It is with great sorrow that the Board of Directors and the members of the CEO Roundtable of Tanzania (CEOrt) learned of the untimely death of retired President Benjamin William Mkapa. The CEO Roundtable of Tanzania mourns the loss of a great leader, men-tor and strong supporter of the private sector and will continue to uphold the leadership legacy he has left behind
During His Excellency’s administration, and through his pragmatic approach to developing the country’s economy, he developed policies that fostered the continued development of a market-driven economy as a driver of private sector development and growth. His Excellency’s great leadership skills put the Tanzanian economy on the right track, with the country continuing to post substantial growth even after leaving office due to the strong foundation it established.
“During his tenure, Tanzania witnessed fundamental transformation to move the economy to a private sector focus encouraging new investment in various sectors including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Mining and Telecommunications.” “ Mr. David Tarimo CEOrt Board Member and Managing Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Tanzania wrote during a recently published article on H.E. Mkapa’s positive legacy.
CEOrt Founding Member and Board Director, Yogesh Manek remembers the ability of late President Mkapa to communicate with private sector leaders on a regular basis. Talking at the leadership session with H.E. President Mkapa earlier this year, Mr Manek thanked President Mkapa for promoting positive Public Private dialogue towards an improved market climate during his presidency.
CEO of the National Bank of Commerce and member of the CEO Roundtable, Mr. Theobald Sabi, reminisces the metamorphosis of the former National Bank of Commerce to what it is today.
“The restructuring of the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) started around 1997, following the liberalization of the banking industry in 1992, led to diversification of financial services and delivery of innovative products within the financial industry and indeed the economy. During the said period, the country witnessed an increase in the number of banks that led to an enhancement of banking services and products to Tanzanians” said Mr. Sabi.
Mr. Sanjay Rughani, Chairman of the CEO Roundtable, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Tanzania Bankers Association, pointed out that the banking sector developed exponentially during President Mkapa ‘s tenure, with more than half of the current 50 banks incorporated at that time. “The liberalization of the banking sector has not only contributed to the diversification of local banks, but has also resulted in the opening of many international and regional banks in Tanzania. It was also during the same time that the First Generation Financial Sector Reforms (1991-2003) were improved, creating a favorable macroeconomic climate mainly due to the thorough implementation of the reforms of the financial sector that were implemented during the tenure of H.E. President Mkapa, “said Mr. Rughani.
In addition, the late President Mkapa’s privatization drive of Government Parastatals in 1995 resulted in publicly listed companies with an expanded footprint across Tanzania and SADC states. “TCC Plc is a testimony of his proper policies that strengthened the business and economic sector in Tanzania. ”- Michal Bachan, Tanzania Cigarette Public Limited Company General Manager and CEO.
Recognizing his significant contribution to the growth of Tanzania’s private sector, in 2016, the CEO of the Roundtable presented His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa, Retired President of Tanzania, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Public Service.
H.E. Mkapa was also a strong supporter of “African solutions for Africa.” Aside from his presidency, H.E. Mkapa continued to advocate strengthened and open pan-African leadership and launched the African Leadership Forum – a forum that focuses on Africa’s growth trajectory, assesses the problems and opportunities facing the continent, and presents solutions and ideas to African leaders.
As the founder of the Africa Leadership Forum, which is known as Africa’s dedicated space for open and frank discussion of the issues facing Africa, Mkapa has worked to resolve inequalities and improve leadership capacity. Via this forum, President Mkapa also urged Tanzanians from various leadership backgrounds to aim for excellence in their mission and calling. He also also spoke clearly and enthusiastically about the need for African leaders to recognize human capital as one of Africa ‘s greatest resources and to promote growth accordingly.
“Truly honored by the opportunity created by The CEO Apprenticeship Program (CAP) by The CEOrtTZ to get the first hand experience to be inspired by H.E Rtd. President Mkapa and got a glimpse of what it takes to achieve a greater sense of national unity, and unified confidence in the country-true leadership legacy” were some of the remarks by CAP Participant Ms. Irene Mlola-Madeje, who is also FSDT Tanzania Operations Director when the CEOrt hosted the late President Benjamin William Mkapa for inaugural mentorship session, a first of its kind in Tanzania.
A brilliant scholar, diplomat and leader, his life’s work and the legacy he has left behind will be remembered in his book, “My Life, My Purpose: A Tanzanian President Remembers.