Category: Tributes

Benjamin Mkapa was a skillful diplomat

By David Kapya

I joined the foreign office in 1972 fresh from University of Dar es Salaam and since then I worked at different missions with my first stint being at the embassy in Addis Ababa where I worked with Paul Rupia. 

Despite having trained in Paris for two years, Addis may be was another turning point because it was a school of diplomacy in its own right, because it was where one learnt the art of diplomacy because of the interactions with the international diplomats.

This interaction broadened my scope and sharpened my skills in the diplomatic arena, however, after that stint I later went on secondment with the UNHCR.

At that time Salim Ahmed Salim was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and he got the nod to release me from President Nyerere.

Our paths with Benjamin Mkapa crossed in 1975, I had just returned from France and he was foreign minister and we worked very closely including going on several missions across Africa and beyond.

In those early days, he played a great role in sharpening my skills because he was a very adept and skillful diplomat himself, I was rather fortunate to have learnt so much from him at that early age.

And as we all know when you are young you tend to emulate what the elder brother is doing especially when it is positive.

In early 1995, I was stationed in Mozambique with the UN and Mr Mkapa came to Maputo by then he was minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, at that point Tanzania was preparing for the first ever elections since the return of multi-party elections.

In the conversation that ensued later after he was done with his assignment, I asked him to come home for dinner so that we can talk and plan for November. My main interest at the time was for him to go back to the foreign ministry to put things right because we believed that the ministry was not what it once was.

“Once the elections are over, let’s hope the new president will give you back your ministry,” I told him.

Little did I know that he was also aspiring to run for the presidency of the United Republic of Tanzania, to me this was also an art of some kind by keeping certain things secret until the right moment when he could divulge.

But even after he had been nominated by his party (CCM) to become the flag bearer in the October General Election, he remained the calm and simple person that I had worked with for over two decades.

In my own personal assessment, I was indeed confident that he would make it in that election and even when I visited him, I had the guts to say it to him that from the look of things, he was going to be the next president.

After he was sworn-in as Tanzania’s third President, his focus was mainly on strengthening the economy which was making a transition into the market economy and as a result, he instituted many things that has kept Tanzania on her feet to date.

This was not a simple task, because to change the mindset from Ujamaa to liberalised economy required understanding and tact on how navigate the waves at the time. This was gigantic task!

President Mkapa with Nigeria's Olesegun Obasanjo during the Congo peace negotiations which resulted into the March 23, 2009 agreement in Nairobi between the warring parties in Eastern Congo (DR). Ambassador Kapya is seen in the background second from left.

As a diplomat locally and internationally Mkapa was a respected gentleman because of his capacity, stature and ability to handle sensitive issues and that is why after retirement he was given the task alongside Kofi Anan to sort out the 2007 Kenyan post-election mess.

We thank God that the team which was composed of high profile diplomats such as Kofi Anan, Graca Machel, and President Jakaya Kikwete to avert further violence after an election that certain sections believed it was stolen.

Immediately after that task which I was part of as well, the AU, EAC and ICJLR asked him to be their special envoy to team up with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to form a joint team to deal with another mess in Eastern Congo.

The team under Mkapa shuttled between Goma and Nairobi until the Goma agreement which was signed on March 23, 2009 in Nairobi.

In my assessment, this was a beautiful document which if the government in Kinshasa (DRC) would have adhered to then they would have achieved so much but instead Joseph Kabila’s administration reneged on its implementation.

As a result the ‘M23 boys’ said they were going back to the bush and adopting the name M23 which was the date when the agreement was signed.

Although not much was achieved out of that accord, the credit remains with the two statesmen Obasanjo and Mkapa, whose work to salvage Congo out of that darkness cannot go unnoticed.

But that was not the last time that he would negotiate settlements because he went on to do Burundi and later the South Sudan referendum.

For the 12 years that I spent with him after retirement, he always exuded commitment and desire to see peaceful settlements because as a retired head of state he could have chosen to rest in the comfort of his home and read books.

It is that same desire that saw him, probably against the expectation of many go into the dock on May 5, 2011 to defend Prof Mahalu over the events that had transpired in our embassy in Rome, Italy.

Prof Mahalu had been arraigned in January 2006 along with a former counsellor at the Rome embassy, Ms Grace Martin, on charges of conspiracy to steal from the government. Defence lawyers filed Mr Mkapa’s sworn affidavit at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court

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‘Afya kwa wote- Juhudi za Mzee Mkapa mwendelezo mpaka sasa’

'Afya kwa wote- Juhudi za Mzee Mkapa mwendelezo mpaka sasa'

Huenda ikakuchukua dakika 10 kuisoma makala hii, na kama ni hivyo wakati unamaliza kuisoma kuna watu Zaidi ya 68 duniani watakuwa wamepoteza maisha kwa sababu yakushindwa kulipia huduma bora za afya. Kinachosikitisha zaidi, vifo hivi vingi hutokea kwenye nchi masikini, ambapo idadi ya watu ambao hawawezi kuzifikia huduma za afya bado ni kubwa, na juhudi za kupunguza idadi hii zimekuwa za polepole sana.

