His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, the third President of the Republic of Tanzania, elected under the first multi-party general elections has written his memoir which was launched on his 81st Birthday, 12th November, 2019. His Excellency is also the Chancellor of Cavendish University Uganda. His memoirs range from his childhood, his time as president, and on to his continuing post-retirement involvement on the international stage of development and peace mediation. It conveys His Excellency’s major achievements within the context; portrays his personality and growth; shares lessons on leadership; and provides some historical education about Tanzania to the younger and/or non-Tanzanian readers.
This book will appeal to readers interested in an African’s personal experiences of colonialism in East Africa; the struggle for independence by the liberation movements of several African countries; how war helped unify the diverse citizens of a young nation; fostering nationalism and addressing ethnic and religious differences; the economic and social aspects of transition to socialism and then to a free market environment; the political transition from a single party state to multi-partyism; and relations with international organisations such as The World Bank and development partners. During the ten years of his presidency, he undertook substantial reform such as the privatisation of national assets, securing international debt relief and restructuring the public service.
His Excellency writes of his childhood, his political maturation, the evolution of the State and politics in Tanzania, as well as some political upheavals in neighbouring countries. These memoirs are enriched by comments on the character of leadership and advice for aspiring leaders.
After Julius Nyerere, very few books have been written by senior Tanzanian leaders on the evolution of Tanzania; in fact, more literature has been produced by foreigners than Tanzanians, thus H.E. Mkapa’s memoirs are a milestone. His book will definitely appeal to aspiring leaders, students of development, international politics and diplomacy, those working for development partners, historians, and those who want to know more about the Tanzanian heritage.
This book captures an era of great change within Tanzania. From independence; the emergence of Ujamaa–Nyerere’s African interpretation of socialism; to opening up to capitalism and the first multi-party elections. It will help you to understand what shaped Tanzania as a nation and how this still influences Tanzanian politics and attitudes today.
Still known around the world for his ongoing work in development and peace mediation, His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa’s informative book provides an African leader’s view of development; offering a sincere and valuable perspective of his struggle. This reflective and intimate portrait of a leader will touch you as few politicians can nowadays. You will recall these memoirs long after you have reached the last page.
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