Jakaya Kikwete

Jakaya Kikwete
4th President of Tanzania
In office
21 December 2005  5 November 2015
Vice President Ali M. Shein (2005–10)
Mohamed Bilal (2010–15)
Prime Minister Edward Lowassa (2005–08)
Mizengo Pinda (2008–15)
Preceded by Benjamin Mkapa
Succeeded by John Magufuli
6th Chairperson of the African Union
In office
31 January 2008  2 February 2009
Preceded by John Kufuor
Succeeded by Muammar al-Gaddafi
11th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
November 1995  21 December 2005
Preceded by Joseph Rwegasira
Succeeded by Asha-Rose Migiro
7th Minister of Finance
In office
Preceded by Kighoma Malima
Succeeded by Simon Mbilinyi
Member of Parliament
for Chalinze
In office
Succeeded by Ramadhani Maneno
Personal details
Born (1950-10-07) 7 October 1950
Msoga, Tanganyika
Nationality Tanzanian
Political party CCM (1977–)
TANU (before 1977)
Spouse(s) Salma Kikwete (m. 1989)
Children Eight
Residence Msoga, Tanzania
Alma mater University of Dar es Salaam
Tanzania Military Academy
Profession Economist
Religion Islam
Nickname(s) JK
Twitter handle jmkikwete
Military service
Allegiance  United Rep. of Tanzania
Service/branch Tanzanian Army
Rank Lieutenant Colonel

Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (born 7 October 1950) was the fourth President of Tanzania, in office from 2005 to 2015. Prior to his election as President, he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 2005 under his predecessor, Benjamin Mkapa. He has also served as the Chairperson of the African Union in 20082009 and the Chairman of the Southern African Development Community Troika on Peace, Defence and Security in 20122013.


Between 1959 and 1963, Kikwete went to Karatu Primary School in Tanzania before continuing with middle school education at Tengeru School from 1962 to 1965.[1] After Tengeru, Kikwete moved to Kibaha Secondary School for his O-levels, which took place between 1966 and 1969, and then he studied at Tanga Technical Secondary School for his advanced level education.[1] He graduated from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1975 with a degree in Agrieconomics.[1]

Leadership and political career

Kikwete was born at Msoga, located in the Bagamoyo District of Tanganyika, in 1950.

As a party cadre, Kikwete moved from one position to another in the party ranks and from one location to another in the service of the party. When TANU and Zanzibar's Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) merged to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in 1977, Kikwete was moved to Zanzibar and assigned the task of setting up the new party's organisation and administration in the islands. In 1980, he was moved to the headquarters as administrator of the Dar es Salaam head office and head of the Defence and Security Department before moving again up-country to the regional and district party offices in Tabora Region (1981–84) and Singida Region and Nachingwea (1986–88) and Masasi District (1988) in the country's southern regions of Lindi and Mtwara respectively. In 1988, he was appointed to join the central government.

In 1994, at 44, he became one of the youngest finance ministers in the history of Tanzania. In December 1995, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, being appointed by President Benjamin William Mkapa of the third phase government. He held this post for ten years, until he was elected President of the United Republic of Tanzania in December 2005, hence becoming the country's longest serving foreign minister. During his tenure in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tanzania played a significant role in bringing about peace in the Great Lakes region, particularly in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Kikwete was also deeply involved in the process of rebuilding regional integration in East Africa. Specifically, several times, he was involved in a delicate process of establishing a customs union between the three countries of the East African Community (Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania), where, for quite some time, he was a Chairman of the East Africa Community's Council of Ministers.

Kikwete also participated in the initiation, and became a Co-Chair, of the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy. On 4 May 2005, Kikwete emerged victorious among 11 CCM members who had sought the party's nomination for Presidential candidacy in the general election. After a 14 December 2005 multiparty general election, he was declared the winner by the Electoral Commission on 17 December and was sworn-in as the Fourth President of the United Republic of Tanzania on 21 December.

On 26 May 2013, Kikwete said at a meeting of the African Union that if President Joseph Kabila of the DRC could negotiate with the March 23 Movement, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda should be able to negotiate with the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, respectively. In response, Museveni expressed his willingness to negotiate.[2]

On 31st January 2016, The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Zuma, appointed Jakaya Kikwete the African Union High Representative in Libya. Following the crisis in Libya, Kikwete's role is to lead the AU's efforts on achieving peace and stability in Libya. Later that year, he was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement.[3]


Kikwete is an avid sports enthusiast and played basketball competitively in school. He has been a patron of the Tanzania Basketball Federation for the past 10 years.[1] He is married to Salma and they have five children.[1]

As of 4 April 2013, Kikwete was the sixth most followed African leader on Twitter with 57,626 followers.[4]

Honours and awards

President Kikwete shares a light moment with Prime Minister Pinda.
Receiving an award by the Africa Leadership Magazine.
Kikwete was the first African Head of State to meet President Obama in 2009


