Benjamin Mkapa

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Benjamin William Mkapa
Benjamin William Mkapa - World Economic Forum on Africa 2010 - 3.jpg
Mkapa in 2010
3rd President of Tanzania
In office
23 November 1995 – 21 December 2005
Vice PresidentOmar Ali Juma (1995–2001)
Dr Ali Mohamad Shein (2001–05)
Prime MinisterFrederick Sumaye
Preceded byAli Hassan Mwinyi
Succeeded byDr. Jakaya Kikwete
Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education
In office
PresidentAli Hassan Mwinyi
Minister for Information and Broadcasting
In office
PresidentAli Hassan Mwinyi
Personal details
Born (1938-11-12) 12 November 1938 (age 80)
Ndanda, Masasi, Tanganyika
Political partyCCM
Other political
Spouse(s)Anna Mkapa
ResidenceSea View, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Alma materMakerere University (B.A.)
Columbia University (M.A.)
ProfessionJournalist, diplomat

Benjamin William Mkapa (born November 12, 1938[1]) is a Tanzanian politician who was the third President of Tanzania, in office from 1995 to 2005. He was also Chairman of the Revolutionary State Political Party (Chama Cha Mapinduzi, CCM).[2]


Mkapa was born in 1938 in Ndanda, near Masasi in southern Tanganyika.[1] He graduated from Makerere University in Uganda in 1962 with a degree in English.[1] He also attended Columbia University in 1963 and was awarded a master's degree in international affairs.[3] Previous posts include being an administrative officer in Dodoma and the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. He also had the chance to led the Tanzanian mission to Canada in the year 1982 and to the United States Of America from 1983 to 1984.[4] He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1990.[5]

In 1995, Mkapa was elected as President based on a popular anti-corruption campaign and the strong support of former president Julius Nyerere.[6] Mkapa's anti-corruption efforts included creation of an open forum called the Presidential Commission on Corruption (Warioba Commission) and increased support for the Prevention of Corruption Bureau.[6]

Mkapa's second five-year term of office as President ended in December 2005. During this term in office, Mkapa privatized state-owned corporations and instituted free market policies.[7] His supporters argued that attracting foreign investment would promote economic growth. His policies won the support of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and resulted in the cancellation of some of Tanzania's foreign debts.[6]

He has been criticized for some ineffectiveness of his anti-corruption efforts[6] as well as for his lavish spending. He spent £15 million on a private presidential jet, as well as almost £30 million on military aviation equipment which experts deemed beyond the limited needs of the country's armed forces.[8] It was over the latter purchase that British International Development Secretary Clare Short expressed public outrage, resulting in her becoming known as 'Mama Radar' in the Tanzanian press.

Having left office due to a two-term limit, Mkapa is now dogged by many accusations of corruption, among them improperly appropriating to himself and his former finance Minister Daniel Yona the lucrative "Kiwira Coal Mine" in the southern highlands of Tanzania without following lawful procedures. By privatizing the Kiwira Coal Mine to himself, he is accused of a breach of the Tanzanian constitution, which does not allow a president to do business at the state house.

Mkapa served as a Trustee of the Aga Khan University from November 2007 until 2012.[7]

Honours and awards[edit]


Order Country Year Ref
Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya.svg Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (Chief)  Kenya 2005 [9]
Order of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Tanzania) - ribbon bar.png Order of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere  Tanzania 2011


Honorary degrees[edit]

University Country Degree Year
Sōka University  Japan Honoris Causa 1998[11]
Morehouse College  United States Honoris Causa 1999[11]
The Open University of Tanzania  Tanzania Honoris Causa 2003[11]
National University of Lesotho  Lesotho Doctor of Law 2005[12]
Kenyatta University  Kenya Doctor of Education 2005[13]
University of Dar es Salaam  Tanzania Honoris Causa 2006[11]
Newcastle University  United Kingdom Doctor of Civil Law 2007[14]
University of Cape Coast  Ghana Doctor of Letters 2008[15]
Makerere University  Uganda Doctor of Law 2009[16]



  • Benjamini Mkapa hall in Mbeya city located in Sokomatola street.
  • Benjamini Mkapa road in Zanzibar, connecting Mtoni kidatu area to Abeid Aman Karume Airport via Daraja Bovu
  • Mkapa Bridge, the longest bridge in the country (970 metres)
  • Benjamin William Mkapa Pension Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the country
  • Benjamin William Mkapa Special Economic Zone
  • Mererani B W Mkapa Secondary School in Manyara Region
  • Benjamin William Mkapa High School in Dar es Salaam
  • Benjamin Mkapa Hospital located at Dodoma, is the referral or VIP hospital


  1. ^ a b c East, Roger; Richard Thomas (2003). Profiles of People in Power: The World's Government Leaders. Routledge. p. 513. ISBN 1-85743-126-X.
  2. ^ "Benjamin Mkapa". Encarta. Microsoft. 2001. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  3. ^ [1] Archived July 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ ILO Tackles Social Consequences of Globalization
  5. ^ "Benjamin Mkapa". Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d Heilman, Bruce; Laurean Ndumbaro (2002). "Corruption, Politics, and Societal Values in Tanzania: An Evaluation of the Mkapa Administration's Anti-Corruption Efforts" (PDF). Afr. J. Polit. Sd. 7 (1). Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  7. ^ a b "His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa" Archived September 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Board of Trustees, AKU University, retrieved 19-10-2009
  8. ^ Gideon Burrows, "We sell arms to Saddam's friends", New Statesman, 8 September 2003
  9. ^ "Mkapa lauds Kenya's democratic posture". 12 October 2005. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  10. ^ "JGI awards global leaders at 30th anniversary bicoastal events". Jane Goodall Institute. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d "83RD Annual District Conference & Assembly" (PDF). Page 10, Rotary International District 9200. 17 May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  12. ^ "HONORARY DEGREE Recipients". National University of Lesotho. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Prominent Alumni". Kenyatta University. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Citation: Benjamin William Mkapa DCL" (PDF). Newcastle University. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-31. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  15. ^ "UCC honours former Tanzanian leader". Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  16. ^ "H.E. Benjamin Mkapa receives Makerere Honorary PhD". Makerere University. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2013.

External links[edit]