Tanzania ni moja kati ya nchi  189 duniani zilizosaini makubaliano ya kufikia malengo ya maendeleo ya milenia (Sustainable Development Goal – SDG) kufikia mwaka 2030. Katika malengo haya 17, lengo namba 3.8 linasisitiza upatikanaji wa huduma za afya kwa watu wote, bila kujali uwezo wa mtu kugharamia huduma hizo, kwa kifupi likisomeka Afya kwa Wote (universal health Coverage). Ukifatilia ripoti za umoja wa mataifa, sio nchi nyingi ambazo zitaweza kufikia lengo hili, na pengine Tanzania itakuwa ni moja ya nchi hizo.

Hapa Tanzania juhudi za kuhakikisha kila mtu anafikiwa na huduma za afya zilianza tangu wakati wa Uhuru. Azimio la Arusha mwaka 1967 liliweka misingi ya ujamaa katika kujenga uchumi . Huu ulikuwa ni mwanzo wa mfululizo wa mabadiliko (reforms) katika sector ya afya yenye lengo la kuhakikisha upatikanaji wa huduma bora za afya kwa kila mtu bila kujali hali ya kipato, dini, kabila au eneo analotoka. Hii iliendana na ujenzi wa miundombinu na kuongeza watumishi wa afya. Azimio la Arusha lilifuatiwa na uamuzi wa serikali kupiga marufuku huduma za afya zinazotolewa na watu /makampuni binafsi (private sector) na kuanzishwa kwa huduma za afya bila kulipia kwa ngazi zote za utoaji wa huduma za afya.

Mabadiliko mengine kwenye utoaji wa huduma za afya yalitokea mwanzoni mwa miaka ya tisini, ambapo kupanda kwa gharama za afya, kuongezeka kwa idadi ya watu na kuyumba kwa uchumi kulisababisha huduma za afya zinazotolewa kuwa duni, hivyo kulazimisha serikali kuanzisha utaratibu wa kuchangia huduma za afya, kabla ya kupata huduma. Ikumbukwe kuwa kupitia kodi, kila mtu tayari anachangia huduma za afya isipokuwa tofauti hapa ni kuwa unalazimika kulipa wakati umekwenda kwa matibabu kwenye kituo cha kutoa huduma za afya.Utaratibu wa kuchangia huduma ulianzishwa kwa awamu nne (4), kuanzia mwaka 1993 ulipoanza kwenye hospitali za rufaa hadi mwaka 1995 ulipoanza kutumika kwenye zahanati na vituo vya afya.

Uongozi wa awamu ya tatu, chini ya Rais Mh. Benjamin Mkapa unatambulika kwa kuanzisha mifumo mbalimbali ambayo ilichangia kuleta mabadiliko mengi chanya kwenye uchumi wetu na huduma za Jamii. Ndicho kipindi ambacho mamlaka ya mapato (TRA) na mashirika mengine yaliyo ongeza tija katika utendaji wa serikali yalianzishwa. Pengine mabadiliko (reforms) makubwa na yaliyoacha alama kwenye sekta ya afya tangu Uhuru ni kuanzishwa kwa bima ya afya kwa umma (social health insurance), inayosimamiwa na shirika la NHIF wakati wa kipindi cha awamu ya tatu. Maandiko mbali mbali yanaelezea kuwepo kwa bima ya afya ya umma kama ndio njia rahisi na ya haraka ya kuweza kufikia afya kwa wote (UHC). Ukiacha nchi zilizoendelea ambako mfumo huu wa bima upo kwa miaka zaidi ya hamsini, na walishaweza kufikia afya kwa wote miaka mingi iliyopita, upande wa Afrika – kusini mwa Jangwa la sahara, nchi mbili ambazo zinafanya vizuri ni Rwanda na Ghana, zote zikinufaika na kuwepo bima ya afya ya umma iliyo imara.

