Prof Ndulu’s unfulfilled project as he is laid to rest

Thursday February 25 2021
ndulu pic
By Alfred Zacharia

Dar es Salaam. The former governor of the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Prof Benno Ndulu, will be laid to rest today, even as his colleagues in academia say he has left a number of unfilled projects.

His colleagues at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government where the departed Tanzanian scholar was a visiting professor, described him as an individual who was passionately committed to digitalisation as a solution for the poorest countries to finally be able to make advances their populations so desperately need.

At the Blavatnik School of Government, Prof Ndulu was academic codirector of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission, which is based at the School. He was a senior adviser on the Digital Pathways at Oxford programme. The Digital Pathways at Oxford examines the challenges of digital transformation and asks how developing countries can govern digital technologies to ensure inclusive growth.

According to the executive director of Digital Pathways at Oxford University, Elizabeth Stuart, Prof Ndulu dedicated a lot of his time to the Digital Pathways programme, including in aspects of financial inclusion and the potential of the platform economy to create jobs for young people.

“…Just before he died he was to present an important study in which he set out in great detail evidence for how African policy makers should tax digital services – an urgent, live policy question,” she says.

The dean of the Blavatnik School, Prof Ngaire Woods, said: “Benno Ndulu exemplified outstanding public leadership. A brilliant, humane man with wonderful humour, whose sharp incisive mind made sense of complex issues, and whose empathy kept him in close touch with all those he served.”


South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa describes the death of Prof Ndulu as a loss of Africa’s great thinker and a visionary person whose contribution to the continental free trade was vital.

Prof Ndulu was a member of President Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

President Ramaphosa said: “We share this great loss with the people of Tanzania, who, in their generosity, shared Prof Ndulu’s wisdom and vision with our nation through our Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

“Prof Ndulu was an outstanding economic intellectual with an extraordinary and vibrant passion for African development and for the reconstruction and recovery of South Africa’s own economy.

Meanwhile, Prof Ndulu’s body will be laid to rest today (Thursday) at the Kinondoni Cemetery in Dar es Salaam, according to family spokesman Exaud Ndulu.

The burial will be done after a Requiem Mass at St Peter’s Parish at Oysterbay in the city.

“The family is working closely with the government and I believe the schedule will not change,” said the spokesman. Prof Ndulu died at dawn on Monday, February 22, 2021 while receiving treatment at the Hubert Kairuki Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

According to Mr Exaud Ndulu, the fallen governor had been unwell for the past two months.

“He used to complain of pains and fever until about ten days ago when he went to the hospital and got admitted,” he said.

He was born on January 23, 1950 and started his career at the University of Dar es Salaam in the early 1980s before joining the World Bank as a Lead Economist.

He was the Governor of the Bank of Tanzania for ten years starting 2008.

Born in Ifakara, Kilombero District in Morogoro Region, Prof Ndulu is survived by a spouse, three children and three grandchildren.