United States, Washington D.C
Benjamin William Mkapa (born November 12, 1938) 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).
Mkapa was born in 1938 in Ndanda, near Masasi in southern Tanganyika. He graduated from Makerere University in Uganda in 1962 with a degree in English. He also attended Columbia University in 1963 and was awarded a master's degree in international affairs. 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. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1977 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1990.
In 1995, Mkapa was elected as President based on a popular anti-corruption campaign and the strong support of former president Julius Nyerere. 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.
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.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.
He has been criticized for some ineffectiveness of his anti-corruption efforts 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. 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.
- Trustee of the Aga Khan University from November 2007 until 2012.
- 1962, BA (Hons) in English, Makerere University College;
- 1962 - 63, Studies in Diplomacy, School of International Affairs, Columbia University, New York.
- 1962, Administrative Officer, Dodoma; District Officer; Foreign Service Officer.
- 1966, Managing Editor, Nationalist and Uhuru;
- 1972, Managing Editor, Daily News and Sunday News;
- 1974, Press Secretary to President;
- 1976, Founding Director, Tanzania News Agency;
- 1976, High Commissioner to Nigeria;
- 1977 - 80, Member of Parliament and Minister for Foreign Affairs;
- 1980 - 82, Minister for Information and Culture;
- 1982 - 83, High Commissioner to Canada;
- 1983 - 84, Ambassador to US;
- 1984 - 90, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
- 1985, MP elected to National Assembly for Nanyumbu constituency, Masasi District;
- 1990, Re-elected MP
- 1990 - 92, Minister for Information and Broadcasting;
- 1992 - 95, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education;
- 1995 - 2005, President of Tanzania;
- 1996 - 2006, Chairman, Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party. Member, Club of Madrid.