President of Tanzania to speak here Sept. 28

Jakaya Kikwete will speak at the School of Law on Thursday.

President of Tanzania to speak here Sept. 28

Jakaya Kikwete, president of the United Republic of Tanzania since December, will speak about his East African country’s growing economy on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the University of St. Thomas campus in Minneapolis.

The 10:45 a.m. speech in Schulze Grand Atrium of the St. Thomas School of Law is free and open to the public.

St. Thomas will confer an honorary doctor of laws degree on Kikwete, who is visiting Minneapolis, New York, Boston and Los Angeles with a delegation of about 90 Tanzanian government officials and business leaders.

Kikwete, 55, has been active in political and government work his entire adult life. After graduating from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1975 with a degree in economics, he was commissioned a lieutenant at the Tanzania Military Academy, where he later taught. He held several positions for the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), and was elected to its National Executive Committee in 1982.

He became a member of parliament and deputy minister of water, energy and minerals in 1988, and was promoted to minister in 1990. He became finance minister in 1994 and a year later was named minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, a position he held for 10 years.

Kikwete won election less than a year ago as the fourth president of Tanzania. His priorities as president are to carry out a CCM platform that calls for 10 percent annual growth in the gross domestic product by 2010, up from 6.7 percent today. He also is emphasizing the importance of scientific research, tourism, an active fight against poverty, more schools in villages, electricity in all corners of the country and an expanded telecommunications network.

Tanzania was formed in 1964 through a union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, and is home to more than 38 million people and 120 tribal groups. Agriculture employs 80 percent of the workforce, and commercial mining of diamonds, other gemstones and gold is increasing. Tourism also has been growing steadily in importance.

Tanzania has a spectacular landscape that includes Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa at 19,341 feet; Serengeti National Park, a popular safari destination; and Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. Tanzania has more land – 13,000 square miles – devoted to national parks and game reserves than any other wildlife area in the world.

President Jakaya Kikwete's Tanzania is home to more than 38 million people and 120 tribal groups.