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JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE:
He received his primary education at Msoga Primary School between 1958 and 1961 and his middle school education at Lugoba School from 1962 to 1965. He then moved from Lugoba School to Kibaha Secondary School for O-level education between 1966 to 1969. The following year he joined Tanga Secondary School for advanced level education. Kikwete attended the University of Dar es Salaam from 1972 to 1975, where he earned a degree in Economics.
His leadership talents emerged at early stages in life. He was a student leader both in middle and secondary schools and at the University of Dar es Salaam. He was elected Chairman of the Students Council at Kibaha Secondary School and Deputy Head Prefect at Tanga Secondary School. He became very active in student politics at University. He was eventually elected Vice President of the Dar es Salaam University Students Organisation and de-facto President of the student government at the Main Campus in 1973/74.
As a student leader, he spearheaded efforts to fight for student's rights and welfare. He was in the forefront in bringing about awareness and activism in liberation and anti-apartheid politics in the campus and the University community at large. He represented the Dar es Salaam University students and the students and youths of the African continent in several international conferences. Among such meetings were the International Youth Population Conference in 1974 in Bucharest, Romania.
Graduating with a degree in economics in 1975, he opted for a low-paying job as an executive functionary/officer of the ruling Party (TANU later CCM). This gave him the opportunity to work at the grassroots in rural regions and districts of Tanzania.
President Kikwete throve in the military and grassroots party political organisation, mobilisation and administration until 1988 when he was appointed to join the Central Government. The then President Ally Hassan Mwinyi appointed him Member of Parliament and, simultaneously, Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals on November 7, 1988. In 1990 he was promoted to full Minister responsible for the Ministry of Water, Energy and Minerals. Later the same year he successfully contested for a parliamentary seat in his home constituency of Bagamoyo. He was reappointed Minister for Water, Energy and Minerals in the government formed after the elections.
In 1994, at 44, he became one of the youngest Finance Ministers in the history of Tanzania. At the Treasury, he established discipline in public finance management and accountability and, until today, he is still remembered for establishing cash budget system and revamping of revenue collection structures, methods and institutions, including preparations for the formation and eventual establishment of the Tanzania Revenue Authority.
President Kikwete’s governing philosophy and political views are influenced by those of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere whom the President was privileged to be close to. So far Kikwete's government has received accolades across the country and in the donor community for fighting corruption, investing in people, particularly in education, and push for new investiments.
In the past two years of Kikwete's presidency, a remarkable 1,500 new secondary schools have been built, and a new 40,000-student science university is being built in Dodoma, central Tanzania.
These successes have led the United States government to grant Tanzania US $698 million under the the Millenium Challenge Account assistance program, the UK government US $500 million for education, and the New York based Africa-America Institute (AAI) to award Tanzania the Africa National Achievement Award in September 2007 in New York.