Most Influential Tanzanians in 2015

March 25, 2015

A changing political constellation in Tanzania is a confirmation that every country, just like a corporate entity, needs constant renewal. New leadership brings new ideas, new energy and a new focus on driving progress. Even Somocon Group of companies where your blogger trades his skills has a new CEO with high hopes placed in him by the board of directors.The same is expected to happen in United Republic of Tanzania later this year with changing political landscape and identifies those individuals who will have a say in the country’s direction over the next seven months.President Jakaya Kikwete’s rise to the apex of Tanzania’s political structure has been nothing short of spectacular and his international success has been an envy of many African leaders who are detested in their own countries and internationally.But as his term in office nears an end, there are new and old political leaders who’ve seen their careers take a new high.Former Prime Minister and current Monduli MP Edward Lowassa is widely known as the first successful businessman to become Prime minister of Tanzania.His entrepreneurial background and his rise will, over a period of time, alter the face of Tanzania politics and in the process also change the faces that appear on the main political arena of Tanzania.

Over the past few years, the A-list has been dominated by politicians close to ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi popularly known as CCM.While the list still features some old-timers such as Frederick Sumaye, Edward Lowassa, a host of new names now appears on the list.Apart from Benard Membe, the list includes Zitto Kabwe,William Ngeleja, Mizengo Pinda, the current United Republic of Tanzania Prime Minister.Depending on who takes over from Jakaya Kikwete aka JK as he’s fondly referred to in Tanzania, will have a substantial role in formulating the new administration’s policies, setting targets and re-organizing government structures.It remains to be seen if these new faces will be on the 2015 Presidential ballots as they face significant challenges in the coming months.  There is no doubt however that a shift in the country’s political constellation is underway and will likely accelerate in the coming months as the old actors fade into the background.The new government will have its work cut out and will need to outline it economic agenda, which must be premised on improving infrastructure and providing better public services.“The first and foremost would be how to reduce inequality and at the same time reduce poverty,” a political researcher in the country told me recently. “We believe by Tanzania doing infrastructure development we not only create growth but also create better equality,” she added.

Such balancing acts will become commonplace for the new government and administration once its elected in October 2015 elections. According to the researcher, the new government will need to achieve optimal balance between spending and revenue generation and between empowering local businesses and remaining open to foreign investments.“The demographic bonus and urbanization in mainland Tanzania will drive growth over the next five years with 5 million more people living in cities,” she noted.“Destructive technologies and Gas industry will provide new sectors of growth worth around $15 billion in value.”The key to sustainable growth will be improving connectivity and increasing power supply. The ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is expected to complete setting up a one-stop shop for the power sector so private investors can get all their paper work done quickly.An efficient and effective government, starting from the very top, is crucial to the country’s economic progress. The person who inherits the mantle from JK will have to lead by example, rolling up his sleeves and going down to the ground.JK’s strength has been his demonstration of acting as a manager and sharing of his power with his subordinates.

While the list of most powerful and influential Tanzanian is dominated by politicians and government leaders, it also has a good number of business leaders. This is primarily because private business owners and entrepreneurs are going to play an increasing role in determining the economic direction of the nation with more than 45 million people.With growing consumption, big business owners such as Reginald Mengi from the IPP media Group, Mohammed Dewji from Mohammed Enterprises among others will define consumption trends. How they direct investments and create new products will ensure that Tanzania’s industrial base remains competitive and that the country can compete on the regional and global stage.Tanzania’s ten most influential according to country’s mainstream and online media mentions is male dominated and according to my 2014 statistics collection include;

1 Jakaya Kikwete – President of United Republic of Tanzania.
2 Zitto Kabwe – Alliance for Change and Transparency, a political party.
3.Millard Ayo – Media personality and businessman
4 January Makamba – Deputy Minister of Communication, Science and Technology
5 Mohammed Dewji – Group CEO of Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited
6. Issa Michuzi – Michuzi blog
7 Reginald Mengi – Chairman IPP Media Group
8 Nape Nnauye – CCM party Secretary for Ideology and Publicity
9 Ambwene Allen Yessayah – Musician and business man
10 Ali Mufuruki – Founder Infotech Investment Group

Contador Harrison