President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete's 59th Birthday Biography Childhood: President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was born on October 7th, 1950 in Msoga village in the Coast Region. He was the sixth born in a family of nine children of Halfani Mrisho Kikwete (father) and Asha Jakaya (mother). He grew up witnessing the exercise of leadership by his grandfather Mrisho Kikwete as a local chief and father as a District Commissioner in colonial Tanganyika and Regional Administrative Secretary and an Ombudsman in post-colonial Tanganyika and the United Republic of Tanzania. He spent part of his childhood moving from one area of country to another as his father was transferred to different outposts. He also spent a better part of his childhood in the village under the guidance of his grandfather. Education: President Kikwete received his primary education at Msoga Primary School between 1958 and 1961 and his middle primary school education at St. John Bosco's Lugoba Middle School from 1962 to 1965. He then moved to Kibaha Secondary School for Ordinary level secondary school education from 1966 to 1969, and later joined Tanga Secondary School for Advanced level secondary school education. He joined the University of Dar es Salaam in 1972 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1975. Kikwete sharpened his leadership acumen in the military. He first had basic military training at Ruvu National Service Camp (1972) and later underwent a basic officers course at the famous Tanzania Military Academy at Monduli, Arusha. This is Tanzanias top military training institution. On successful completion of the course, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1976. He also undertook Company Commander's Course in 1983 at the same academy. In his military career, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. From 1984 to 1986, Kikwete was Chief Political Instructor and Political Commissar at the Military Academy. He retired from the military as a lieutenant-colonel when political pluralism was reintroduced to Tanzania in 1992 when he chose to become a full time politician. Prior to that, he was permitted to be both in the military and political leadership. Political career: 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. Kikwete became a natural choice for leadership in school and later in the party (TANU and CCM) youth movements. 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 Organization 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 was the International Youth Population Conference in 1974 in Bucharest, Romania. In elective Party politics, Kikwete started shining in 1982 when he was overwhelmingly elected by the party (CCM) national congress to be a Member of the National Executive Committee. This is the highest policy and decision-making body of the party. He has won re-elections to the body every five years since then. Also, in 1997, he was elected a member of the partys powerful 31-member Central Committee (CC). After a land-slide victory during presidential elections, in June 25th 2006 he became the party chairperson, the top most position in his political career. During the 8th national party congress November 3-4th 2007, Jakaya Kikwete was elected as a party Chairperson, after seeking a fresh mandate in the biggest congress attended by members from all districts of Tanzania. Climbing the Political ladder: 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 the Zanzibars Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) merged to form CCM in 1977, Kikwete was moved to Zanzibar and assigned the task of setting-up the new partys mobilization and administration in the Islands. In 1980, he was moved to the Partys Headquarters as Administrator of the Dar es Salaam Head Office and Head of the Defense and Security Department before moving again up-country to regional and district party offices in Tabora Region (1981-84) and Nachingwea (1986-88) and Masasi District (1988). President Kikwete throve in the military and grassroots party political obilization, obilization 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. 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, hence becoming the countrys 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 Africa Community (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), where, he was a Chairman of East Africa Communitys Council of Ministers. Introducing candidate Kikwete at a campaign rally in Dar es Salaam on 21 August 2005, former President Mkapa described him as a super-diplomat, in recognition of his role in the search for peace in neighboring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kikwete also participated in the initiation, and became a Co-Chair, of the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy. On May 4th, 2005, Kikwete emerged victorious among 11 CCM members who had sought the partys nomination for Presidential candidacy in the general election. After a 14th December 2005 multiparty general election, he was declared a winner by the Electoral Commission on December 17th, 2005 and was sworn-in as the Fourth President of the United Republic of Tanzania on 21st December 2005. As the Chairperson of the ruling party CCMDuring an extra-ordinary 7th National Congress of Chama Cha Mapinduzi held in Chimwaga Dodoma on June 25th 2006, the third chairperson of CCM Mzee Benjamin William Mkapa officially stepped down and Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete became the 4th Chairperson of CCM. In his first and historical speech as a party chairperson, President Kikwete thanked all members of the meeting for electing him to become the 4th chairperson of CCM. In this acceptance speech, Jakaya thanked Mzee Mkapa for entrusting him with such a high post in the party, hardly one year after he became the leader of the 4th phase government. He added that it has been a culture within the party to receive party leadership a few months after being the leader of the government. He also spoke highly about his predecessor Mzee Benjamin Mkapa whom he refers to as his teacher, his elder and his mentor throughout his political life. It was during this remarkable meeting that Jakaya Kikwete pleaded with members to strengthen the party and to buiold it to become the strongest party with many members at all levels. As a result of this plea, members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) in its meeting of 31/08/2007 gave first priority to the launch of the third phase project of strengthening the party. Main objectives of as per instructions NEC are: To ensure that party meetings are being held at all levels as per CCM constitution To collect membership fee from members and to remind them to pay their fees To increase number of active members who are willing to fight and defend CCM To strengthen party leadership by appointing leaders at all levels. To provide specific and general training for party leaders and cadres To strengthen all party organs such as UVCCM, UWT, WAZAZI etc. To strengthen the party financially and to develop income generating projects for the party. To participate in execution and implementation of the party manifesto of 2005-2010. In the history of CCM, similar efforts of embarking on specific projects aiming at strengthening CCM have been made that is why this particular one is dubbed third phase project. First Phase project to strengthen the party was launched by the First CCM Chairperson Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere during the 1985 NEC meeting aiming at building the party at the lower levels. During the implementation of the first phase, Mwalimu Nyerere visited 113 districts in 25 Tanzania regions in 18 months insisting in re-building CCM. The implantation of the first phase ended in 1987 and the second phase was launched by Mwalimu Nyerere. This second phase among other things aimed at establishing business plan for the party and methodology for its implementation. Considering Jakaya Kikwetes plea to strengthening CCM and re-building it, National Executive Committee agreed with one voice that this speech should give birth to the third phase project of strengthening CCM. During the 8th national party congress November 3-4th 2007, Jakaya Kikwete was re-elected as a party Chairperson, after seeking a fresh mandate in the biggest congress attended by members from all districts of Tanzania.