Benjamin Mkapa

Former President
United Republic of Tanzania
Focus Area(s)
Civil Service
Jennifer Widner
Country of Reform
Dar es Salaam
Tanzania, United Republic of
Date of Interview
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Benjamin Mkapa discusses the reform of Tanzania’s civil service during his presidency. He explains the need for reform to curtail corruption and inefficiency, spur economic growth, promote more egalitarian policies for workers and retain support from international donors. He discusses Tanzania’s largely voluntary retrenchment program and pay reform for state employees, as well as efforts to privatize state-owned commercial enterprises. Measures to restructure and decentralize civil service, as well as improvements in performance management, also played a large role in Tanzania’s success in achieving civil service reform. Mkapa also discusses the role of leadership in creating and sustaining support for his reform program. He examines the role of the executive branch in mustering support from the civil service, the private sector, the legislature and other political entities, and international donors to ensure the efficacy and longevity of reform. He also emphasizes the importance of an active press, consistent provision of law and order, economic growth, and intelligent sequencing of reforms in the success of reform programs.

Full Interview

Benjamin Mkapa Interview

Benjamin Mkapa was the third president of Tanzania, holding the office from 1995 to 2005. Mkapa began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but soon began work in journalism. After editorial work for newspapers, he was appointed press secretary for the president. His career then turned toward foreign affairs and politics again, and his appointments included the offices of ambassador to the United States, minister for foreign affairs, minister for information and broadcasting, minister for information and culture, and minister for science, technology and higher education.  

Donor Relations
pay reform
performance management
presidential appointees
ranks and grades
Reform sequencing
technical assistance
Not specified