish the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation (JMKF). On health, my Foundation focuses on Maternal, New Born, Child and Adolescent Health. However, we will continue to join forces with the BMF and other players in the fight against HIV for we know very well that it is one of the major causes of diseases and death among women, children and adolescents. My championship of the HIV Free Generation campaign will continue unabated.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Let me end here to allow others to also contribute. There is a lot I can say about the life and wonderful work done by my brother, friend and mentor for the people of Masasi, Tanzania, East Africa, Southern Africa, Africa and the World. I congratulate him for the wise decision to establish the BMF. The foundation has been doing a tremendous job which keeps reminding people about the man behind the vision. Through the work of his found he will forever be remembered, and we will continue to live his legacy. Let’s keep praying to Almighty God to keep the soul of our beloved late President Benjamin William Mkapa in eternal peace. AMEN!

Thank you for listening!

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Celebrating President Benjamin Mkapa’s Life and Impact on Society

14th July 2021

Keynote Address by Ambassador Ombeni Sefue at the Benjamin William Mkapa Legacy Symposium

Your Excellency Mama Samia Suluhu Hassan,
President of the United Republic of Tanzania;
Your Excellency Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar;
Your Excellency Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete,
Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania;
All Former Presidents and Prime Ministers;
Honourable Ministers and Regional Commissioners;
Excellencies High Commissioners and Ambassadors;
Dr Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro,
CEO, Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation;
Honourable Religious Leaders;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning!

A sad year has passed since President Mkapa was called to glory. Fond memories and deep emotions simmer within me. What can I possibly say in 15 minutes that will do justice to his life and impact on society? Let me try.

I am grateful for the honour to speak today as we remember him: an outstanding individual – a loving husband, a dedicated father, a dotting grandfather; and president of the 3rd phase government of Tanzania.

But who really was Mkapa?

He began his public career in the Foreign Service. His passion for foreign relations and international cooperation never ended; his masterful conduct of our diplomacy has left a lasting impact on Tanzania’s image in the region, Africa and the world.

He also went into the media, and fell in love with it; not just any trash that masquerades as journalism, but quality journalism.

Then politics called and, fortunately for Tanzania, he heeded the call. The rest is history.

The person

He liked to read – newspapers, journals, books. He read a lot. I often helped him identify and acquire new books and journals. When travelling abroad, he would strive to find time to visit bookshops, to browse and buy. If he didn’t have the time, I’d do this for him.

It could be difficult to get to his inner circle. An excellent student of literature, he lived William Shakespeare’s dictum: “Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none.” He preferred reading books to idle chatter, or self-serving flattery.

He was a leader always, never a ruler. He wanted people to follow him, not because they are fearful of him, but rather because they trusted him. And he earned their trust.

He hated the cult of personality, refusing to be called “Mtukufu”. He refused to have his picture on the national currency.

He refused the notion that politics is a dirty game; to him it never was.

An erudite debater, he welcomed, even cherished, being challenged and dared anyone to dislodge him from his intellectual pedestal of thought and belief.page2image6232832

During the 1995 elections, a political debate was conducted between presidential candidates; his formidable debating skills were in full display.

Others saw him as arrogant; but they misconceived him. He just did not like mediocrity always listened to all kinds of opinions and perspectives. I could see this during cabinet meetings, and the regular meetings he had with elders during his regional tours.

He believed people should be able to disagree without being disagreeable. Aristotle said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” President Mkapa would concur.

He loved, trusted and respected people, until they proved unworthy of his trust and his respect.

When he had to take measures against people, he always tried to be objective, fair and proportionate.

He was a devout Catholic, faithfully attending mass every Sunday wherever he was. He respected other peoples’ faiths, a matter he insisted was personal and private. His faith did not influence the way in which he ran the government or related with people.

He valued work, and gave it the best he had, with amazing discipline, in whatever capacity. He lived the code of life of his Benedictine missionary teachers: ‘Ora et Labora’ – ‘Pray and Work.’

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He worked hard even when he was sick, like when he was admitted to hospital in Zurich for surgery; even insisting on delivering his customary monthly address to the nation from there.page3image5804544

That was Mkapa.

The leader

As a leader, he held the country together and helped us overcome political, social, economic and natural challenges as one people, one country.

