On October 13th 2016, UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Tanzania and the Tanzania – China Friendship Promotion Association organized a forum titled, “Mwalimu Nyerere’s Legacy: Lessons for the Current and Future Generation of Leaders,” in commemoration of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere since his demise 17 years ago.
The main objective of the forum was to reflect on Mwalimu’s life as a leader who has had significant public impact and who distinguished himself in one or more forms of service, and to draw valuable lessons for the current and future generation of leaders.
To grace the event was former President of the 2nd phase administration H.E Alhaj Ally Hassan Mwinyi. The keynote address was also delivered by Prof. Issa Shivji, one of the great public intellectuals of postcolonial Africa and Director of “Kavazi la Mwalimu Nyerere”, the Nyerere Resource Centre in Dar es Salaam.
Speaking at the event former President Alhaj Ally Hassan Mwinyi said, “I must admit that when I was asked to come and officiate this event I had many reasons to come. I had to come because I saw it not only as an opportunity to talk about our Father of the Nation but also a platform to talk about a person who was more than a leader to me, he was like my brother, he was my friend. I had known him for such a long time and I have learnt many things from him.”
Former President Mwinyi continued, “Indeed, he was a man of character and vision. The peace, tranquility and sense of national pride that prevail in Tanzania today are only a part of his enduring legacy. He proved to be one of the greatest leaders who enjoyed respect not only in Africa, but throughout the world.”
In front of a crowd of 200 people consisting of former senior public servants, members of the academia, private sector, students and youth the former President Mwinyi also described the symposium as the best opportunity to discuss where the country had gone wrong and the best to do to get back to the route that Nyerere had planned.
“I believe that the time is ripe for us to have this discussion about the heritage which our founding fathers have left us. This heritage if applied wisely can help us solve a lot of problems present and future,” he said.
He added, “It is therefore a good idea to use this forum to look back and draw the lessons from Mwalimu Nyerere’s legacy, to see which philosophies and lessons we can still apply today, and what lessons need to be customized to fit our current environment,” added the former President.
Meanwhile, Prof. Shivji said, “Tanzania’s founding President the Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was among the first generation of independent African leaders. He lived and died fighting the good fight to uphold the ideals of human rights and dignity, and to foster an egalitarian society across all Africa. He walked the walk and talked the talk with utmost selflessness and humility.”
To complement the keynote address, the forum also featured a moderated panel discussion with distinguished panelists participating in the discussion. The panelists included; Dr. Benson Bana, Senior Lecturer from the University of Dar es Salaan; Prof. Penina Mlama, Executive Director of the Kigoda cha Mwalimu Nyerere; Hon. Zitto Kabwe (MP), Leader of ACT Wazalendo; Mr. Walter Bgoya, Managing Director of Mkuki na Nyota Publishers; and Prof. Zhao Baisheng from the University of Peking, China.