Year Country Order
2007  Uganda Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa (Grand Master)[5]
2009  Comoros Order of the Green Crescent of the Comoros[6]
2009  Saudi Arabia Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud[7]
2009  Jamaica Order of Excellence[8]
2012  Oman Order of Oman (First Class)[9]


Honorary academic awards

Year University Country Honour
2006 University of St. Thomas, Minnesota  United States Doctor of Law[21][22]
2008 Kenyatta University  Kenya Doctor of Humane Letters[23]
2010 Fatih University  Turkey Doctorate in International Relations[24]
2010 Muhimbili University  Tanzania Doctor of Public Health[25]
2010 University of Dodoma  Tanzania Honoris Causa[26]
2011 University of Dar es Salaam  Tanzania Doctor of Law[27]
2013 University of Guelph  Canada Doctor of Law[28][29]
2014 China Agricultural University  China Honorary Professor[30][31]
2014 Nelson Mandela–AIST  Tanzania Honoris causa[32][33]
2015 University of Newcastle, New South Wales  Australia Doctor of Laws[34]
2016 Open University of Tanzania  Tanzania Honorary doctorate in leadership.[35]




  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Biography: Jakaya Kikwete, NewsAfrica Magazine, retrieved 14 September 2012
  2. "Africa fights to free itself of malcontents", IOL News, reported by Peter Fabricius, 27 May 2013
  3. Secretary-General Appoints 29 Global Leaders to Spearhead Fight against Malnutrition United Nations, press release of 21 September 2016.
  4. President Mahama among top ten African Presidents most followed on Twitter, Ghana Business News, 4 April 2013
  5. "Museveni honours Nyerere". New Vision. 10 July 2007. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  6. "Rais Kikwete, Jenerali Mwamunyange, Waziri Membe Watunukiwa Anjoun" [President Kikwete, General Mwamunyange, Minister Membe honoured in Anjoun] (in Swahili). Ikulu. 25 March 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  7. "JK akiwa Saudia" [JK in Saudi Arabia] (in Swahili). Michuzi Blog. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  8. "President Kikwete Awarded Order of Excellence". Jamaica Information Service. 26 November 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  9. "HM confers Oman Civil Order on Tanzania leader". Oman News Agency. October 2012. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  10. "AAI'S 23RD Annual Gala Dinner". Africa-America Institute. 19 September 2007. Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  11. "US Doctors for Africa award goes to JK". IPP Media. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  12. "Social Good Award". United Nations Foundation. September 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  13. "South-South Awards Journal 2011" (PDF). southsouthawards.com. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  14. "FANRPAN salutes the best in agriculture" (PDF). fanrpan.org. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  15. "Kikwete Receives Most Impactful Leader of Year Award". Daily News (Tanzania). 2014-04-09. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-10.
  16. "Letter from the President of the Republic of Tanzania" (PDF). ICCF. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  17. "Big up for Kikwete as he lands top Africa democracy award". Daily News (Tanzania). 2014-07-31. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
  18. "President Kikwete conferred leadership award in Arusha". Michuzi Blog. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  19. "JK wins African Achievers Award". The Citizen. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  20. "GOODLUCK JONATHAN NAMED INTERNATIONAL PERSON OF THE YEAR". The African Sun Times. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  21. "President of Tanzania to speak here Sept. 28". University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). 25 September 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  22. Swallehe Msuya (30 September 2006). "Tanzania's president touts country's progress at St. Thomas appearance". Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  23. "Kenyatta University Newsletter Vol. 4, Issue 15 (Special Graduation Edition)" (PDF). Kenyatta University. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  24. "Honorary Doctorate to the president of Tanzania from our university" (Press release). Turkey: Fatih University. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  25. "MUHAS Annual Report 2010-2011" (PDF). Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences. 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  26. "JK, late Kawawa honoured at UDOM colourful, maiden graduation". The Guardian. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  27. "JK atunukiwa udaktari wa sheria UDSM" [JK awarded docotorate of law at UDSM] (in Swahili). Michuzi Blog. 21 October 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  28. "U of G to Welcome Tanzanian President to Campus" (Press release). Guelph, Canada: University of Guelph. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  29. "President of Tanzania at War Memorial Hall". Youtube. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  30. Barasa, Chaby (25 October 2014). "Kikwete: Agricultural transformation key to economic development". Daily News. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  31. "President Kikwete awarded honorary professorship". Michuzi Blog. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  32. "JK atunukiwa PhD". Michuzi Blog. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  33. "Rais Kikwete atunukiwa shahada ya Uzamivu na NM-AIST". Youtube. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  34. "President of Tanzania receives honorary doctorate from UoN" (Press release). Newcastle, Australia: University of Newcastle. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  35. "Kikwete picked UDSM Chancellor". Daily News. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  36. Barasa, Chaby (24 October 2014). "China pacts to bring jobs boom". Daily News. Retrieved 26 October 2014.

Further reading

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