A firm believer and defender of the union between Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, he spared no effort to defend and strengthen it.

One thing that disturbed him greatly was to hear people talk as if Tanganyika and Zanzibar did not unite in 1964, as if we were into some kind of loose cohabitation. He always insisted that even in the context of our unique union structure we are and must remain one nation: The United Republic of Tanzania.

He was the national leader and comforter in chief when Mwalimu Nyerere passed away; when his vice president, Dr Omar Ali Juma died; when El Niño floods wreaked havoc killing people, destroying critical infrastructure and means of livelihood; when MV Bukoba capsized, killing over 800 people, and when the nation faced political challenges, including those in Zanzibar.

He led the nation in coming to terms with terrorism threats, threats which were made plain when terrorists blew up the American Embassy in Dar es Salaam on 7th August 1998; and invested a lot in building capacities and legal frameworks to deal with it.

He led increased national efforts to fight the scourge of HIV and AIDS and its impact.

President Mkapa turned the economy around. When he came to power, he faced a number of challenges. Revenues were in decline, international development partners were withholding aid and credit; the debt burden, both local and foreign, was unsustainable. Relations with trade unions and students were strained.

He realised that a number of promises in the election manifesto that brought him to power would not be achievable.

His moral compass led him to be open about this, and was criticised for not being ‘political’. His response was that “I’d rather you hate me for being open with you than having you love me for not being straight with you.”

He believed in good governance and strong but accountable institutions and strengthened them, believing that the government is not about an individual, but about such institutions led by capable people of integrity and dedication. He hated, no abhorred, corruption. One of his first decisions as president was to establish the Warioba Commission on Corruption, whose report he took seriously and acted upon.

He believed in truth and transparency; (uwazi na ukweli) and decided to talk directly to the people through radio and television so that they can hear from his mouth as he expounded on government policies and actions.

The monthly addresses also were like a civic education at the national scale. Citizens would always stop whatever they were doing to listen to him.

That is also why he established the President’s Communication Directorate and ultimately communication departments in all ministries.

He carried forward the open economy agenda of his predecessor, President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, and went much further, wider and deeper into these reforms, also create a more conducive environment for private sector participation in the economy.

He developed a new partnership between government and the private sector. He restructured the public sector and the public service, including through divestiture of public interest in parastatals and public corporations, not for ideological reasons, just common sense and coming to terms with reality.

He tried hard to win the trust and confidence of both local and international investors and business people, creating institutional frameworks for enduring dialogue with them, including those in the mining sector whose response was encouraging, enabling him to open four gold mines during the last four years of his administration, a largescale gold mine every year.

He established forums for this dialogue, which he personally chaired, including:

  • The CEO-Roundtable
  • The Tanzania National Business Council (TNBC)
  • The International Investors ́ Roundtable (IIRT)

These were open and objective dialogues; his government did not go there to defend entrenched positions.

Although deep down he remained a socialist, he believed there were many ways to skin the cat; that the socialist ideals he held could also be achieved through well-facilitated and incentivised market forces. Had he been alive today, he would have been happy to see these frameworks and processes being revitalised by the current government.

The economic reforms he undertook and the good governance agenda he pursued won the support of development partners and creditors. Development assistance increased, he got debt relief with the support of President Bill Clinton and other leaders of governments and international financial institutions.

He invested heavily in expanding primary school enrolment PEDP (2001) and SEDP, removing school fees in primary schools, aiming to ensure all school age children complete a full primary education by 2006.

He created Development Vision 2025, to have a set of timed priorities for the transformation of the country; and established a stable macro-economic framework, and the fundamentals for growing the economy.

He created the space and the environment for large scale investments; but he remained a firm believer in inclusive development, that no one should be left behind.

He, therefore, established the Business Environment Strengthening for Tanzania (BEST) Programme to reduce the cost of doing business including for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

He believed in the concept of Smart Partnership, a win-win situation for everyone, nationally and globally.

He co-chaired the Investment Climate Facility (ICF), that strived to make Africa more attractive to domestic and foreign investment.

Pan Africanist and International Actor

President Mkapa was close to Mwalimu Nyerere, developing a lifelong bond of shared views and character with him.

Like Mwalimu, he strongly opposed the notion of exploitation; nothing to him could justify oppression and exploitation of man by man, country by country. He had great empathy for suffering people everywhere. Mwalimu’s Pan-African and nationalist agenda and thought rubbed off on him, no, he soaked it up.

