…the fight against corruption is unrelenting. There is no undue protection of people suspected [of] being found guilty of engaging in corrupt practices.
…[Tanzania Government] Revenue collection has increased from Tshillings 177.1 billion (96 million US Dollars) per month in 2005 to Tshillings 800 billion (about 433 million US Dollars) per month in 2015.
By TZ Business News Staff
The Tanzania Government Information Services, MAELEZO, has released the government version of President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete’s speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC made on April 3, 2015.
In this version, President Kikwete told his listeners “the fight against corruption is unrelenting. There is no undue protection of people suspected [of] being found guilty of engaging in corrupt practices.” The speech does not contain the words “stressful and thankless” reported by The Telegraph and reproduced by this website.
The President also said: “We have succeeded to tame inflation rate from 18 percent in 2011 to 4.8 percent currently. Revenue collection has increased from Tanzania shillings 177.1 billion (96 million US Dollars) per month in 2005 to Tanzania shillings 800 billion (about 433 million US Dollars) per month in 2015. This is too little compared to demand to meet government obligations
He continued: “The people of Tanzania belong to over 120 tribes and different races although people of African descent are the overwhelming majority. They subscribe to different religions and there are many who don’t belong to any. May be they have chosen to be non-aligned or are still choosing.
“The relationship between the United States of America and the United Republic of Tanzania is excellent. And to say it more appropriately, they are at their best state ever.” THE FULL SPEECH FOLLOWS:
Honourable Mr. Thomas Nides, Chairman of Woodrow Wilson Centre;
Honourable Jane Harman, President and CEO of Woodrow Wilson Centre;
Mr. Monde Muyagwa, Director, Africa Program of the Woodrow Wilson Centre;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I thank you President Jane Harman for the invitation to speak at this prestigious and world renowned Woodrow Wilson Centre. I feel greatly honoured and privileged to have this Conversation with the distinguished audience. I will always cherish this rare opportunity.
In her invitation you asked me to share my personal experience of leadership challenges as a President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Also to share my thoughts about US-Africa relations. This invitation could not have come at any better time than this. I am going to leave office after the elections in October, 2015 on completion of my mandatory two terms as President of my great country.
I must admit that I had a hard time deciding where to start and where to end especially about what and how much to say because there is too much to talk about. As such, I apologise to those who may feel I did not talk about what they would have wished me to say. Please blame that it on limited time.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
After being nominated Presidential candidate of my Party (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) in May 2005 I set down to contemplate in greater depth the task ahead of me. I always reflected on the same during the campaign and after being elected President. During my maiden speech on 30th December, 2025 while opening the National Assembly, I crystallised my thoughts. I underlined six major policy tenets which will guide and define my Presidency. These were:
1. Holding the country together.
2. Maintain peace and political stability which is the hallmark of Tanzania.
3. Promote fast socio-economic growth and development as a measure to fight poverty and accelerate development.
4. Consolidate democracy and ensure good governance, rule of law and human rights.
5. Undertake unrelenting fight against crime including corruption; and
6. Develop good relations with all countries in the region, Africa and the world.
It is important to underscore the fact that elections are taking place in a specific context and historical timelines. Together they dictate expectations, aspirations and preferences of the voters and politics of the day. These, however, are not static, they may keep on changing every time you come close to achieving them. It gives a lesson that, leadership is all about solving puzzles, with each solution breeding another challenge or contributing to solving the other challenge.
Tanzania of 2005: Ladies and Gentlemen;
I took the country from my predecessor, President Benjamin William Mkapa, who I served under his Cabinet for 10 years as his Foreign Minister. In 2005, the country was emerging from the difficult times of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) and liberalization related reforms that were so painful to our economy and people. The focus on debt repayment had a negative impact on the government’s ability to provide basic social services such as health, education and water.
Less than 10 percent of primary school leavers found their way into secondary education. The country GDP was at 14.14 billion US Dollars and per capita income was at US Dollars 375.
On the political front, with just 13 years of multiparty experience, many of our democratic and accountability institutions were at the formative stage. Opposition parties occupied less than 15 percent of the seats in the Parliament. There was a political standoff in Zanzibar after election that was threatening security and political stability in the Isles and in the entire country. That very same year Tanzania experienced unprecedented drought causing acute food shortages necessitating more than 3.776 million people to be given food support by our new government.
At the same time dams at hydropower stations did not have enough water causing serious load shedding. It forced us to source power from emergence power producer which lauded our government into trouble.