Hata hivyo, sio jambo rahsi kuanzisha bima ya afya katika nchi na ndio maana licha ya kujulikana ni moja ya silaha muhimu ya kufkia afya kwa wote, nchi nyingi bado hawajaweza kuanzisha. Hapa kwetu pia kuanzishwa kwa NHIF kulikutana na mapingamizi kutoka kwa wadau wote muhimu. Wakati ambapo watumishi wa umma waligoma kukatwa fedha ili kujiunga NHIF, watoa huduma za afya nao walilalamikia malipo wanayopata kutoka kwa NHIF, hata kutishia kuacha kutoa huduma kwa wanachama wa NHIF. Hata wadau wa maendeleo pia mara kadhaa walipinga kuanzishwa kwa NHIF, kwa maelezo kuwa mfumo wa bima ya afya ya jamii hauwezi kufanya kazi kwenye nchi maskini. Kama sio Rais Benjamin Mkapa kusimama kidete, huku akiendelea kusimamia alichokiamini pengine leo tusingekuwa tunafurahia matunda ya NHIF. Nakumbuka kwenye sherehe za Mei mosi za mwaka 2002  Mheshimiwa Rais akiwa Mgeni rasmi, risala iliyosomwa na chama cha wafanyakazi ilipendekeza kusimamishwa kwa utaratibu wa watumishi kukatwa mishahara ili kulipia NHIF. Kwa ujasiri mkubwa, mheshimiwa Rais aliikingia kifua NHIF, na kusisitiza matatizo yanayotajwa yanatakiwa kufanyiwa kazi kuifanya bima ya afya ya umma imara, na sio kuufuta mfuko. Leo hii, ni mtumishi gani wa serikali utamwambia asikatwe NHIF na kisha ajilipie huduma za afya mwenyewe atafurahia hali hiyo? Na ni hospitali gani leo utawashauri wasitibu wagonjwa wa NHIF wakakubaliana na wewe? Ni maono ya mheshimiwa Mkapa yaliyotufikisha hatua hii ambayo inapelekea nchi mbalimbali kuja kujifunza uendeshaji wa bima ya umma Tanzania.

Pamoja na mafanilkio makubwa yaliyofikiwa na NHIF, labda suala la kujiuliza ni kuwa kwanini mpaka sasa Tanzania tuko nyuma sana kwenye juhudi za kufikia afya kwa wote? Ukiangalia mpaka sasa watu wenye bima za afya ni asilimia kumi na mbili (12) tu! Kati ya hao, asilimia 8 wako NHIF, asilimia 3 wana kadi za iCHF na asilimia moja wana bima ya afya za kampuni binafsi.

Nadhani changamoto ilikuwa hatukuweza kuendelea pale tulipoishia mwaka 2005. Tatizo kubwa limekuwa ni kukosa utashi wa kisiasa kwenye kufikia afya kwa wote. Pamoja na kuwa kila uchaguzi ukifika vyama vyote vikubwa vimekuwa na agenda ya afya kwa wote kwenye ilani zao, utekelezaji wake umekuwa wa kusuasua. Ikumbukwe kuwa, NHIF ilianzishwa kisheria kwa ajili ya watumishi wa umma. Baada ya kuimarika kwa NHIF, ilitakiwa kuwe na muendelezo wa kuanzisha sheria ya ulazima wa bima ya afya kwa watu wote. Sheria ya ulazima wa bima ya afya imekuwa ikipigwa kalenda kwa zaidi ya miaka kumi sasa. Kwa bahati nzuri, karibuni tumeona mabadiliko kwenye hili, na kikao cha juu cha chama tawala kimelipokea na kulibariki suala la afya kwa wote. Pengine sasa jambo hili lililosubiriwa kwa Zaidi ya miaka kumi, litafika mwisho na tutakuwa na sheria itakayolazimisha bima kwa watu wote.

Hata hivyo, pengine kosa kubwa ambalo tutafanya ni kudhani kuwa kupitishwa kwa sheria ya ulazima wa bima tu peke yake ndio itakuwa suluhisho la upatikanaji wa afya kwa wote. Ili kufanikiwa, Sheria ya ulazima wa bima ya afya lazima iandaliwe mazingira yatakayovutia watu waweze kujiunga na bima ya afya. Ukihesabu nchi za kusini mwa jangwa la Sahara zenye sheria kama hii hazipungui tano, kati ya hizo iliyofikia afya kwa wote ni moja tu, Rwanda na wengine wanaokaribia ni Ghana. Ni kipi kinatofautisha waliofanikiwa na ambao hawajafanikiwa?

