Friday, January 13, 2006
  Tanzania's New President
It's not often you hear good news about Muslim politicians, or for that matter good news coming out of Africa. So I was pleased to read about Tanzania's newly elected President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in the Nation:

"By winning the presidency with more than 9.1 million votes, Tanzania’sPresident-elect Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is easily East Africa’s most popular leader. Mr Kikwete, popularly referred to as 'JK’ to his supporters, trounced other nine contenders capturing more than 80 per cent of the votes cast.:

In particular it was nice to read:

"But unknown to many, the newly-elected Tanzanian leader could have been president in 1995. At the end of Tanzania’s second president, Alhaji AliHassan Mwinyi’s reign, the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party held its primaries in which Mr Kikwete defeated the then Foreign Affairs ministerBenjamin Mkapa.However, Tanzania’s founding father Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and CCM bigwigsprevailed upon Mr Kikwete, then 45, to step down in favour of the58-year-old Mkapa."

A Muslim leader willingly stepping aside from power! Wow. I know that's cynical and there are plenty of Muslim leaders who step aside once their terms are over (Think Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, not to mention any Muslim politician in a non-Muslim state, etc, etc, etc) but so often we hear about kings or dictators or generals who seize power in military coups or even elected presidents who refuse to step aside at the end of their term.

I suppose it comes as no suprise that he is described as brilliant, likeable and tolerant.

"Mr Kikwete is a very simple, brilliant and likeable fellow who mixes with everybody," says Kenyan member of the East African Legislative Assembly(EALA), Mr Calist Mwatela. Mr Kikwete had been the Chairman of the East African Council of ministers and one of the longest serving ministers in the EAC organ."


"The affable political operator was always happy to share a joke with journalists after giving interviews when he served in different ministerial portfolios, including Finance and, Energy and Minerals.

Though a Muslim, Mr Kikwete is also popular with Christians."

Mr. Kiwete's plans for the next few years?

"Our focus will be economic growth. We shall have to ensure that there is no
slippage in macro-economic gains. Most of our people, 80 per cent of them,
are peasant farmers, fishermen and livestock keepers. Our challenge is how
to improve agriculture, fishing and livestock keeping. If there is more
productivity, more produce, then there is more income," says Mr Kikwete.

He believes that with improved farming, which employs 80 per cent of the
Tanzanian population, poverty can be alleviated significantly."

That seems to make sense, although, unfortunately, "To meet these goals, he banks on support from donors. Due to economic reforms and impressive debt payment record, Tanzania is one of Africa’s leading aid recipients."

I guess I better send my check in the mail.

For the whole story see:

Behind the jolly mask of East Africa's new favourite son

The Nation, Nairobi
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Post a Comment

<< Home

My Photo
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

Recent Posts

October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
July 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
July 2013