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President John Magufuli Of Tanzania Is Dead

Africa | Tanzania | Commentary March 17, 2021



President John Magufuli of Tanzania is dead. That was announced by the country’s Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan. According to the announcement, President John Magufuli died on the evening of March 17, 2021 at a hospital in Dar es Salaam. He was 61.


Announcement of the death of President Magufuli came after he had not been seen in public for about 18 days, a situation that triggered massive speculations and theories worldwide about his whereabouts and health status.


President John Magufuli alias The Bulldozer who held a doctorate in chemistry, came to power in 2015. After serving his first five-year term in office, he was re-elected in 2020 for a second term that he was serving at the time of his unexpected death.

President Magufuli has received massive praise mainly on the economic front. More specifically he has been praised for, among others, the following:


  • Relentless efforts to eradicate corruption and inefficiency in the public sector that were chronic in Tanzania when he took the throne

  • Delivering impressive development projects in the East African state, and particularly some world class infrastructure projects. The latter include, among others, 1800 kilometer trans-border electrified standard gauge railway system that is now at advanced stages of construction; as well as a gigantic 2115 megawatts hydro-electric dam at Stiegler’s Gorge on Rufiji River, that is also under construction at a cost of $2.9 billion

  • Introducing landmark policy reforms in the mining and energy sectors that have enabled Tanzania to benefit more from revenues generated from extraction of its natural resources. The reforms that are buttressed with laws, have been applauded throughout Africa South of the Sahara, and entail, among others, the following: banning export of unprocessed mineral concentrates; increasing royalty on some minerals including gold whose royalty has been increased from 4% to 6%; and giving the government of Tanzania right to a 16% share of mining firms’ stocks without compensation and power to buy a further 34%


There is no doubt, whatsoever, Dr John Magufuli will be remembered as one of the greatest progressive African leaders of all time. Hopefully, his exemplary approach to national economic development will inspire future administrations in Tanzania and throughout Africa. That could be crucial as the continent thrives to use its vast natural assets like minerals, natural gas, crude oil, arable land, rivers, forests, etc., to generate locally its own capital assets like electricity power plants, agricultural machinery, building machinery, production plants for building materials, railways, roads, production plants for medical products including vaccines, vehicles, ships, weapons, aircrafts, etc., hence becoming self-reliant and truly independent.

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