Jakaya Kikwete Biography - Early Life, Career, Legacy and More

Jakaya Kikwete Biography – Early Life, Career, Legacy and More

Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is a Tanzanian politician who was born on October 7, 1950 and president number four of Tanzania, starting year 2005 to year 2015. Prior to his selection, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from the beginning of year 1995 to year 2005. under his successor, Benjamin Mkapa. Kikwete did work also as chair of the OAU (Organization of the African Unity) in the beginning of year 2008 to year 2009 and also chaired the SADEC (Southern African Development Community) in the area of ​​Peace, Security and Defence between year 2012 to 2013.

Karatu primary school
Karatu primary school

Jakaya Kikwete Education

Between 1969 and 1963, Kikwete graduated from a Primary School called Karatu in Tanzania prior advancing to his secondary education at a school that went by the name Tengeru starting year 1963 to 1965. Following Tengeru, Jakaya Kikwete transferred to a Secondary School in Kibaha for Ordinary levels (O-levels) from the beginning of 1966 to 1969, and then he attended Tanga Vocational School to complete higher education. He received a degree in Agricultural Economics from the Dar es Salaam Mlimani University (University of Dar es Salaam) in year 1975.

Leadership and Politics

Kikwete birthplace is a village called Msoga, an area located in Bagamoyo District during Tanganyika back in year 1950. As a cadre of the party, Jakaya Kikwete rose from one level to holding various positions in the party and moved to various locations to serve his party. During the merger of TANU and Afro-Shirazi (ASP) of Zanzibar create CCM (Chama cha Mapinduzi) in year 1977, Jakaya Kikwete was transferred to Zanzibar and was given the job of establishing a party system and leadership in Zanzibar’s islands. In year 1980, Kikwete got transferred to the party headquarters as the leader of the party headquarters, in Dar es Salaam by the head of the Department of Defense and Security before being relocated to the highlands at the party’s district and regional offices in the region of Tabora (between year 1981 to 84), then moved to Singida, followed by Nachingwea (from 1986 to 1988) and the District of Masasi (in year 1988) in the regions of the southern Tanzania mainly Mtwara and Lindi regions. In year 1988, Kikwete was elected to the government’s central unit.

In year 1994, at 44 years of age, he was a finance minister who was the youngest in the history of Tanzania as a United Republic. As of December in year 1995, Kikwete was appointed Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation’s Minister, through Benjamin William Mkapa who was the third term president. Kikwete stayed with this title for about ten years, up to the time he got chosen as United Republic of Tanzania’s President which was December of year 2005, and held the country’s record for the Foreign Minister who served the longest. While serving at Foreign Affairs Ministry, the country was instrumental in bringing peace to the region of Great Lakes, especially in the Congo (DRC) and Burundi. He also took an active part in the implementation of re-development of cooperation between East African countries. He often participated in the difficult tasks of setting up a union of customs to be used on all the three involved nations that make up the EAC (East African Community) which are Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, a place which for a while he chaired the East African Community cabinet.

He was also involved in the establishment of the Helsinki Process in Democracy and Globalization as co-chair. On May 4, year 2005, Jakaya Kikwete won to become CCM‘s presidential candidate against 11 CCM members who were seeking the same position for the general election. Following the multi-party elections on December 14, 2005, the Electoral Commission declared him the winner on December 17 and got officially sworn to hold the title of number four president of Tanzanian Republic on December 21.

During the African Union Summit which happened on May 26th of 2013, Kikwete promised and made a condition to President Kabila of

March 23 Movement Rebels
March 23 Movement Rebels

Congo (DRC) that he could negotiate some agreements with Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda and Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and the rebels of March 23 Movement, he would also negotiate with the the Rwandan Democratic Forces for Liberation and Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for Liberation in return. Museveni of Uganda seemed willing to negotiate and work on this offer.

On January 31st of year 2016, Dr. Nkosazana Zuma who was the African Union Commission’s chairperson at the time, assigned Kikwete to be the representative of the African Union in Libya. After the crisis in Libya, Kikwete’s responsibility was to spearhead the African Union’s efforts to achieve stability and peace within Libya. The following year, Kikwete was assigned to be a member of the Leading Group in Nutrition Program Development by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Personal Life

Kikwete is a sports fanatic and participated in basketball competitions while studying. Kikwete have hold the Tanzania Basketball Federation’s title of patron for all least ten years. Jakaya Kikwete family comprises of Salma is his wife and the total number of children he has is five.

As of April 4th of year 2013, he was ranked sixth leader from Africa with the most followers on Twitter with a total of 57,626 followers.

Honorary awards and awards

Kikwete Honours
Kikwete Honours


2015 Best Government Leader of the Year from The African Times

  • 2015 African Achievement Award from the Institute for Good Leadership within Africa
  • 2015 Best Leadership Award from the Pan-African Youth Union
  • 2014 Democracy Model Award, From Voice (Netherland)
  • 2013 ICCF Mengha Award from the International Conservation Caucus Foundation
  • 2013 African Leader Who Brings More Changes of the Year from the African Leadership Journal
  • 2012 FANRPAN Policy Leadership Award from the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network
  • 2011 South African Award for World Health, Technology and Development
  • 2011 Outstanding Social Award from the United Nations Institute
  • 2009 US Doctors Award for Africa
  • 2007 AAI Award for African National Achievement (on behalf of Tanzania)
  • Sullivan Honor Award

Honorary academic awards

Kikwete Honorary and Academic Awards
Kikwete Honorary and Academic Awards

Some of the Things Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete will be Remembered For

Things Named After President Jakaya Kikwete

  • School:
  1. Jakaya Kikwete Primary School in Muleba District, Kagera Region
  2. Jakaya Kikwete Secondary School in Mbulu, Manyara Region
  3. J. M. Kikwete Secondary School in Mbozi District, Mbeya Region

Media Channels

Jakaya Kikwete Twitter – https://twitter.com/jmkikwete?lang=en 

Jakaya Kikwete Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jakayakikwete/?hl=en 

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