Kwanza ni lazima serkali iweke utaratibu madhubuti wa kuwalipia ambao hawana uwezo. Licha ya uwepo wa sheria, kuna idadi kuwa ya watu ambao kutokana na umaskini hawataweza kujilipia. Kundi hili kwenye nchi zilizofanikiwa huwa wanalipiwa na serikali (premium subsidy). Kwa Tanzania bara, kundi hili linakadiriwa kufikia asilimia 18 ya watanzania wote. Suala la kwanza ni kuwatambua, ili kuhakikisha serikali inalipia walengwa. Baada ya kuwatambua ni muhimu serkali iwe na chanzo endelevu na uhakika cha mapato kuwezesha kuwalipia ada ya bima kundi hili. Hatutafanikiwa kwa kutumia hela zinazotengwa kutokana na utashi wa mtu, au watu wachache. Ni muhimu sheria ya kodi ielekeze kuwe na sehemu ya mapato ya kodi ambayo itatengwa kama chanzo cha mapato kulipia kundi hili. Mfano, Ghana wanatumia asilimia 2.5 ya VAT  kulipia kundi kama hili wakati Rwanda wao wamechagua kodi/tozo zaidi ya tano zinazochangia mfuko wa kulipia kundi hili. Kwa maana hiyo, ili kufanikiwa sheria ya ulazima wa bima lazima iendane na mabadiliko kwenye sheria ya kodi.

Jambo lingine la msingi ni umakini kwenye kuchagua kitita cha mafao (benefit package), kinachotumika katika sheria ya afya kwa wote. Ikumbukwe kuwa kiasi cha gharama watakayolipa watu kujiunga na bima hii inachangiwa kiasi kikubwa na kitita cha mafao. Takwimu zinaonyesha Zaidi ya 80% ya watu wanaotumia huduma za afya huhitaji kupata huduma za afya ya msingi pekee. Wachache huhitaji huduma za rufaa na wachache zaidi huhitaji huduma za kibingwa. Chukulia mfano wakulima 50 walilazimishwa kupanda basi la kwenda Morogoro na pamoja na wafanyabiashara wakubwa 4. Wakulimam walikuwa wanashuka KIbaha, lakini walilipa nauli sawa na wale wafanyabashara 4 wanaoenda mpaka Morogoro. Maana yake watu 50 wenye kipato kidogo wameumia kwa ajili ya kuwasaidia wanne ambao pengine hawakuhitaji huo msaada kutokana na kipato chao. Inaeleweka kuwa msingi wa bima ni kuchangiana, lakini haina maana kama kuwepo kwa baadhi ya huduma kutasababisha gharama iwe kubwa hivyo asilimia kubwa ya watu washindwe kujilipia. Lengo tunataka tuwe na asilimia 80 ya watu wajiunge na bima, hivyo bei lazima iwe rafiki. Mfano mzuri ni Rwanda, ambao bima yao inayotoa huduma za afya ya msingi (Mutuelle) inagharama ndogo za kujiunga kiasi cha kuwezesha zaidi ya asilimia 80 kujiunga. Pia, ili kupunguza mzigo wa gharama kwa wananchi, serikali lazima iendelee kuchangia (kupitia mfuko wa bima) baadhi ya huduma ambazo au zina gharama kubwa sana (mfano magonjwa sugu) au huduma zinazoweza kutabirika (mfano; ujauzito).

Kuchagua kitita cha mafao, inaendana na uchaguzi mzuri wa namna ambavyo msimamizi wa bima atawalipa watoa huduma. Iko mifumo tofauti ya kulipa watoa huduma, na mara nyingi watoa huduma hupendelea ile mifumo ambayo huwapa wao faida Zaidi. Ni jukumu la mtoa bima kuchagua mfumo sahihi utakaowalinda wanachama wake na kulinda uhimilivu wa mfuko. Zipo njia zinazofahamika kuwa zina manufaa zikitumika kwenye afya ya msingi, mfano ni njia ya capitation. Hata hivyo sio watoa huduma wengi wanazipenda sababu inawalazimisha kuongeza umakini kwenye huduma na gharama wanazotumia. Unahitajika uthubutu kuweza kuanzisha na kusimamia njia hizi ambazo ukizianzisha lazima utakutana na mapingamizi, lakini muhimu kwa uhimilivu wa mfuko, hasa kama unalengo la kuwafikia Zaidi ya asilimia 80 ya watanzania wanaokadiriwa kufikia milioni 60.

Pia kuna suala la kuwa na huduma rafiki kwa watu kujiunga. kuwalazimisha watu kulipia gharama ya kujiunga bima ya miezi 12 huku ikifahamika kuwa vipato vya watu wengi ni vya kila mwezi, wiki au siku, ni tatizo linalohitaji ufumbuzi.lazima mfumo wa kulipia uwe rafiki kwenye kulipia, hasa ikizingatiwa mifumo ya technolojia na simu imerahisisha sana udhibiti kwenye huduma.

