His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa was elected as the third president of Tanzania in its first multi-party general election. His memoir begins with his childhood, then proceeds through his work as a president, and ends in his involvement in international development and peace mediation after his retirement.
This book will appeal to readers interested in: an African individual’s experience of colonialism in East Africa; the struggles for independence in liberation movements of several African countries; the way in which wars helped unify citizens of diverse groups in a young nation; methods of fostering nationalism as well as addressing ethnic and religious differences; the economic and social transition to socialism and then to a free market economy; the political transition from a single-party state to a multi-party system; relationships between Tanzania and various international organisations and development partners. During his presidency from 1995 to 2005, he undertook substantial reforms, such as privatising national assets, securing international debt relief, and improving public services.
His Excellency writes about his childhood, his political maturation, development and politics of Tanzania, as well as some political upheavals in neighbouring countries. The memoir is enriched by his views on leadership and his advice for aspiring leaders.
After Julius Nyerere, few books have been written by senior Tanzanian leaders on the development of Tanzania; in fact, more literature has been produced by foreigners than Tanzanians. Thus H.E. Mkapa’s memoir is a milestone. This book will appeal to aspiring leaders; students majoring in international relations; those working for development partners; historians and those who are eager to know more about Tanzanian heritage.
This engaging read conveys Former President Benjamin Mkapa’s thoughts on the successes, failures and challenges he encountered while working for Tanzania’s first President, Julius Nyerere, and later, as president himself for ten years. He offers insight into the decision making, as well advice for aspiring young leaders today.
–His Excellency Festus Mogae, Former President of the Republic of Botswana.
I am delighted that my friend, Ben Mkapa, has written his memoirs. The book offers an African leader’s view of development and gives valuable advice to all working with these issues. I warmly recommend reading this book.
–His Excellency Martti Ahtisaari, Former President of the Republic of Finland, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
This book captures an era of unique political reforms and transformation within Tanzania, Africa and globally that continue to unfold today. As a young African serving at the World Economic Forum over the last decade, His Excellency Ben Mkapa’s insights continue to be an inspiration, shedding light on an impact pathways for current and future generations.
–Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa and member of executive committee, World Economic Forum.