Navigating through a global pandemic

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has left almost no nation or organisation untouched. Across the globe, governments have been implementing significant interventions in response to COVID-19. Since Tanzania confirmed its first case on 16 March 2020, the Institute has witnessed, among others, schools and universities closed, public gatherings banned and mandatory self-quarantine for incoming travellers imposed.

Amidst these unprecedented times, the Institute remains resilient. Our first and foremost priority is the safety and health of our staff, clients and stakeholders; following that, business continuity.

We continue to embrace technology to ensure core activities and operations continue. The executive education programmes are being delivered remotely through virtual platforms and where social distance can be maintained. For example, our last Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership module on ‘Leading Change’ was conducted through a virtual class. The two-day module was facilitated by Dr. Pekka Mattila from Aalto University in Finland, with participants based in Dodoma, Arusha and two locations in Dar es Salaam. The Institute will also be introducing an online Certificate in Leadership in August 2020. Plans are underway to organise upcoming policy dialogues through virtual platforms as well.

Digital accessibility also encouraged the Institute’s staff to avail themselves for Emotional Intelligence training via zoom. The topics covered were; how emotional intelligence skills can help reduce the fear of the unknown, and how to prepare for the unknown.

Indeed, the pandemic has changed our way of life as well as attitudes and behaviours. But we embrace the opportunity to accelerate in digital approaches to reach clients and stakeholders within and outside the country.

Congratulations PGD Class of 2020!

UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE) completed its 3rd Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Programme (PGD), for Senior Leaders on 31 March 2020.

Introduced in 2017, the UONGOZI PGD Programme is designed for leaders whose desire is to propel their professional development without putting their careers on hold. The programme, undertaken on an annual basis, has a total of 10 modules facilitated through in-class and online workshops, as well as individual or group assignments.

Thirty-two candidates have just completed their studies and joined the PGD alumni of sixty-four, making a total of ninety-six candidates. Although the official commencement ceremony, along with the first class of the 4th Cohort, have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important to celebrate our candidates’ achievement. This year’s PGD graduates are from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society organisations.

During these unpredictable times, the Institute has introduced teaching methodologies that will allow certain Executive Education Programmes to continue through distance learning. The 4th Cohort classes (with thirty-four candidates) have been postponed until the COVID-19 situation is improved.

As the Institute celebrates its 10th Anniversary in Leadership Development, we are delighted to introduce an online Certificate in Leadership scheduled to start in July 2020. More information and the application will be made available through our website.

TARURA’s Senior Officers participate in the leadership retreat

The Senior Officers from the Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) participated in a five-day leadership retreat, organised by UONGOZI Institute from 18 – 22 November 2019.

The retreat sessions were customised to allow participants to reflect on the Agency’s systems as well as administration and human resource challenges and opportunities. They were taken through seven leadership modules, namely Government Communication, Personal Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Internal Controls in Public Entities, Leadership of Public Resources, Ethical Leadership, and Government Security. 

Speaking at the end of the programme, the Regional Coordinator for Simiyu, Eng. Dr. Philemon Msomba commended the approaches used by UONGOZI Institute’s facilitators, which according to him made the retreat “lively and engaging”.

“Since 2017, we have attended various leadership programmes but only in this one, there were no absences. This shows that the retreat was well planned and organised,” he stated.

He added, “I liked that facilitators led us from presentations to team-building exercises and group discussions. It made the sessions interactive and informative.” 

Uchambuzi wa Tawasifu ya Rais Mstaafu wa Tanzania, Mhe. Benjamin William Mkapa “Maisha Yangu, Dhamira Yangu: Rais wa Tanzania Akumbuka”

Mchambuzi: Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala


Mtoto Benjamin William Mkapa, alifundishwa kupika chakula na mama mzazi Stephania akiwa mdogo. Alipokwenda shule hapo kijijini Lupaso, Ndanda na hatimaye St. Francis Pugu na Makerere, alifundishwa kupika, kufinyanga, kubuni na kuchambua mawazo na kuyaweka sawa kama msomi mbunifu na mwandishi. Kitabu hiki ni zao la mpishi wa mawazo mahiri aliyebobea.  Ni kitabu cha kurasa mia tatu na kumi na tisa, katika sura ya kumi na sita.   Kuna utangulizi ulioandikwa na Mheshimiwa Joaquim Chissano, Rais mstaafu wa Msumbiji, Pia kuna picha nyinge nzuri, na viambatisho viwili.  Mchapaji Mkuki na Nyota wamefanya kazi nzuri sana, sikubaini kosa hata moja.  