He strongly promoted and defended African interests in the global political and economic spheres, including the right to political and economic freedom in an integrated and globalising world.

This was evident in the regional, continental and global responsibilities he undertook, in and out of power.page5image6184064

These included the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation aimed at creating a fair globalisation, which he co-chaired with the then Finnish President, Tarja Halonen.

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They also include the Blair Commission, the Commission for Africa, that focussed on how to address historical injustices and unlock Africa’s capacity for growth and competitiveness.page6image6186752

He was very active in the Smart Partnership International Dialogue, a consultative forum where governments engaged to share information, knowledge and experience so as to find solutions to development challenges.

In retirement, he was Patron of the Uongozi Institute’s Africa Leadership Forum, which is a space for Africa’s eminent elders to interact with current and future leaders around the strategic challenges facing the Continent. He brought together similar minded fellow retired African presidents like Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo, Festus Mogae, Joachim Chissano, among others, to discuss matters of topical interest for the continent with sitting presidents and other current and future leaders and stakeholders.

The week he died he was busy preparing for the 2020 ALF under the theme “Promoting African Intra-trade to unlock Agricultural Potential in Africa” that had been planned to take place in less than a week later in Dar es Salaam, 29 – 30 July 2020. I do hope the forum will be sustained in his honour and memory.page6image6264832

President Mkapa believed in peace and stability in Tanzania and in Africa. He was active in peace-making efforts in the Eastern African region and the Great Lakes region.

From him I learnt that peace comes not from the absence of conflict in life, but from the ability to cope with it. And that is a lesson he wanted Tanzanians to learn and internalise as we seek to strengthen the foundations for a stable, dignified, democratic and peaceful Tanzania.

TASAF

In his second term of office, he became increasingly concerned that the economic growth generated from the initiatives he undertook was not reducing poverty at the rate he would have liked to see. This concerned him greatly as he did not want to see anyone left behind.

From an idea he picked from his friend, Dr Bakili Muluzi, he established the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), to empower the poor to work themselves out of poverty, create employment and provide needed social and economic infrastructure, including schools, health facilities, roads, bridges, through self-help.

The impact of TASAF on poverty reduction is demonstrable. From its humble beginnings in 2000, TASAF has now reached all corners of Tanzania, and touched many poor households, giving them the tools that they need for self-development.

MKURABITA

He then established MKURABITA, a property and business formalisation programme to empower the poor by increasing their access to financial markets and other services through formalisation of their property rights and businesses. He realised that there were too many poor people who for lack of title could not grow their businesses by leveraging their assets, or their businesses, in a market economy dispensation.

Tanzania Mini-Tiger Plan 2020.

His other initiatives to unlock growth included special economic zones and industrial parks, hoping to use them to attain the 10% GDP growth target he had hoped for. So, he established the Tanzania Mini-Tiger Plan 2020 which was expected to realise this goal.

In short, President Mkapa built the foundation for a modern economy in Tanzania.

Foundation

As he was approaching the end of his term, on the advice of his friend, President Bill Clinton, President Mkapa decided to establish a foundation that can support government efforts in the health sector. He was deeply disturbed by unequal access to quality health care, especially in very remote and underserved areas and wanted to ensure they have the requisite human resources, facilities and financing for that. He wanted to see universal quality health coverage to all people in Tanzania. The scope of health interventions of the foundation has expanded in content and distribution across the country, as we have heard during this week. I am sure there are many men, women and children who are alive today, thanks to President Mkapa’s vision in establishing the foundation, and the tremendous support of all the partners.page7image6271744

This work must continue, and I am glad the Foundation is today launching the BWM Endowment Fund for this purpose and carry forward his work and legacy.

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Conclusion/Legacy

For 10 years President Mkapa provided leadership to Tanzania, a poor country struggling to fight the hydra that poverty is. He did a lot, and has left us with considerable experience and knowledge of what works and what does not. What to do with this knowledge is the challenge of current and future leaders and citizens.

He believed in human rights, whether political or civil; whether economic, social or cultural. This included the right to life, a life in peace; the right to earn a livelihood through equal economic opportunities and job creation; the right to basic health care, both preventive and curative; the right to justice, justice that is neither delayed nor denied; the right to political expression, not political thuggery; the right to freedom of expression and worship without infringing or curtailing the freedom and faith of others.