 Upande wa pili kwenye afya kwa wote ni kwenye utoaji wa huduma za afya. Pongezi nyingi kwa serikali ya awamu ya tano nah ii ya sita kwa juhudi kubwa kwenye ujenzi wa miundombinu. Pamoja na hayo, inahitajika juhudi kama hiyo kwenye uboreshaji wa huduma hasa upande wa watumishi, vitendea kazi na upatikanaji wa dawa. Upande wa dawa na vitendea kazi ni eneo la msingi Zaidi na linalohtaji uharaka. Pengine kuna haja ya kuangalia mfumo wetu mzima wa usambazaji wa dawa kwenda kwenye vituo, kuondokana na huu wa sasa ambao serikali hupeleka hela bohari ya madawa na kuwataka bohari wasambaze dawa vituoni, tutumie mfumo ambao hela ziende kwenye vtuo vya kutolea huduma kupitia bima na kuwataka watoa huduma wenyewe waagize na kulipia dawa toka bohari ya madawa. Unakumbuka mara ya kwanza ulipoanza kujitegemea ulipokuwa unatumia vitu unavyonunua kwa umakini kulinganisha na siku ulizokuwa nyumbani kwa wazazi? Pengine hili litatokea kama watoa huduma iwapo watatakiwa kulipa wenyewe dawa wanazonunua. Lazima tukubali kwa sasa kuna upotevu mkubwa wa dawa, pamoja na wingi wa dawa zinazoharibika bila kutumiwa.

Kuna mengi ya kuandika, lakini pengine sitatendea haki Makala hii kama sitaongelea umuhimu wa matumizi ya takwimu. Matumizi ya takwimu yanaweza kutusaidia kwenye maeneo mengi kufikia afya kwa wote, mojawapo ni kuwatambua wasio na uwezo wa kujiunga na bima. Kwa kutumia taarifa za matumizi ya simu (muda wa maongezi, hela unazopokea/kutuma kwenye simu, matumizi ya internet nk) watafiti wanaweza wakawatambua kipato cha mtu na hivyo kujua uwezo wake wa kujilipia na bima. Lakini pia takwimu zinaweza kusaidia kuwafikia walengwa (targeted marketing) kwa ujumbe sahihi utakaowafikia wakati sahihi, ili waweze kujiunga na bima huku pia zikiwezesha malipo kufanyka tokea sebuleni kwa wateja. Halafu kuna matumizi ya takwimu zinazoletwa na watoa huduma ili walipwe madai. Eneo la matumizi mabaya ya dawa, matibabu yasiyo ya lazima na hata namna bora ya kudhibiti gharama za matibabu zinaweza kuboreshwa kutumia takwimu.

Afya kwa wote inawezekana, ni suala ambalo lipo ndani ya uwezo wetu. Kama ambavyo Rais Mkapa alithubutu na kusimamia uanzishwaji wa mfumo wa afya kwa Jamii (social health insurance), kinachotakiwa ni aina kama hiyo ya uthubutu ili kutuvusha eneo lililobakia kufikia afya kwa wote sababu misingi tayari ilishawekwa tangu mwaka 2001 wakati tulipoanzisha NHIF, tuanzie pale tulipoishia mwaka 2005.

 

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Mkapa’s policies were key in attracting investors By Ami Mpungwe

Mkapa’s policies were key in attracting investors By Ami Mpungwe

When President Mkapa came into power, in October 1995, he took over from President Mwinyi who had, during his 10 year-tenure since 1985, begun the process of opening, both the economy and politics of Tanzania. President Mwinyi assumed office in 1985, under one-party system and found the economy, very much socialist and over controlled with all the major means of production, distribution, and exchange, under strict ownership and control of the state,” he says.

President Mwinyi had started the liberalization and privatization processes, through World Bank and IMF-led programs and also opened up politics because it was during his time that multi-party politics were re-introduced in Tanzania.

I had served under Mkapa as Foreign Minister twice before he became President, I was confident that he would make the necessary changes to modernize and bolster the economy, with profound level of conviction and commitment.

When he assumed power, President Mkapa did not only sustain President Mwinyi’s reform programs, but he further deepened that process of liberalization and modernization of the Tanzanian economy.

He started by first strengthening and deepening the macro-economic fundamentals, in such areas like, appropriate exchange rates, interest rates and taming inflationary drivers. He further took measures to save the economy from the unmanageable and unsustainable debt levels, through the World bank sponsored HIPIC (Highly Indebted Poor Countries) programs.

As build up to his macro-economic policies he also, determinedly addressed micro-economics related issues in various sectors. For example, in the mining sector, he started with the Mining Policy of 1997, backed by the mining Act of 1998.

