Gertrude Mongella Biography – Life, Career, Awards and More

Gertrude Mongella Biography – Life, Career, Awards and More


Gertrude Mongella Ibengwe, née Makanza, is a politician based in Tanzania and the 1st president of the Pan-African Assembly. Mongella was born on September 13, 1945.

The Mongellas are a family of 5 consisting of 3 children:

John Mongella (he is currently a Regional Commissioner of Arusha – there is unfortunately no John Mongella Wikipedia page yet to get more details about him), Patrick Mongella and Emmanuel Mongella

Gertrude Mongella’s Early Years and Work

Gertrude Mongella Ibengwe was born in September 1945 on the island of Ukerewe.

President Mongella qualified from Dar es Salaam’s University of East Africa in 1970.

Gertrude Mongella worked as a tutor at the Dar es Salaam Teacher’s Training College for 4 years. She joined the Dar es Salaam Institutes of Education as a curriculum developer in 1974 and stayed there until 1978. President Mongella served on the CCM party‘s National Executive Committee and Central Committee from 1977 until 1992. She served on the University of Dar es Salaam’s Council from 1975 to 1982, as well as the Tanzania Rural Development Bank’s Board of Directors during that period. She worked as a School Inspector from 1978 until 1982.

Civil Work

President Gertrude Mongella was a participant of the East African Legislative Assembly in the mid-1970s. Mrs. Mongella served in the Tanzanian Parliament for much of the 1980s and part of the 1990s. Mongella served as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office from 1982 to 1988, and then as Minister of Lands, Tourism, and Natural Resources from 1985 to 1987. Finally, she served as a Minister Without Portfolio in the President’s Office from 1987 until 1990.

International Work Done by Gertrude Mongella

Gertrude Mongella was appointed Vice-Chairperson of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the UN Decade for Women‘s Achievements in 1985. Mongella served as the Tanzanian delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women in 1989. She served on the Trusteeship of the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women from 1990 to 1993. (INSTRAW).

President Gertrude Mongella served as Tanzania’s High Commissioner to India from 1991 to 1992, as UN Assistant Secretary General and Secretary General of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in 1995, and as UN Under-Secretary and Special Envoy to the Secretary General on Women’s Issues and Development from 1996 to 1997.

Gertrude standing next to Muammar Gaddafi
Gertrude standing next to Muammar Gaddafi

Gertrude Mongella was a member of the UNESCO Director-Advisory General’s Group for the Beijing Conference Follow-up in Africa South of the Sahara in 1996. She was also a member of the London-based Agency for Co-Operation and Research in Development’s Board of Directors in 1996. She served on the boards of The Hunger Project in New York City and the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan, in 1996. She was also the President of Advocacy for Women in Africa in 1996. Mongella served as Senior Advisor on Gender Issues to the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa in 1997.

In 1998, Gertrude Mongella became a member of the OAU’s Women Committee for Peace and Development; in 1999, she was a member of UNESCO’s “Council of the Future” in Paris, France; and in 2000, she was a member of Tanzania’s Ukerewe Constituency in the Tanzanian Parliament. She served on the OAU’s High Level Panel of Advisors of Eminent Persons in 2002. Mongella was a member of the World Health Organization’s African Region’s Regional Reproductive Health Task Force in 2002, as well as the commander of the OAU Election Observer Team for the Zimbabwean Presidential Election. She served as the World Health Organization’s Africa Region‘s Goodwill Ambassador in 2003. In 2004, she was elected to the Pan African Parliament as a member and President. The Delta Prize for Global Understanding was granted to her by the University of Georgia in 2005. In February 2008, she was named Chairperson of the African Press Organization’s (APO) International Advisory Board.

The World Future Council has Gertrude Mongella as a member.

Participation in Non-Governmental Organizations

President Gertrude Mongella  has been a member of the following non-governmental organizations:

APO – African Press Organization

TAWALE – Tanzania Association of Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment.

SWAAT – Tanzania Branch of the Society for Women and Aids in Africa

TDA – Tanzania Dental Association.u

MAWAU – Maendeleo ya Wanawake Ukerewe.

World Future Council

Honors and Awards

Honorary Degrees

Honorary degree from Ewha Womans University, June 2005

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