He fully respected the Constitution, always abiding by it in all he did; and at the end of his term he handed over power smoothly and graciously to his successor, President Kikwete, wanting not even a single day more, continuing this glorious tradition in Tanzania.

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For me, the 10 years I spent with him at the State House were a huge learning experience; it prepared me well for when I later returned to the State House as Chief Secretary under President Kikwete.

Madam President:

I do hope I have done justice to his legacy; above all I hope that were he to hear me today, he would have approved and felt vindicated for having trusted me to be his personal assistant during those 10 years, and on and off ever since until his death.

After he launched his autobiography 2 years ago, he had determined to translate it into Kiswahili so that all Tanzanians could read and learn from it. As always, I agreed to support and assist him in this task. The week he died I had planned to see him so we could start.

Now he is gone, but with Mama Mkapa’s approval and the support of Uongozi Institute, I am determined to conclude the work exactly as he had intended, and with the penmanship he would have approved. May God help me to serve him well even now.

Yes, even this sad time has flown; a year has passed, but his memory remains fresh and enduring in our hearts and minds. May he continue to rest in eternal peace, and may God continue to grant solace to Mama Anna, his children and grandchildren.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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Speech by Hon. Dr. Dorothy O. Gwajima (MP), Minister of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children

14th July, 2021

Your Excellency, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of United Republic of Tanzania
Your Excellency, Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, and Chair of the Revolutionary Council;
Your Excellencies Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Former Presidents of Zanzibar;
Your Excellencies Former Heads of State and Governments and friends of Late Former President Benjamin William Mkapa;
Mama Anna Mkapa; Widow of the Late President Benjamin William Mkapa;
Honourable Nassor Ally Mazrui (MRC), Minister for Health, Social Development, Elders, Gender and Children of Zanzibar;
Honourable Dr. Khalid Salum Mohamed, Minister of State, Second Vice President Office, Zanzibar;
Permanent Secretaries,
Members of Diplomatic Corps;
Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the
Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation;
Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro, Chief Executive Officer of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation;
Family and Friends;

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen

Ninawasalimu kwa Jina la Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania

It is my pleasure and great honour to address this important day that marks our thoughtful gratitude to a person who transformed our country’s economy and health sector through his leadership style that embraced principles of good governance, leadership, and accountability we are flourishing in today, His Excellency, Late Benjamin William Mkapa. This day has brought us together to value his efforts to improve the performance of the health sector in Tanzania.

As a great initiator, believer, and champion of system strengthening and institutionalization, Late Benjamin Mkapa set out key fundamental and sustainable improvements in the Health Sector through the establishment of Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) in 1999. He championed the first Program of Work Plan (1999-2001) as the first Health Sector Strategic Plan during the Public Sector reforms which were initiated by him in 1996. I am pleased to inform you that since then SWAp stakeholders have continued with the tradition of developing Five Years Strategic Plan that aligns with the Five Years Development Plan. This year we have launched the Fifth Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP 2021 – 2026) that focuses on leaving no one behind as a means towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Other initiatives that resulted from the Health Sector Reforms include the initiation of Health Basket Fund, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and Community Health Fund (CHF) which had all set footsteps towards UHC.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is from this strong foundation and that of his successors that health sector has recorded achievements over the years. I commend the Government of United Republic of Tanzania and all stakeholders have exerted in ensuring all citizens can equitably access quality health services as needed countrywide. Today the sector have registered number of strategic health sector performance in Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Children and Adolescent Health, HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria Control, Infrastructure development, increased availability of medical commodities in all level of service delivery and management and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases. On the other hand the government has continued to improve the availability of qualified human resources for health, use of technology and promotion of good governance, leadership and accountability in all levels of health service delivery.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Despite these gains, the country is still facing high burden of Non Communicable Disease, high death rates of women and children and weak systems for disease epidemics and disaster management. Various health systems challenges such as limited access to health care due to weak infrastructure capacity, Human Resource for Health shortage, limited access to relevant health technologies are some of the key problems hinder progress in the fight to end preventable maternal and child deaths. The Government will continue to invest on workable solution that will transform health care systems particularly for our women and children, remembering their health is our wealth.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are all aware Tanzania like any other country continue to face a risk of health emergencies including diseases of epidemic potential such as COVID-19, Ebola, SARS. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastating impact on economic and social consequences. I would like to acknowledge the unwavering guidance and directives from H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of United Republic of Tanzania that have enabled our country to have nineteen (19) strategic areas to control and contain COVID -19 and mitigate the risk of the pandemic to the overall health systems including service delivery channels. I would like to use this platform to urge stakeholders to join hands with the Government of Tanzania in the implementation of these recommendations. As the sectoral ministry responsible for health, we will continue to focus on strengthening systems for early warning, preparedness, response and monitoring of COVID-19 to the country.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Government will continue to use Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) to work with Non- State Actors (NSA) in the implementation and review of heath sector strategic priorities. Through Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation as one of the non-state actors for health, we have witnessed a significant contribution in health system performance especially in infrastructure, human resources for health development and deployment aiming at accelerating delivery of quality health services in areas with high demand of health services as it has been well presented by the CEO of Mkapa Foundation.