This kick started and modernized the mining sector and others, such as tourism and manufacturing sectors, which were determinedly opened up as way to push for sustainable growth in Tanzania. He also intensified the privatization process, therefore, giving the private sector a key role in the growth of the economy, through appropriate policy framework as well as supportive, legal, fiscal, and regulatory regimes, across all sectors, all geared to establish a modern and competitive economy in Tanzania,” he says.

As part of the drive to mobilize FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) inflow, President Mkapa introduced a lot of clarity on incentives and protective measures that were managed by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) not just to stabilize the policies and make them predictable, but also to give assurance to the investors’ expectations, both local and foreign.

The stabilization of policies and assurances to the investors was a key component for an economy that was not only making a transition from state owned, to liberalized economy but also set to become competitive against its immediate neighbours and the region at large.

Let me take the mining sector as an example, up to that point, apart from Mwadui Diamonds which also had foreign ownership, there was literally no modern mining and zero exports of minerals, such as gold. Now as you can see the measures taken by the New Mining Policy of 1997 and Mining Act of 1998, Tanzania moved from zero exporter of gold and by 2001 it became number three largest exporter of gold in Africa, after South Africa and Ghana.

This was one of the demonstrations that President Mkapa’s interventions in stabilizing the macro-economic fundamentals and stimulating sectoral growth, not only stimulated significant macro and sectoral growth but also attracted a lot of investments both local and foreign. Success builds success!

Privatisation of certain areas in the manufacturing sector also yielded significant results, for instance, in the turn-around and expansion of such entities like, the Tanzania Breweries Ltd (TBL), Kilombero Sugar, Kagera Sugar, TPC, Banking and other Financial Services Sectors, Telecommunications, etc., that had changed hands from government to private.

All this led to the turnaround of fortunes of these key sectors which were ailing under government ownership.

In the case of Kilombero, for instance, its installed capacity was 90,000 tons of sugar but by the time it was privatized in 1998, it had deteriorated to 28,000 tones and employees were on half pay. Today, it has turned out to be the leading sugar manufacturing entity it the country, with annual production averaging 130,000 tons per year!

Apart from the regulatory frameworks President Mkapa also pushed for the creation of private sector advocacy institutions such as the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI), the Tanzania Chamber of Mines (TCM), Agricultural Confederation of Tanzania (ACT), Tourism Confederation of Tanzania (TCT) and the CEO Round Table.

The president would sometimes spend a whole day or two with CEOs of major entities where the private sector would be raising their issues and their concerns and possible recommendations on how to strengthen policies and regulatory frameworks.

However, even with this goodwill that the president had put in, there were times that he was misunderstood by the public.

Remember, we were still very socialist in our approaches and thinking, but he had to deal with it within his own party CCM who had to buy into it. And as far as the general public was concerned, he used to have monthly addresses to the nation where he would clarify some of these issues. But President Mkapa also took measures to address issues of unsustainable poverty levels in Tanzania through the creation of a specific Ministerial portfolio for Poverty Alleviation as well in formulating such interventions like, the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty, (MKUKUTA) and MKURABITA which was aimed at formalizing the informal sector and mainstreaming it into the modern economy!

As diplomat in South Africa, Mkapa made light of our work because the fundamentals were being established and deepened at home, so it was easy to mobilize FDI in flow into Tanzania because the facts and statistics were there to back this up.

As a result, for me it was much easier to get the likes of SAB Miller to invest in Tanzania Breweries, in the Banking Sector we managed to get both Stanbic and Absa, in the tourism sector we had Holiday Inn, Royal Palm and other high end entities such as the Conservation Cooperation Africa (CCA), now known as and Beyond, which had invested in Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Zanzibar and many others in host of sectors like Mining, Agriculture, Construction etc.

This was not an isolated case because this scenario played out across the world, and therefore, diplomats were properly armed with economic diplomacy that had hinged on strong policies as well as clear and predictable legal frameworks that were quite attractive to FDI.

The regulatory frameworks were quite transparent and predictable, so it was a very conducive for foreign investors to come to Tanzania.

The strong foundations were laid during his period, it was now upon his successors to carry forward because the trust and the confidence of the investor community had already been sufficiently won under President Mkapa’s leadership!

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Dakika 60 na Dk. Ellen, mwanamke wa kwanza kuiongoza Taasisi ya Mkapa

Dakika 60 na Dk. Ellen, mwanamke wa kwanza kuiongoza Taasisi ya Mkapa

Na WILLIAM SHECHAMBO
KATIKA orodha ya Taasisi zenye jina kubwa nchini kwa sasa, huwezi kuiacha Taasisi ya Benjamin Mkapa (Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation - BMF), ambayo hadi leo tangu ilipoanzishwa miaka 16 iliyopita na Hayati Rais wa awamu ya tatu, Benjamin William Mkapa imefanikiwa kuwafikia watu zaidi ya milioni 26 kutokana na utekelezaji wa miradi yake mbalimbali ya afya.

