Category: Articles

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


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

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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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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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


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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Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Ellen Mkondya Senkoro

Dr. Ellen Mkondya – Senkoro is 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 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 health sector after the government.  500 health facilities have been built. and rehabilitated. During Covid 19 emergence 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.


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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:


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

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

Event: Mkapa Legacy Symposium 2021


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