We highly appreciate the Late Benjamin William Mkapa for his vision that established this foundation which contributed to the legacy we are celebrating today.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have heard from our Panelist about Universal Health Coverage progress in Tanzania. I acknowledge the recommendations provided towards alternative human resource for health approaches, technological development to accelerate health outcomes, effective private sector engagement and resource mobilization. All these approaches have been anchored in the recent launched Health Sector Strategic Plan V of which I call upon stakeholders to synergies efforts towards its implementation to achieve the set targets.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

With these brief remarks I would like to assure the guest of Honor, Hon Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of United Republic of Tanzania that the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children commitment to continue working with the Non State Actors in ensuring no Tanzanian is left behind in the provision of health care.

Asanteni kwa kunisikiliza.

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Message from Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Benjamin Mkapa Foundation

14th July 2021- DAR ES SALAAM

Your Excellency, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar;

Your Excellencies Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Former Presidents of Zanzibar;

Your Excellencies Former Heads of State and Governments and friends of Late Former President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Mama Anne Mkapa; Widow of the Late President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Honourable Ministers of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar;

Members of Diplomatic Corps;

Our Esteemed Partners, 

Trustees of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation Board of Trustees

Representatives from the Private Sector and the Non- State Actors, 

Family and Friends;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good morning!

I am standing here on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Mkapa Foundation to once again thank you for honoring us with your presence in commemorating our beloved Settlor and Founder of this Foundation, His Excellency Late Benjamin William Mkapa.

I happened by the accident of history to be the first Chair of the Board of Trustee after the death of the Founder and Settlor. What is even trembling, is the fact that I did not see it coming anytime soon. It was so comforting to be the Chair of this great Foundation knowing that I have a heavy weight Settlor on my back in the name of President Benjamin William Mkapa. I could consult with him anytime and reach out to his guidance and wisdom all the time. You can imagine how devastated I was and how empty I felt to have lost him that sudden. A year after his death, I have yet to recover. 

Fortunately, Late Former President Benjamin Mkapa was a visionary man. He believed so much in institution than persona. For that reason, earlier on, he entrusted the Board with the governing function. Little did we know then, he was preparing us to endure and sustain this Foundation beyond his physical presence. A year after, we thank him for his foresight and vision. He prepared us so well to carry over from where he ended. We are ready and determined to match ahead, tall and bold. We will follow his footstep and sustain his legacy to our children, children’s  children, and children after them.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,  

A lot has been achieved by this Foundation in the past 15 years of our existence. This is evident in numbers and in impact. About 537 health infrastructures at different facilities countrywide have been built and rehabilitation. These facilities have been built in far and hard to reach areas which otherwise would have been left out.  By doing so, we have increased and improved access to quality health care for women, children, men, youths and elderly in underserved areas. Together with that we have employed about 9,000 + health workers to bridge the gap that existed, and about 90% are young adults below 40 years of them have been retained in service. Thanks to the infrastructure that were built by the Foundation that provided an incentive for many to remain. 

Beyond strengthening health system, health infrastructure and human resources for health, the Foundation has not shied away from emerging and disruptive health crisis. During the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the Foundation swiftly joined the national efforts in responding to the outbreak.  To-date we have deployed 585 skilled health workers and 2466 Community Health Workers working in different parts of the country in regions on risk, to ensure health promotion, prevention, care, and treatment of COVID 19 cases, as per defined national guidelines.