Keeping the Nation Together: Ladies and Gentlemen;
Tanzania is a nation of great diversity making the task of holding the country together to top priority agenda. The people of Tanzania belong to over 120 tribes and different races although people of African descent are the overwhelming majority. They subscribe to different religions and there are many who don’t belong to any. May be they have chosen to be non-aligned or are still choosing.
After the reintroduction of multiparty system in 1992, the people of Tanzania joined the various political parties. There were already signs of differences in political affiliations that could threaten the peace and stability of the nation. The United Republic of Tanzania is a new nation born on April 26, 1964 through merger of the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and the Republic of Tanganyika.
Managing and balancing the differences between these two partners needed special attention. As I alluded you earlier, in Zanzibar there was a dangerous standoff between the ruling party CCM and the main opposition CUF. Because CCM was strong in Unguja Island and CUF in Pemba Island the standoff was threatening to drive a wedge between the two Islands which together formed the People’s Republic of Zanzibar.
Ensuring that the people of Tanzania celebrate their diversities but they do not split the country into hostile camps and entities is a mammoth task. Temptations of demagogue politicians to exploit social fault lines, as the means to consolidate and ascend to power is much higher. We are already seeing it happening therefore a great deal of political management is required. Fortunately, the founding fathers of Tanzania Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, the first President of Tanganyika and Tanzania and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume the President of Zanzibar and First Vice President of Tanzania had laid strong foundation to ensure that these diversities don’t break up the country.
My two predecessors His Excellency Ally Hassan Mwinyi and His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa and the successive generations of Presidents of Zanzibar have maintained the good policies. I also vowed to follow the good examples of my predecessors. So far so good.
I am proud that I have been able to continue to hold the country together despite challenges and threats. We have dealt with threats whenever they arose. I supported and contributed to political process that saw the two contending parties in Zanzibar sign a political accord in 2010. The Political Accord that contributed to peaceful elections in Zanzibar and the formation of government of National Unity between my ruling party CCM and the opposition party CUF.
I have never shied away from reaching out political and to religious leaders whenever there was a need and worked with them in confronting many of the divisive tendencies. With regard to the differences, I launched the Constitutional review process to address the issues. I equally never hesitated to take resolute action against all those who use the diversity to incite chaos, civic disobedience, break laws and disrupt peace. So far so good. The country is at peace.
Economic Growth and Development: Ladies and Gentlemen;
I was elected in 2005 and 2010 on the pledge that I will deliver on the promise made by my Party in our election manifesto of “better life for every Tanzanian”. It was a pledge to change the lives of the people of Tanzania for the better. From where they were to somewhere better. This means two things. One to see people’s incomes increased, and, two to see the people of Tanzania having access to better social and economic services.
Here I have in mind things like education, health care, water supply, electricity, roads, railway, aviation etc. In pursuit of these lofty goals we decided to stay the course on economic reforms started by our Second President and continued by the third President. These reforms have not been so easy since by their very nature they bite on the comfort of some sections of our people and displace others from their economic position.
It is heart-warming, indeed, that sustaining the reforms has worked well for us. Our economy has continued to register strong macro-economic performance. GDP growth has been at an average of 7 percent for the one and a half decade. Tanzania is among the 10 fastest growing economy in Africa and among 20 in the world. Our GDP now [stands] at 43 billion US Dollars compared to 14.4 [billion]US Dollars in 2005 and per capita GDP has increased from 375 US Dollars in 2005 to 944 US Dollars in 2014.
We have succeeded to tame inflation rate from 18 percent in 2011 to 4.8 percent currently. Revenue collection has increased from Tanzania shillings 177.1 billion (96 million US Dollars) per month in 2005 to Tanzania shillings 800 billion (about 433 million US Dollars) per month in 2015. This is too little compared to demand to meet government obligations.
We have accelerated the pace of poverty reduction in the last six years. Between 2000 and 2007 poverty reduction was only 2 percent and between 2007 and 2014 poverty reduction was 5.5 percent. However, the future looks even brighter for the economy and the government when the effects of the already discovered 55 tcf of natural gas begin to be felt. Certainly, government revenue position will be bolstered significantly.
Improving Social and Economic Services: Ladies and Gentlemen;
We have succeeded to scale up the provision of basic social and economic services hence increasing, [Tanzanians] who have access to these important services. This contributes in a big way to the improvement of people’s lives. Allow me to give specific examples.
