Dar es Salaam. CEO Roundtable Chairman Ali Mufuruki yesterday recalled his last moments with a senior AfDB bank executive who died in South Africa on Wednesday.
Doctor Tonia Kandiero, the AfDB director general for the southern Africa region, reportedly collapsed and died of undisclosed illness hours after she had met the Tanzanian businessman at her office in Centurion, Gauteng.
The deceased bank executive is a familiar personality in Tanzania where she served for six years as AfDB’s country representative before landing her plum posting to the regional office in South Africa in December 2016.
Yesterday President John Magufuli expressed shock at the news of Dr Kandiero’s death and sent his condolences to the bank’s President Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
In a press statement, President Magufuli said he had fond memories of Dr Kandiero during her working stint in the country. “I will remember her as a hard working woman who contributed massively in the development of our country,” said Dr Magufuli.
President Magufuli said he worked closely with the deceased when he was minister for works and together helped put together funding for the building of various projects funded by AfDB.
The President names some of the projects as the construction of bridges and road through Iringa, Dodoma, Babati, Namtumbo, the new road through Bagamoyo to Tanga and Mombasa, Mbinga through Mbambabay and Tabara-Katavi.
In his condolence message, Mr Mufuruki described as “terrible”, the news of Dr Kandiero’s passing only a few hours after she hosted him at her office. “She was in high spirits, looked perfectly healthy and said several times how happy she was in her new position and life in Johannesburg.”
“I cannot express my sadness in words but In appreciate now more than ever why it is important to cherish every smallest moment you get to share with a friend. It could be the last one,” said Mr Mufuruki.
Dr Kandiero who is Malawian managed a $2 billion (Sh4.5 trillion) portfolio while in Tanzania, the largest of AfDB’s country operation.
She joined the bank in 2007 as a Senior Research Economist, and later served as Principal Research Economist from 2007 to 2009, in the office of the Chief Economist of the Bank.
She subsequently worked as Lead Macroeconomist from 2009-2011, with focus on supporting the development and implementation of the first Regional Integration Strategy Paper of the Bank, as well as macroeconomic and sector work in trade and regional integration.