The success and impact we have recorded could not have been possible if not for the generous support we received from our donors and partners. These include the Norway Government that provided the initial financial support to establish the Foundation in the first 5 years. Sooner, the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria; Irish aid; Abbott Fund; USAID; UNICEF; UK-FCDO(DFID); UNFPA; UK Comic Relief and Walter Reed followed suit. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for journeying with us this long.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,  

Going forward and ensuring the continuity of this Foundation, the legacy and the impact, demands that we have in place a reliable and sustainable funding. And this is the very purpose why I took this podium this morning. My task is one and simple. To introduce to you the Benjamin William Mkapa Endowment Fund and to request you, Your Excellency to inaugurate before your keynote speech. 

The Endowment Fund will provide the Foundation with a sustainable and long-term source of income. It is our target to raise about 33.7 billion Tanzanian Shillings (equivalent to 15.2 Million USD) during the first five years from year 2021/22 to year 2025/26.These funds will also contribute to bridge the gaps in the implementation of our 5 years Strategic Plan (2019-2024),  particularly those projects and interventions that may be less aligned to  donors’ priority.

The mobilized financial resources will be invested in perpetuity to generate fixed income streams that will be used towards supporting and sustaining the work of the Foundation. All key underlying investment principles of preservation of Purchasing Power, Risk Aversion and Adherence to Investment Discipline will be applied by the Foundation in ensuring the Endowment Fund investment is worthwhile and meets the intended goal.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

This Endowment Fund which is to be launched today will aim to support the following 6 areas:

  1. Awarding of annual scholarships to health workers keen to continue with further studies in clinical, public health and any other related issues in medical field. This will target to fill up the gaps of specific health cadres in high demand within the country and particularly those serving at the Primary Health Care levels.
  1. Facilitate deployment of Skilled Health Workers also known as the “Mkapa Fellows” to underserved areas with intention to curb the bottleneck of shortage of skilled health personnel in both Government and Non- Government health care facilities to ensure equitable quality access of health services within the society,
  1. Support remote health facilities within the country with refurbishment and/or equipment by targeting the basic essential health services to save lives, such as maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health care.
  1. Support the emerging and re-emerging health conditions and emergencies, such as COVID-19, Ebola and alike by aligning to the Internationally defined principle of emergency preparedness, readiness and response.
  1. Awarding the Civil Societies and/or grass-root Community Based Organizations combatting challenges of public health significance with the aim of empowering community to continue identifying and having community owned solutions through working within sustainable community-based systems and structure. 
  1. To co-support the Annual MKAPA Legacy Month and other Board approved interventions

Your Excellency, 

I am standing here to assure you that the BMF Endowment Fund will be transparency, accountability, flexibility, efficiency and trustworthy. The Board of Trustees will be the owner and overall responsible to govern the Endowment Fund, including directing and monitoring the investment management of Fund assets and this Fund will also be subjected to external auditor review. Our track record speaks for itself. Every shilling will be invested prudently, and every cent will be spent judiciously and accounted for transparently. 

As soon us the Endowment Fund is launched today, the Foundation will begin the outreach phase for mobilizing resources for the Fund. Yes, the figure may appears big, but our purpose and our partnership are bigger enough to achieve this target. And we don’t expect to raise this amount alone. When we put this projection, we had you our partners, our supporters and friends in our mind. You have all along been with us, and our gut feeling tells us that you will match forward with us. We have confidence in you that together, we shall achieve this target.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Mine is an appeal. An appeal to the Government of Tanzania, Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, our development partners, Private Sector, friends and well-wishers of the Foundation including BMF Board and Staff, to generously consider donating into our Endowment Fund.In this way, we will all be honoring his life and legacy in words and deeds. 

As you may all recall, Self-Reliance was Late President Mkapa’s ideal and repetitive appeal. He always dared us to find innovative ways and means of ensuring that sometimes later, this Foundation can stand on its own and reducing dependency to donors to finance its programs and projects. We thought this is the best way to honor him and live to his legacy. If he is watching us from where he is, I am sure he will be giving us his glaring smile. We have done our part of the call. We ask you to join us!

