Friday, November 25, 2016

Benjamin William Mkapa Biography, History, Family & Children.

In 1995, Benjamin Mkapa became the third president of the United Republic of Tanzania, part of a former German colony and later a colony of Great Britain. His election was the culmination of a long political career that began more than 30 years ago. For the reform-minded Mkapa, his new office was to be a tool to bring forces of change to his country, one of the poorest in the world, but also one that The Economist cited as “a model of stability for [the past] 30 years.”

Benjamin Mkapa was born on November 12, 1938, in Masasi, Tanzania (then called Tanganyika). He attended Catholic schools, eventually receiving a certificate from St. Francis College—the equivalent of a high school diploma in the United States—in 1956. The following year he enrolled in Makerere University College located in Kampala, Uganda. He earned an arts degree in 1959, and was continuing his studies there, in 1961, when Tanganyika (soon to be called Tanzania) gained independence from Great Britain on December 9, 1961. With European colonialism still entrenching most of Africa at that time, Makerere was a particularly prestigious institution, having the distinction of being the only university in any of the three east African countries—Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika.

Pursued Journalism

After leaving Makerere University in 1962, armed with a bachelor degree in English, Mkapa returned to Tanzania, where he was appointed an administrative officer in Dodoma, an administrative hub. Within one year he had moved up to district officer and then foreign service officer. At that point, Mkapa travelled to the United States, where he attended Columbia University. In 1963, he was awarded a master’s degree international affairs.

Mkapa took up journalism during the next several years. By 1966, he was managing editor of The Nationalist and Uhuru newspapers. Also that year, he married Anna Joseph Maro, a young administrative assistant. Six years later he fulfilled the same role for The Daily News and The Sunday News. In 1974, President Julius Nyerere recognized Mkapa’s talents and potential and appointed him his press secretary; two years later Mkapa became the founding director of the Tanzania News Agency, Shihata (Shirika la habari Tanzania).

Dodoma, Tanzania, 
He is appointed government administrative officer, 1962, became district officer, 1962, became foreign officer, 1963. Managing editor, The Nationalist and Uhuru (newspapers), 1966, The Daily News and The Sunday News (newspapers), 1972. Office of the president, press secretary, 1974; Tanzania New Agency, founding director, 1976; High Commissioner to Nigeria, 1976; Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1977-90; Minister for Information and Culture, 1980-83; High Commissioner to Canada, 1982-83; ambassador to the United States, 1983-84; Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1984-90; Minister for Information and Broadcasting, 1990-92; Minister for Science, Technology, and Higher Education, 1992-95. Nominated as member of parliament, 1977; elected to National Assembly for the Nanyumbu Constituency, Masasi District, 1985, re-elected, 1990; elected at the Chama cha Mapinduzi National Conference as the party’s presidential candidate, 1995; elected president of Tanzania, 1995.

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