 

Taasisi hii isiyo ya kiserikali na yenye sifa lukuki ndani na nje ya nchi, inaongozwa na Afisa Mtendaji Mkuu mwanamke, Dk. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, ambaye gazeti hili mahususi kwa wanawake nchini, limefanikiwa kumpata na kuzungumza naye kwa dakika 60 kuhusu masuala kadha wa kadha katika mtindo wa maswali na majibu.

Mwandishi: Mafanikio ya Benjamin Mkapa Foundation yametokana na nini?

Dk. Ellen: Kwanza mafanikio makubwa yanatokana na mwanzilishi wake kwa maana ya Mhe. Hayati Mzee Mkapa, dira yake kubwa ilikuwa ni kuona jinsi gani anasaidia wananchi ambao labda wana changamoto ya kupata huduma bora kwa urahisi zaidi, kwahiyo nadhani ile ‘vision’ (dira) aliyokuwa nayo ya kufikia Watanzania wengi kwa ubora wa huduma pia wakiwa na afya njema na ustawi mzuri, ndiyo kigezo kikubwa cha mafanikio ya hii Taasisi.

Alipoanzisha hii taasisi, tafsiri ya dira yake ikaenda kuandikishwa na kutengenezewa mkakati wa miaka mitano, kwahiyo tulivyotengeneza huu mkakati ilikuwa inatusaidia kiuhalisia kujua nini kifanyike, na hivyo kuanzisha program mbalimbali zinazowafikia walengwa nchini. Kwa sasa tunatekeleza Mpango mkakati wa Taasisi wa awamu ya tatu ( Julai 2019- June 2024).

Jambo lingine, linalotupa mafanikio ni uwepo wa utawala bora, uongozi na utendaji  imara bora unaosimamiwa na Bodi na Menejimenti makini tangu tulipoanzishwa. Pia tunajivunia kuwa ni taasisi ya Kitanzania, iliyoanzishwa na Mtanzania inaendeshwa na Watanzania na inawatumikia Watanzania Bara na Visiwani, tuna ubunifu, tuna watendaji wenye sifa na weledi u na tunaaminiwa na Serikali na wafadhili.

Mwandishi: Unajisikiaje kuwa kiongozi mwanamke unayeongoza taasisi hii nyeti iliyobeba jina lenye sifa lukuki nchini, kikanda na kimataifa?

Dk. Ellen: Ninajisikia vizuri, lakini kikubwa ninaamini matokeo yanayopatikana sio tu kutokana na  uongozi wangu pekee yangu,  bali ni kutokana na uwepo wa watendaji wenye sifa na weledi, na pia mashirikiano na wadau mbalimbali. Kwangu ninpopata matokeo yaliyokusudiwa ndio ninafarijika zaidi na hasa kama unafikia malengo mliyojiwekea kama taasisi. sisi hapa tuna utaratibu wa kujipima kila mwaka kama Taasisi na pia kama  Afisa Mtendaji Mkuu na Menejimenti yote tunapimwa utendaji na bodi, na vilevile kwa kila mtumishi kadhalika.

Unajua unaposimamia taasisi iliyobeba jina la Rais Mkapa, yeye mwenyewe alikuwa ni kiongozi mchapakazi, mtu anayependa kuona matokeo, asiye na maneno mengi, yaani ni mtu ambaye alikuwa anajiamini na mwenye kutahmini uadilifu.

Kwahiyo nilivyopewa hii taasisi, nilivyoanza, na mimi ni Afisa Mtendaji Mkuu wa kwanza wa hii taasisi tangu ilipoanza, ilibidi mimi mwenyewe nijipime kama ninatosha katika hii nafasi na ninaendana na sifa za Rais Mkapa  katika kufanya kazi.Nilipoona ninaweza kukidhi haja, basi  ilikuwa ni rahisi kufanya kazi na nafikiri ni sehemu niliyojifunza sana kama kiongozi, kuna maeneo mengi nimekomaa nikiwa hapa.

Mwandishi: Baadhi ya wanawake ni waoga wanapopata nafasi nyeti kama hii, lakini wewe umethubutu na unafanya kazi kwa weledi nini siri iliyopo nyuma ya mafanikio haya?

