Ex-leaders experience key in future prosperity, says JK

RETIRED President Dr Jakaya Kikwete has underscored that former African leaders, with reflections on their past experiences, have pivotal role to play in addressing challenges affecting the continent.

Speaking during a two day Africa Drive for Democracy Elders Retreat chaired by former President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and attended by delegates including former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and ex-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia in Arusha, yesterday, Dr Kikwete noted that the leaders sharing their experiences will propel the continent to the next height of prosperity.

He added:  “As a former leader, I can rightly testify that former leaders are well-connected with the past and present and they can contextualise the existing challenges, share their reflections with the existing leaders to bring prosperity to the continent.”

“I beseech my fellow former leaders to leverage our experience so that we can embark together on a journey that seeks to realise a prosperous future for Africa and have continent which is integrated, prosperous, democratic and peaceful,” he pointed out.

Elaborating, he cited the challenges that have impacted negatively on growth and development of African continent as political conflicts, wars, climate change, Covid-19 pandemic, high energy and food price as well the ongoing Russia/Ukraine war.

The former president added that for one to fully appreciate the current situation in Africa, it is worth reflecting the challenges that the countries have been grappling with in political and economic development arena from historical perspective.

“Most of the challenges faced by our countries are the continuation of what has been happening in the past,” he said.

Moreover, he said that since 1960s successful governments in the continent are the ones that have been preoccupied with nation building which involves matters relating to holding the country together.

Dr Kikwete said that establishing formal systems of government and governance, building equitable and inclusive society, promoting inclusive social economic growth development and fighting society vices have remained as priorities and important areas of pre-occupation for leaders to focus on their countries building, regardless of the past progresses made in the last decades.

“In deed a lot of grounds have been covered and significance progress made over the past 60 years since independence, but still a lot is required,” he noted.

Dr Kikwete further said that despite the level of progress made, which is different from one country to another and between Africa continent and others in the world, so far everyone has a different story to tell aimed at securing prosperity to the nation.

On Tanzania case, he noted that the founding fathers Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume of Zanzibar made efforts of laying a strong foundation upon which, successive generations of leaders have continued to improve for nation-building.

Adding: “We are a proud nation of 61 million people from 126 tribes, which are subscribed to different faiths and different political ideologies but collectively, we are at peace with ourselves and with many aspects of human development indicators as witnesses.”

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