Wasilisho hili linamega simulizi hii katika sehemu kuu tatu. Kwanza tunapewa vionjo vitamu tukielezwa kuzaliwa kwake, kukua na kwenda shule. Hii ilikuwa matayarisho ya kufikia nia au azma yake ya maisha. Kisha tunaletewa mlo wenyewe (main course) uliosheheni kumbukumbu  na ngano za huyo kijana sasa mtu mzima akiwa kazini, mpaka akaukwaa urais wa Tanzania. Mwisho tunaelezwa kwa ufupi maisha yake baada ya kumaliza ngwe yake ya miaka kumi ya urais.

Soma zaidi:

H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa’s memoirs released

The memoirs by the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa, titled “My Life, My Purpose: A Tanzanian President Remembers”, were released on Tuesday 12 November 2019 at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The release coincided with his 81st birthday.

The memoirs, published by Mkuki na Nyota with support of UONGOZI Institute, contain H.E. Mkapa’s personal account of his unique memories. They range from his childhood, time as president, and his continuing post-retirement involvement at the domestic and international stages.

The launching ceremony was officiated by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph MagufuliThe President of Zanzibar, H.E. Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein; Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa (MP); Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Hon. Job Yustino Ndugai (MP); and two former Tanzanian Presidents; H.E. Ali Hassan Mwinyi and H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete; were in attendance. The event also included current and former high-level government officials; heads of regional organisations; business leaders; development partners; academia; representatives from book stores, libraries, civil society, and youth.

Speaking during the event, the Chief Executive Officer of UONGOZI Institute, Prof. Joseph Semboja, highlighted the link between the Institute’s mission and leadership memoirs project.

“Since inception in 2010, our mission as an institute has been to inspire and equip Tanzanian as well as African leaders to deliver inclusive and sustainable solutions,” said Prof. Semboja.

He added, “We believe that sound leadership is the foundation and prerequisite for sustainable development. In fact, this is a continuation of our founding father Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s thoughts on development. He said that to develop, we need people, land, clean politics and good leadership.”

Prof. Semboja went on to state that many leaders from developed countries, particularly the western countries, have written about their personal and leadership lives. He, however, noted that the story changes when it comes to Africa, where only a few books have been written by senior African leaders.

“As a result, leaders and students of development, political science and diplomacy draw lessons from the publications of leaders from developed countries, which consider a non-African context,” he stated.

“We therefore believe that memoirs of senior African leaders contribute to Africa’s political, economic, social and cultural history. The history we are celebrating here today is not H.E. Mkapa’s but Tanzania’s,” said Prof. Semboja, adding that the book is the best birthday gift by H.E. Mkapa to the country.

According to Prof. Semboja, the process of producing H.E. Mkapa’s memoirs was initiated in 2016, and among others, it involved research, meetings with various individuals and institutions, as well as data and information verification. He added that the project costs totalled TZS 230,000,000 (EUR 88,061). According to him, the project would not have been a success without the support of the Government of Finland.

“I would like to thank the Government of Finland for its contribution to the implementation of our programmes. Since inception, our Institute has been receiving both financial and technical support from the Finnish Government. Without their support, today’s event would not have become a reality or if it had, it would have been at high costs,” he stated.

In her remarks, the Ambassador of Finland to Tanzania, Riita Swan, expressed how honoured she was to take part in the launching ceremony of H.E. Mkapa’s memoirs. She went on to highlight the good relations between Tanzania and Finland, which are based on long-term cooperation conducted in a variety of fields ranging from projects at a high political level to grassroots-level.

“For about ten years now, as part of operations between the Governments of Finland and Tanzania, we have been supporting UONGOZI Institute and its work on leadership for sustainable development,” said Amb. Swan.

She further noted that a few months ago at the African Leadership Forum, organised by UONGOZI Institute in Dar es Salaam, H.E. Mkapa spoke on how forests can offer opportunities for socio-economic development in the country. She said that these opportunities are needed to address the growing population, particularly youth and women, and that H.E. Mkapa’s way of addressing the issue shows how a leader has actually assimilated the concept of sustainable development.

To begin, H.E. Mkapa warmly thanked President Magufuli and all present for accepting the invitation to come and take part in the launching ceremony of his memoirs. He further thanked those who counselled and encouraged him to write the book but were unable to attend the event; H.E. Joaquim Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique and H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

H.E. Mkapa recalled what his father said to him when he had entered secondary school: “I want any one of these futures for you: first as a priest. If this is impossible, I hope that you will become a doctor, but if those two are impossible, then at least become a teacher.”

He said, “As you all know, I instead became the third President of the United Republic of Tanzania, serving two five-year terms. This is something that my father had never dreamt of, and unfortunately, did not live long enough to witness.”

The Former President further recalled that it was not easy for him to accept writing about his life. He said that the book arose due to encouragement from Prof. Semboja.

