What you need to know:
- The former president said that it was during this time that Tanzania used what was known as a cash budget. "Because we didn't have donors, we funded our budget through the tax collections we made locally."
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania's former President Jakaya Kikwete received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Public Service.
Kikwete, who served as Tanzania's president from 2005 to 2015, was given the award by the CEO RoundTable (CEOrt) in recognition of his efforts and those of the government in transforming Tanzania's economic fortunes at an annual gala dinner in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
During his speech, Kikwete went down memory lane and shared how the government has been on a journey of transformation to improve Tanzania's investment environment, a journey that started under the leadership of the country's second president, Ali Hassan Mwinyi.
"Even Nyerere, who was the chairperson of CCM at that time, knew that times had changed and so the policy of socialism had to change as well," Kikwete said, referring to how Mwinyi decided to take a shift from Nyerere's socialism philosophy by liberalizing the economy.
He said that liberalization was one of the core pillars of the transformation efforts.
"I served as Finance Minister under Mwinyi's administration. This was during a time of change for Tanzania as a country. Donors had abandoned us, so my effort was to ensure that we got the donors back on board," Kikwete recollects, adding that Mwinyi's directive to him was that he had to bring back donors and development partners.
The former president said that it was during this time that Tanzania used what was known as a cash budget. "Because we didn't have donors, we funded our budget through the tax collections we made locally," he shared.
Kikwete then credited the current administration under President Samia Suluhu Hassan for promoting Tanzania as an ideal investment destination. "She is doing a great job, and we are now seeing the results," he said.
"During our time, our main concern was to address macroeconomics. We needed to ensure that the economy was moving in the right direction. Today, investors are happy, and you can see it on their faces."
The lifetime achievement award was handed to Kikwete by the CEOrt chairperson, David Tarimo. Others who were recognised with awards during the gala dinner were the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) Executive Director, Gilead Teri, and the Tanzania Startup Association managing director, Zahoro Muhaji.
The former was recongised for his impact in boosting Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) to Tanzania, where the investments have doubled year-on-year to surpass the $1 billion mark. Zahoro was awarded for his influence in promoting the startup ecosystem in the country.