I heartily thank you for your time and attention. 

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Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro – C.EO of Mkapa Foundation

14th July, 2021

Your Excellency, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar;

Your Excellency Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Former Presidents of Zanzibar;

Your Excellencies Former Heads of State and Governments and friends of Late Former President Benjamin William Mkapa;

First Vice President and Second Vice Presidents of Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, 

Mama Anne Mkapa; Widow of the Late President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Honourable Ministers from the Union Government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, 

Members of Diplomatic Corps;

Our Esteemed Partners, Donors;

Chair and Trustees of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation Board of Trustees

Family and Friends;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is our pleasure to have you, Your Excellency President Samia Sulumu Hassan with us this morning. We thank you for sharing with us your precious time. We just saw you arriving yesterday from Dodoma to be here with us and grace this Commemorations.

We started with the Panel Session on Health for All. As you may recall, Tanzania and other countries in the world are committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals which are anchored on a premise of ‘Not Leaving Anyone Behind’. In goal 3, our country and the world have committed to ensuring Universal Health Care by 2030. The aim is to ensure, everyone, everywhere, all the time, can have unhindered access to quality health care be it distance or income.

We are delighted that your government is keen to achieve that. The just-launched Health Sector Strategic Plan We are delighted that your government is keen to achieve that. The just-launched Health Sector Strategic Plan 2021-2026 has anchored on the same. We, the Mkapa Foundation have a vested interest to see that commitment is delivered and stands to support your government in all ways possible. We were part of the HSSP V preparations and will be part of its implementation. The Panel today was just a teaser towards that end. It reflected on what to be done by the government, Non-State Actors, and Donors to achieve UHC in Tanzania. Human capital, health infrastructure, health systems, community health and resilience, and financing among the issues that came out from the panel.

Your Excellency,

The Late President Benjamin William Mkapa was always ahead of time. His vision for this Foundation way back when it was established 15 years ago was to focus to ensure quality health for all too far to reach and underserved areas. Places and that fewer projects, interventions, and donors. These strengthening the health system, human resources for health, and health infrastructure. He challenged us to ensure we come out with solutions that will answer these challenges. And that has been the niche of this Foundation.

You may wish to know that since its establishment, about 20 million Tanzanians have been reached out and benefited by our programs and interventions. About 9,000 health workers have been employed and deployed to underserved areas. This perhaps makes BMF the second largest employer in the public health facilities  as a local Non State Actor, after the government.  530 health facilities have been built and rehabilitated. During Covid 19 emergency in March 2020, we worked closely with the government and deployed about 5,378 Community Health Workers to assist with community education and facilitation.

Your Excellency,

Behind all these achievements there is a vision of a man.  The one we are commemorating today. He did so much to his country while in office and after his term in office. He dedicated his life to the poor and underserved. We feel strongly that we have a duty to honor his life and celebrate his legacy. We are determined to carry over from where he ended and doing our level best to keep his ideas and conviction immortal and impactful. It is why we commemorate this day, from now onwards.

I welcome Your Excellency to be with us and we are all excited to hear from you today. 

I thank you for listening.

Welcoming-Remarks-by-Dr.-Ellen-Mkondya-Senkoro-CEO-of-the-Benjamin-W.-Mkapa-Foundation.pages

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Vote of Thanks by Mr. William Erio on Behalf of the Organizing Committee of the Mkapa Legacy Committee of the Mkapa Legacy Symposium and the Family of Late H.E. Benjamin W. Mkapa

14th July, 2021

Your Excellency, Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

Your Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar;

Your Excellency Former Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Former Presidents of Zanzibar;

Your Excellencies Former Heads of State and Governments and friends of Late Former President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Mama Anne Mkapa; Widow of the Late President Benjamin William Mkapa;

Honourable Dorothy Gwajima (MP), Minister for Health, Community Development, Elders, Gender and Children;

Honourable Nassor Ally Mazrui (MRC), Minister for Health, Social Development, Elders, Gender and Children of Zanzibar;

Honourable Dr. Khalid Salum Mohamed (MRC), Minister of State, Second Vice President Office, Zanzibar;

Members of Diplomatic Corps;

Our Esteemed Partners, 

Chair and Trustees of the Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation Board of Trustees

Representatives from the Private Sector and the Non- State Actors, 

Family and Friends;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

My task appears to be so easy. Just to say thank you. That is what I thought too when asked to deliver the vote of thanks on this day. Little did I know that it is not that simple, because I feel the word “thank you” is an understatement compared to what you have done to us. We have a clue how demanding your schedule is, and we know how many miles you have gone just to be with us today. 