“I was hesitant at the beginning, not that I did not want to share on my leadership journey and challenges I encountered along the way but rather I never thought that there is anything remarkable to learn from it,” H.E. Mkapa recalled.

Eventually, H.E. Mkapa agreed to write his memoirs and according to him, there were three reasons behind his decision.

First, he wanted to share his experience with those who aspire to serve in the position that he and his predecessors and successors have served in nearly 58 years. His hope was that they would not only learn from the mistakes and achievements but also be inspired to pursue similar leadership roles.

Second, he wanted to pay tribute to those who in one way or another contributed to his personal growth, as well as leadership life.

Third, he wanted to provide his perspective on various issues concerning the liberation of African states and leadership in Africa. Most importantly, he wanted to share his perspective of Mwalimu Nyerere, as a person and as a leader.

H.E. Mkapa stated, “I have written: A future leader could be born with natural leadership traits; yet even divinely bestowed qualities of leadership need nurturing and enhancement to make them relevant to contemporary challenges.”

He further highlighted the importance of mentorship.

“I benefitted from having Mwalimu as a mentor and many of you will have benefited from a mentor at some stage in your life. I urge you all to make a conscious effort to mentor those you see exhibiting the potential to become a leader or those who could reach higher in their leadership goals,” said the former President.

To conclude, H.E. Mkapa revisited the words that conclude his book, a quote from a prominent American rabbi and popular author, Harold Kushner:

“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so the world will at least be a little bit different for our having passed through it.”

He stated that these words have been, and still are the purpose in his life; a purpose that God, his family, friends and loyal colleagues have helped him to achieve.

To open his address, President Magufuli congratulated H.E. Mkapa for writing memoirs that will enrich the history of Tanzania and extended special appreciation to him for the invitation. He was gratified with the presence of two other former Tanzanian Presidents. He said their presence demonstrates how peaceful and unified the country is.

President Magufuli told the audience on how H.E. Mkapa contributed to his political career growth.

He said, “During the 1995 elections, when I was running for a seat in the parliament for the first time, through CCM, at the Biharamulo Constituency (now Chato Constituency), Mzee Mkapa, who was running for president at that time came to Biharamulo. I remember that day Mzee Mkapa held my hand and told the crowd in front of us, “Vote for this young gentleman.” Personally, I think his statement was enough to get me elected.”

“When I was Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, I learned a lot about being confident and bold from Mzee Mkapa,” said President Magufuli.

Speaking about lessons he picked from H.E. Mkapa, President Magufuli said, “Mzee Mkapa was fair to all his appointees. What mattered to him was people who could deliver. Also, when he agrees to take your advice, no matter what, he will stand with you until the end.”

Towards the end of his speech, President Magufuli congratulated UONGOZI Institute for coordinating the publication process of H.E. Mkapa’s memoirs and directed that the book be translated to Swahili.

Lastly, President Magufuli urged other former senior leaders to write memoirs to inform and inspire a new generation of leaders.

The launching ceremony also featured a review by Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala, Mwalimu Nyerere Chair in Pan-African Studies.

Leadership retreat for NACTE’s senior leaders concludes

Dar es Salaam – 30 October 2019: A three-day leadership retreat for senior leaders from the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) concluded today. 

Organised by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with NACTE, the retreat aimed at enhancing the senior leaders’ competencies in making strategic choices, leading people and managing other resources, and excelling in personal leadership qualities. It allowed them to reflect on their performance as well as ways to enhance efficiency in their work.

It covered several leadership modules, including Government Structure and Communication, Government Security, Functions of Leadership, Leadership of Public Resources, Ethical Leadership, Personal Leadership, and Emotional Intelligence.

The programme was a continuation of a collaborative initiative between the UONGOZI Institute and NACTE. The first leadership programme was delivered to the Governing Council Members from 26 – 28 June 2019, in Morogoro.

Tanzania: 20 Years after Mwalimu Nyerere’s passing

14 October, 2019 marked 20 years since the passing of the first Tanzanian President, Julius Kambarage Nyerere. Nyerere, commonly known as Mwalimu, which means teacher, was a great nationalist of the first generation of African leaders who struggled for independence. He was also one of the world’s most charismatic and venerable leaders.

To commemorate his legacy, we collaborated with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) to organise a two-day conference from 10 – 11 October, under the theme “Tanzania: 20 Years after Mwalimu”

Similar to previous years, the commemorative conference was organised under the auspices of the Mwalimu Nyerere Chair of pan-African Studies at the UDSM. 

The event was officiated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Hon. Palamagamba John Aidan Kabudi, on behalf of the President. In attendance were intellectuals, former and current senior government officials, diplomats, as well as representatives from the private sector, civil society and youth.

