Mkapa, Benjamin William

Mkapa, Benjamin William mkäˈpä [key], 1938–2020, Tanzanian diplomat and political leader. Acquiring a background in both the foreign service and journalism, Mkapa served in a variety of posts, including founding director of the Tanzania News Agency (1976–77), minister for foreign affairs (1977–80, 1984–90), minister for information (and culture, 1980–82; and broadcasting, 1990–92), and minister for science, technology, and higher education (1992–95), and as a member of parliament (1985–95) from the Party of the Revolution (Chama Cha Mapinduzi), Tanzania's ruling party since independence. Elected president in 1995 and reelected in 2000, he oversaw reforms that increased the role of free markets in the country's previously socialist economy. After he retired, he helped mediate conflicts in several African countries including South Sudan and Kenya.

See his memoir (2019).

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