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

How can thank you be enough to Your Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan for awarding us with your good 4 hours of your precious time to be with us. Not to mention your generous commitment to the Endowment Fund and a promise to continue walking with us, all the wayahead. notwithstanding, the award you have conferred to our Late President Benjamin Mkapa few minutes ago in recognition of his outstanding service to this country and its people. Thank you cannot be enough. But thank you is all we can say, since English is short of words, and adding to the flavor we say “Asante Sana Mama ambaye ni Rais wetu wa Tanzania”. 

To Your Excellency President Mwinyi, I still cannot find words enough to thank you. Your long association with this family and the Mkapa Foundation demand us to say more than thank you. You were our first Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Mkapa Foundation for the first five years as appointed by   the Late President Benjamin Mkapa. And you have always remained one of us   and despite your highly demanding schedule of duties, you found time on top of that to be with us today. You further awarded us with a firm commitment to our Endowment Fund, and a call to us to work with you in delivering aspirations for Health for All in Zanzibar. We surely can not ask for more. We thank you countless times.

To our former Heads of State and Government present in this room and to those who are following us virtually, we thank you for joining us to commemorate your good brother and your friend. It is very comforting to see you, and through you we learn the value of friendship and comradeship. These commemorations would not be as colourful without your attendance. Thank you for your reflections and kind words you have spoken about our beloved Late President Mkapa. Your words will remain our lasting memory. May you be blessed with good health and more life for us to keep tapping more from your fountain of wisdom. 

To our donors and partners, thank you in abundance. Thank you for supporting us far. We have achieved what we have achieved because of your reliable and deliberate support. Thank you for making this commemoration possible. We appreciate your donations in kind and money that made this event successful. Your attendance, and participation in the panel today is an expression of optimism about your commitment to keep working with us to advance the agenda of ‘Health for All’. We promise to remain true to our partnership and deliver to our promise. Thank you for believing in our vision, our mission and most importantly, to the dream of a stateman we commemorate today, His Excellency Late President Benjamin William Mkapa.

To our friends and guests, thank you sharing with us your precious time and for blessing us with your attendance. That is more than what we could ask for. You could have turned down our invitation, but you did not. We count on you to keep journeying with us going forward. We ask you to keep spreading the message and support us in all ways you can. Be it your feedback, spreading the word about our work, and donation. We would like to assure you; our Endowment Fund is open to you all. All of you can be donors. We value a coin as much as we value a note. We believe small change goes miles in bringing about change. Every coin, every note matters to us. Kindly donate to our Fund. 

To our sponsors, you deserve a mention. Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors EFM, , Azam TV, the NBC Bank, UNAIDS and UNICEF as well as the Gold Sponsors are Clouds Media, Citi bank, WHO, Irish Aid and Mwananchi Communications. Late President Mkapa believed so much in the role of Private Sector. He was unapologetic about it. It is pleasing that you have come out to honor him through sponsoring this event. To our media, thank you for spreading the word about this Symposium and the legacy of our beloved Late President Mkapa. 

Last but not least, may I take this opportunity on behalf of Mama Anna Mkapa, the widow of H.E. Benjamin Mkapa and the entire family, to thank the Board of Trustees, Management and Staff of the Mkapa Foundation, for the thought of commemorating our beloved father with Mkapa Legacy Symposium. We thank you for keeping him and his dream for this country immortal.  

It will be a remiss of me not expressing my gratitude to the entire Symposium Organizing Committee. Thank you Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro, our illustrious CEO of The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation and the Chair of the Organizing Committee. Thank you, Committee Members and Staff of the Foundation, for your dedication and good work. You will all agree with me that the excellence in which this Symposium was organized befits the stature and name of the Late President Benjamin William Mkapa. You have done him justice. You deserve our round of applause!  

If there is a word, I have overstated in my speech is thank you. I have mentioned it 22 times. Before you get tired of it, let me end here by saying for the 23rd and last time, thank you endlessly. 

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