In education for example, primary school enrolment is 98 percent and secondary school enrolment increased three and a half times from 525, 325 students in 2005 to 1.8 million students in 2014 and university enrolment increased from 40,719 in 2005 to 200,986 students in 2014. By doing so, more Tanzanian sons and daughters have access to education now than any other time. The other thing worth mentioning is that, there are more girls than boys in primary schools. There is gender parity in secondary school but in higher education there are more men than women although the number of women is increasing fast.
The number of people with access to electricity has also increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 36 percent 2014. About 5,336 villages in rural areas have access to electricity which 43 percent of the total 12,423 villages in the country. The number of people with access to clean and safe portable water have increased from 74 percent in urban areas and 53.7 percent in rural areas in 2005 to the current 86 percent and 60 percent respectively.
With regard to health care, we have built more dispensaries, health centres and hospitals as a result more Tanzanians have access to better health services. This translated into reduction in under five mortality rate from 112 deaths per 1,000 in 2004/2005 to 54 deaths per 1,000 live births. Maternal mortality rate from 578 deaths per 100,000 births in 2005 to 432 deaths per 100,000 births. Malaria infections and deaths have been cut by 50 percent and HIV infection rates is down to 5.1 percent and coming further down. Immunization coverage for children and mothers is way above 90 percent. Availability of medicines has improved considerably although there are still teething challenges to overcome. Expansion in training is helping to increase the number of health professionals thus slowly but surely closing the gap.
Big Result Now (BRN): We have recorded tremendous success on the [roads] infrastructure. Close to 6,000km have been paved out of the 11,474 km under construction. We have set our sights on upgrading the railway network.
Consolidating Governance and Growth: Ladies and Gentlemen;
Improving governance has been a top priority agenda of my administration. We have been taking measures to promote transparency and accountability. There has been deliberate measures to build and strengthen institutions of democracy, governance, accountability and rule of law.
The judiciary is independent of government interference. The Parliament is very vibrant and performs so well its oversight of government. The office of the Controller and Auditor General has been strengthened as a result financial discipline is improving. Audit reports are made public. They are debated by Parliament where proceedings are broadcast live on TV.
The fight against corruption is unrelenting. There is no undue protection of people suspected being found guilty of engaging in corrupt practices. The anti corruption law has been strengthened and the institutions responsible for Preventing and Combating Corruption (PCCB) has been strengthened.
I have fulfilled my pledge of widening democratic space, and significantly improving the political environment, on which Opposition parties could grow. Further efforts have been directed in strengthening freedom of press. There are 825 newspapers, 95 radios station of which government owned are only two and 28 TV Stations. In Tanzania we have so many newspapers that one requires about 20 US Dollars to be able to buy all daily newspapers.
US-Tanzania Relations: Ladies and Gentlemen;
The relationship between the United States of America and the United Republic of Tanzania is excellent. And to say it more appropriately, they are at their best state ever. Government to government relations are strong as evidenced by two US Presidents undertaking visits to Tanzania within a span of five years. President George W. Bush visited with us in 2008 while President Barack Obama came in 2013. President Bill Clinton made an official visit in 2000 but has been to Tanzania several times after living office to follow up projects supported by his Foundation. President Bush has been there twice since leaving office. Several senior officials of our two governments have exchanged visits which have helped to strengthen our bilateral relations.
Tanzania and the United States see eye to eye on a number of global and African issues and have supported each other at international and regional fora. The US has extended a big hand of support to Tanzania’s development endeavours which has made a huge difference towards improving the lives of our people and the development of the country at large. I have in mind the good work being done by the USAID covering many aspects of the socio-economic life of the people of Tanzania. Also, programmes like PEPFER, PMI, MCC, Feed the Future and Power Africa are making phenomenon contributions to the development of Tanzania and its people.
People to people relations are also strong and getting stronger with each passing day. I believe visits like mine serves that purpose. Many private foundations, non – government organisations and individual Americans are working in Tanzania and have good relations with the people and the government of Tanzania.
Way Forward: Ladies and Gentlemen;
When I look back to 2005, when I assumed the highest office in our country, I hold no regrets, only harbour lessons.
I believe my successor will carry on and learn from these lessons, so that he or she can continue from where we will have left off. One thing I am proud of is that, we have built strong foundations to guide our country in the implementation of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 whose overarching objective is to transform the country into a middle income economy by 2025.
I have in mind the Long Term Prospective Plan divided into three Five Year Development Plans. Also, I hope we will be able to have in place the policy and legislation on the management of gas economy and revenues, which are expected to flow in earnest from 2020. Ultimately, I hope we will hold free, fair, peaceful and credible elections so that I can handover the Presidency to my successor in a tranquil atmosphere. I cannot wait to see that day.