Former Tanzanian President Benjamin William Mkapa has died at age 81, he passed away at Jijini Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania while receiving treatment. The death of Mkapa was confirmed by President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania, in a statement on TV shortly before midnight on July 24, 2020.
Benjamin William Mkapa ruled Tanzania two terms from 1995 to 2005, he became the third president of Tanzania when he replaced Ali Hassan Mwinyi and later was succeeded by Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
Mkapa was born in Ndanda in 1938. He graduated from Makerere University in Uganda in 1962, having studied English. In 1963, he continued his studies at Columbia University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in international relations.
He represented his country in Canada and the United States between 1982 and 1984. Mkapa was also Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1977 and 1980 and was reappointed between 1984 and 1990.
In 1995, Mkapa was elected to lead Tanzania, where in his campaign he had indicated fighting corruption among his top priorities in a campaign that was supported by Julius Nyerere, the founding president.
After his presidency, Mkapa led several regional peace mediation efforts.
“I will remember him for his great love for the nation, his piety, hard work and performance in building the economy,” President Magfuli said while announcing Mkapa’s death
The president declared a seven-day mourning period, during which all flags will be flown at half-mast.