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A man reads a newspaper with a headline announcing the death of Tanzania's President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam, on March 18, 2021.


A great son of Africa. An independent leader who refused to bow to foreign powers. An anti-corruption crusader. A COVID-19 denier. A budding authoritarian.

Across the African continent and the world, reactions are streaming in — both loving and searing — over the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa was one of the first to express his “deep sadness” in a short statement Thursday morning after receiving the news that Magufuli had died.

“South Africa is united in grief with the government and people of Tanzania,” Ramaphosa said.

Magufuli was only 61 and died under mysterious circumstances. Officially, according to Tanzanian government sources, the Tanzanian president died of heart disease. He had not appeared in public for more than two weeks, and opposition politicians claimed he had contracted COVID-19.

Magufuli stood alone among African leaders in denying the existence of the virus in his country. Last June, he declared his coastal nation free of the virus — a claim that many African health experts questioned.

As one of the continent’s most respected leaders, Ramaphosa set the tone for much of the comment from the continent in the wake of Magufuli’s death. Leaders and luminaries from Nigeria, Uganda, Somalia, Zimbabwe and former African power Britain were quick to issue statements mourning his death.

Ghana-based Sarfo Abebrese, founding president of the Coalition of Supporters Unions of Africa, which promotes African cooperation, said Magufuli’s reach extended across the continent.

“It is not just the citizens of Tanzania that he ruled over,” he said. “We all received the news with a lot of sadness, especially because we all knew him as a great son of the continent of Africa. And you know, he is one of the few leaders that believed in his continent's abilities, despised and acted against corruption, and chose to be a true African statesman.”

Activist Daniel Mwambonu, who heads the Global Pan Africanism Network, described Magufuli’s death as a “terrible blow.”

“He has demonstrated the selfless leadership and people-driven leadership that continues to inspire the young generation,” Mwambonu said. “And utilizing the natural resources that Tanzania has, he has been able to develop Tanzania from a Third World country into a middle-class economy within just a short period of time. He has built the railways, utilizing Tanzanians’ taxpayer money, without begging for foreign aid. And these are the kind of leaders who we need in Africa.”

But Magufuli was not without his critics. Also on Thursday, opposition leaders and analysts from the continent and beyond criticized him for his increasingly tight grip on civil liberties and the media in Tanzania, and on his denial of the pandemic.

Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham in Britain, said Magufuli’s legacy is complicated.

”On the one hand, there will be those who cite him as a transformational leader who reduced corruption and strengthened the Tanzanian state and government,” he said. “On the other hand, there are going to be people who point to his legacy on COVID-19 and suggest that ordinary Tanzanians died when they didn't have to as a result of his neglect.

“One of the key issues I think that's going to come up will be whether or not in the wake of his passing, Tanzania will move back onto a kind of democratizing pathway after what's often perceived to be a significant authoritarian turn under his leadership.”

On that, Cheeseman is not holding his breath. He believes Tanzania will more likely see “more continuity than change.”

Perhaps the most telling reaction from outside of East Africa came from the U.S. State Department, which released a brief statement, saying little about Magufuli.

“We extend our condolences to Tanzanians mourning the passing of President John Pombe Magufuli. ... The United States remains committed to continuing to support Tanzanians as they advocate for respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and work to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that Tanzania can move forward on a democratic and prosperous path,” the statement said.

Those condolences were a contrast to the U.S.’s empathetic message last week marking the death of South African ceremonial leader King Goodwill Zwelithini, in which the State Department said “we mourn the loss of King Zwelithini, and our thoughts remain with the royal family and all who mourn him.”

The U.S. is the largest bilateral donor to Tanzania. - Voice of America

Malithi Herath from MTI’s South Asian Operations (bottom left) leading the Multi-Country Strategy Internship Program. Photo Daily News


MTI Consulting has launched a Strategy Consulting Internship Program across 3 of their Key Frontier Markets (KFMs); Bhutan, Pakistan and Rwanda.

“Given our Projects, Associates and Links in these 3 markets, we are firmly committed to developing local resources in Bhutan, Pakistan and Rwanda. We are encouraged by the kind of Graduate Entry-level Talent and interest in Strategy Consulting. Our approach is a very practical one that focuses on giving our Interns a 360 degree perspective of Strategy Consulting – via hands-on involvement in our projects. Participants are challenged with the dual learning tasks of ‘playing back’ what they learnt and ‘putting back’ (into practice) how they can apply their learnings.” said Malithi Herath from MTI’s South Asian Operations who is responsible for conceptualizing, executing and mentoring these Strategy Consulting Interns.

Speaking at the launch of this initiative MTI’s CEO Hilmy Cader said “Frontier Markets represents a big opportunity and therefore a big focus for us at MTI. Investing in talent in these markets is part of our long term strategy to build a strong position in these fast-growing markets.”

MTI Consulting is an internationally-networked boutique management consultancy – having carried out 670 projects across 49 countries – in the last 24 years. - Daily News

Ethiopian police chief General Demelash speaking to reporters following arrival in Juba. Photo via police service page


JUBA – The Ethiopian police chief General Demelash has arrived in South Sudan’s capital Juba upon invitation of his South Sudanese counterpart General Majak Akec Malok, according to a police statement.

According to the South Sudan police statement, the two men will discuss bilateral issues in respect to border security and information sharing between the country’s law enforcement agencies.

“Ethiopian Federal police commission Commissioner General Demelash Gebremicheal and his accompanying Delegations are in Juba upon invitation by Inspector General of police Gen Majak Akec Malok of South Sudan National Police Service,” the police said in a statement seen by Sudans Post.

“While in Juba they two police chiefs will discuss areas of cooperation between the two countries such as cross border issues, sharing of information and training of police officers in both countries,” the brief statement added. - Sudans Post

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