During the proceedings, participants explored and assessed the extent to which some of Mwalimu’s core beliefs and values are still relevant and whether they have continued to inform and influence public policy and discourse. Furthermore, they assessed the degree to which his core objectives of eradicating poverty, disease and ignorance whilst building a united, prosperous and peaceful country are being pursued.

The conference received support from CRDB, National Development Corporation, Tanzania Trade Development Authority, Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company Limited, and National Institute for Medical Research.

SADC-PPRM Retreat: Why time to reflect is important

Every team needs time to reflect; to understand their performance and propose effective approaches for improving it. This is where team retreats come in. Team retreats forge strong bonds that boost morale, improve communication and teamwork in the workplace.

For SADC’s Directorate of Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation (PPRM), the need for team retreat was certain given the new organisational structure and new composition of the Directorate staff.

A three-day retreat was then organised by the Directorate to propose sustainable team building and performance culture of the PPRM, reflect on its operations in the new fiscal year, and improve working dynamics and communication among team members, including staff from other directorates and units.

The retreat, held from 2 – 4 October 2019, in Palapye, Botswana, was facilitated by UONGOZI Institute.

Twenty-three staff members from the PPRM and other directorates and units were in attendance. They were taken through presentations and exercises, which aimed at fostering learning, as well as strengthening effective and efficient communication, team building and personal leadership.

In his remarks, the PPRM Director, Dr. Mubita Luwabelwa, said the retreat provided a platform for the team to reflect on what has worked well and what has not and deliberate on the way forward to improve performance of the Directorate as well as the Secretariat.

During the retreat, participants interacted, engaged in open discussions, and developed team ground rules and action plans to enhance team spirit and efficiency for improved service delivery.

This is the second retreat organised under SADC-UONGOZI Institute partnership. The first was organised a few days prior to the 39th SADC Summit, 5 – 8 August 2019, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Our role in these retreats enhances our philosophy of achieving sustainable development through competent leadership. We seek to inspire and promote the recognition of the important role of leadership in sustainable development. We do this by offering specialised courses relating to leadership and executive management, organising high-level policy forums and dialogues that provide opportunities for leaders to share ideas on strategic leadership for sustainable development and stimulate strategic thinking to formulate African solutions for Africa. Also, by supporting research on leadership and sustainable development in the continent.

Another milestone for Tanzania’s strategic projects

20 September 2019 marked yet another milestone for Tanzania’s strategic projects as the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Kassim Majaliwa Majaliwa (MP), launched the National Multi-Sector Local Content Guidelines and a Website for Strategic Projects.

This took place during a national forum on “Local Content Implementation in Strategic Projects: Achievements, Opportunities and Challenges”, jointly organised by the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) and UONGOZI Institute in Dodoma, Tanzania. Representatives from the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society were in attendance.

During the proceedings, progress on the implementation of existing strategic projects was shared, and participants made recommendations to ensure that Tanzanians participate effectively to benefit from the projects.

In her remarks, the NEEC’s Executive Secretary, Mrs. Beng’i Issa, extended her appreciation to the Prime Minister for accepting the invitation to come and officiate the forum, as well as to UONGOZI Institute and other partners for continuing to work together with the Council to enhance domestic participation in strategic projects within Tanzania.

Underscoring the objectives of the forum, Mrs. Issa said, “This forum seeks to facilitate communication between the Government, private sector and other stakeholders on local content implementation issues.”

She added that the aim is to create awareness on where the country is in terms of implementation, as well as to exchange experiences and information on employment and procurement opportunities.

On behalf of the CEO of UONGOZI Institute, Ms. Caroline Israel, Ag. Head of Research and Policy said as part of its work to support Tanzanian leaders to attain sustainable development, the Institute supports programmes and activities aimed at optimising domestic participation.

“UONGOZI Institute believes that local content is important, and increasing local participation requires enhancing the skills of the national workforce as well as the capacity and competitiveness of local firms,” said Ms. Israel.

She further stated, “We are proud that through our collaboration with NEEC and other partners, we continue to contribute to enhancing competencies in the area through forums as well as technical and capacity-building workshops.”

In his address, Prime Minister Majaliwa stated that Tanzania’s fifth-phase Government has set a target of ensuring that Tanzania becomes a middle-income country by 2025, through industrial development.

To realise this goal, he said that the Government continues to undertake several measures to allow people’s full participation in economic activities. He mentioned a few examples of these measures, including reforms in policies and acts for the mining sector, insurance, and public procurement.

He said, “The aim is to ensure that Tanzanians receive priority in employment, services, skills development, and technology through the strategic projects that are being implemented within the country.”

In closing, the Prime Minister stressed that the Government will continue to implement measures to create a better business environment within the country and strengthen Public-Private Partnerships to improve the citizens’ welfare and accelerate economic growth.