Dk. Ellen: Hii sio mara yangu ya kwanza kufanya kazi kama kiongozi, hata nilikotoka niliwahi kushika nafasi ya uiongozi kama ‘DMO’ (Mganga Mkuu wa Wilaya Temeke na Kinondoni). Mimi nimesoma zaidi hapa Tanzania kuanzia sekondari, nikasoma Chuo Kikuu cha  Muhimbili Digrii ya Udaktari, na nilipomaliza nikaenda kusoma Masters degree ya Public Health Uholanzi, nilivyorudi nikapangiwa kazi serikalini. Baada ya hapo

nilikwenda kufanya kazi Umoja wa Mataifa,Ofisi ya Dar Es Salaam na baadaye ndio nikaja hapa. Kote nilikopita kufanya kazi nilijengwa sana na viongozi wangu na utayari wangu wa kujifunza ndio ilikuwa siri yangu kubwa. Kwahiyo hatua hiyo kidogo ilinijenga lakini pia kikubwa kwangu ni kujiamini, kuwa tayari kutumia watu, makuuzi na malezi ya wazazi wangu,  na pia kuungwa mkono na walio karibu namiwakiwemo wana familia.

Mwandishi: Una maoni gani kwa wanawake katika ushiriki wa ujenzi wa taifa ili kukuza uchumi?

Dk. Ellen: Wanawake wana fursa nyingi na wanajituma na kuchangia kiasi kikubwa katika kukuza uchumi. Aidha pia serikali yetu imekuwa mstari wa mbele kuwatambua na kuwawezesha wanawake, na sasa hivi tumeweka historia duniani, tuna Rais mwanamke ambaye tunaamini yeye ndiye kinara wetu wa kutusogeza mbali zaidi, kama nchi.

Tumeona hata kwenye teuzi katika Serikali na Taasisi mbalimbali, wanawake wanashika nafasi za  uongozi, na pia  hata kwenye ngazi ya  familia, wanawake wana nafasi kubwa ya kukuza uchumi kutokana na shughuli zao mbalimbali.Hata hivyo bado tunahitaji kujiamini na kuongezeka zaidi kwa wanawake katika safu za uongozi, zikiwemo pia Bodi au vyombo vya kufanyia maamuzi katika Serikali, Taasisi za Umma na za binafsi.

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The Late Benjamin William Mkapa – One Year Anniversary Commemorations in Lupaso

(Masasi, Mtwara Region)

On 24th June 2021, Mkapa Foundation joined other Tanzanians to commemorate the first anniversary since the death of H.E The Late Benjamin William Mkapa who was Tanzania’s 3rd President, Founder and Settlor of the Mkapa Foundation. 

The memorial service was held at his home in Lupaso village, Masasi District of Mtwara Region. The Mkapa Foundation team was led by Dr. Adeline Kimambo, Chair of Mkapa Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Others in attendance from the Foundation were Ms. Jane Malisa – Director of Finance and Grants, Mr. Obedi Mrita – Head of Operations Support Services Unit and Ms. Salma Yusuf – Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. 

Mama Mkapa, wife of HE. The Late Benjamin Mkapa with Chair of the BoT and BMF management
Mama Mkapa, wife of HE. The Late Benjamin Mkapa with team from Mkapa Foundation at Lupaso during the commemoration service.

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AWF Launches Wildlife Photography Award in Honor of HE. Late Benjamin William Mkapa

14th July, 2021

H.E. The Late Benjamin William Mkapa served on various boards, locally and internationally. In Uganda, he served on the African Wildlife Foundation’s (AWF) Board of Trustees.

In honor of its longest-serving member, AWF has launched the Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Foundation Photographic Award.

Mr. Kaddu Sebunya, CEO, AWF, speaks on H.E. Late Mkapa’s vision for wildlife conservation, a topic, personal and important to Mkapa’s heart.

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Growing up Under the Wings of a Giant: My Reflection on the Person of H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa as Self-Reliant, Masterful Mentor and an Unapologetic Institutionalist.

By Amb. Macocha Tembele

Amb. Macocha Tembele is the Director of Multilateral Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and was the Personal Assistant to the Late Benjamin Mkapa until his passing on

My-Reflection-on-H.E.-Ben-Mkapa-in-his-One-Year-Anniversary

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H.E President Mkapa’s contribution to Tourism in Tanzania

Zakia Meghji was Minister throughout H.E. The Late Benjamin Mkapa’s tenure; first as a Minister of Health and later as Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism. She writes of President Mkapa’s contribution to tourism in Tanzania.

Zakia

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Remembering Mkapa Toward Mkapa Legacy Symposium

Ambassador Peter Kalaghe worked in the State House as deputy secretary to the President Mkapa reflect back to what Mkapa did during his era

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How the Newspapers Molded Ben Mkapa for The Presidency

The first time Prof Ngila Mwase communicated with Ben Mkapa, then Managing Editor of the TANU Party newspapers- the Nationalist and Uhuru was in 1969. He did not know that Mkapa would one day ascend to the Presidency.

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