Jakaya Kikwete

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Jakaya Kikwete in 2009

Jakaya Kikwete (bon October 7, 1950) is a Tanzanian politician who was the fourth president of Tanzania, in office from 2005 to 2015.




  • It's very sad that Tanzania is a poor football country. If elected, I promise to put this country on the world football map. I will make sure we produce our own Okochas, El Hadji Dioufs and Zinedine Zidanes here.
  • Those who expect radical changes in policy and direction are mistaken and lost. The government of the fourth republic will build on what was undertaken by previous governments and will continue with all good things.


  • Normally, foreign media organizations and others from the developed countries do not see anything good on the African continent. Those of us, who are well-traveled, know better. In their countries, the only news you get or hear about Africa is negative news... However, due to the good work done by our electoral bodies, the exemplary conduct of our defence and security organs, and your calmness and patience, we denied them the bad things they wanted to write about.
  • I told them (TFF) that I will pay the salary of a foreign coach but to date nobody has come to me with any plans concerning the hiring of a coach. I have only heard them saying that Tanzania has been drawn in a tough group. They are just complaining instead of starting preparations. They are waiting to make excuses when the team fails to qualify.


  • This year alone, total world cereal production was estimated to be 2,114 million tonnes, while total cereal demand was projected at around 1007 million tonnes, less than half of the cereal production. Ideally, no one should starve or die of hunger in the world we live. Strangely and sadly enough, they do. This is not fair. This is not right.

Interview with Financial Times, 2007-10-04 [6]

  • What became a problem is there was a clause that allowed investors to cover losses. As long as you made losses one year, you could carry them over to the next and to the next. And because of that they would pay no taxes. So this fellow takes all the gold away and he says he makes losses and so he does not pay us anything. So he is the only one that is being protected. Those of us who are losing our resources are not protected. This is the thing that created the kind of debate that we had and we had to renegotiate.
    • On Tanzania's mining sector.
  • The presidency is not an office job. If I only sit in the office in Dar es Salaam I’m not running the country. I visit the country to inspect development programmes, to inspect activities, to see how things are going, how the government agenda is being implemented, what are the teething issues. And some of these problems simply need my simple word. My simple word of do it, then it is done.
    • About his frequent travelling around the country.
  • I’m not sure. I’m not sure if you talk to the opposition, they would consider that to be an insult. They think they are doing a tremendous job.
    • Regarding his Party's dominance as a one-party state.
  • That day may come. But I’m not seeing it coming soon. We are still strong enough; we’re still popular; I think we are doing the right things.
    • When asked if the Opposition wins the elections.
  • I don’t know how to get the money but if [the radar] is overpriced, definitely we deserve to be paid … They cannot take money from a poor country.
    • Regarding the purchase of the inflated £28m radar from BAE Systems.
  • Tanzania is standing by the people of Zimbabwe including President Mugabe... Mugabe is there, he is president, he has been elected. If Tanzania had simply said, stupid, you’re hopeless, a murderer, a violator of basic human rights; does that remove Mugabe from office? It doesn’t.
  • I would have been surprised if you had not asked that question, because everywhere I am, I am asked how about the Chinese. There’s a lot of sudden interest on the Chinese and Africa. You know, what is it that we are trying to do in Africa? Africa as a continent in pursuit of development.
  • Why China suddenly is a question? Of course, there has been the concern that they may not be giving loans that are concessional, and the danger is that these countries might go back into the debt, some of the countries that they have been forgiven their debts. This I found to be a valid point, maybe not with Tanzania, because we don’t have much in terms of this huge Chinese development assistance.
    • On China's loans to Africa.
  • I don’t think they (the Chinese) have better friends in Africa than us. But when we compare to how much money we get, if we succeed, if the MCA is funded by the US Congress for Tanzania, it’s going to be $700 Million. It’s going to be huge, it may be a total of all the Chinese have been giving us all these years.
    • Comparing China's financial assistance to his country.
  • They discuss no strings. There, the people, they don’t discuss anything. You can’t beat the British, you’ve got to sit with them for hours. They talk about this, they talk about that.
    • On the fewer strings attached to China's assistance.
  • You’re negotiating all these problems for several years, they will talk about that, about a newspaper, they will talk about an underage boy in prison (for example). He’s 17 and he raped a nine-year-old, and they ask: “Why do you lock him up?” And so I say, what do you do, this is a rape case, and they want to discuss, I spend so many hours discussing whatever it is this boy... So what do they want us to do? Release him? So that he can go and rape another one?
    • On doing business with China easily.


  • This is senseless cruelty. It must stop forthwith... I am told that people kill albinos and chop their body parts, including fingers, believing they can get rich when mining or fishing.
  • This is our kind of politics-to involve the people in staging protest marches, but not in matters that concern their very lives.
  • I gazed at that small boat and said to myself, mhh, I am a Mkwere without swimming skills. Better for Membe because he has married in Mbamba Bay. He can swim.
  • Justice has to be done, justice must be seen to be done, what the AU is simply saying is that what is critical, what is the priority, is peace. That is priority number one now.


  • There are no demands - undue demands... There are many questions we get? why China? why now and the answer is why not?... There is no any hidden agenda in our cooperation with China, it is a relationship based on mutual understanding and equality; they understand our situation.
    • During President Hu Jintao's visit to Tanzania on China's aid with few strings, 2009-02-16[11]


  • We cannot continue to mourn about our country being poor while our minerals are lying untapped and with harvesting at Lake Natron, we will not be the first to do so, because our neighbours, Kenya, are doing the same on the other side of the lake.
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