On the 30th of August 2023, President Samia Suluhu Hassan (“Mama Samia”) did what many were speculating she would do for the last year – a major cabinet reshuffle. Since she became President 19 March 2021, Mama Samia has been slowly but surely consolidating her power and this current cabinet reshuffle is a further consolidation of her power and authority.
In terms of relevance to the sectors that we work with @ShikanaGroup, the following changes are to be noted:
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy – Honorable Dr. Doto Mashaka Biteko
- The office of Deputy Prime Minister is a new office in this administration, that is created by the President in accordance to the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
- Hon. Biteko was the Minister of Minerals from 9th January 2019 all the way until his recent appointment as the Deputy Prime Minister.
- The appointment is strategic for several reasons.
- Firstly, the Hon. Biteko is a Member of Parliament of Bukombe which is part of the Geita Region and in the lake zone area. Mama Samia’s demonstrates her political astuteness as the appointment is a big signal to the Lake Zone Area in Tanzania that they are relevant and important. By appointing someone from this area, it creates a positive pathway for CCM in the elections in 2025.
- Secondly, this is sending a signal that Hon. Biteko has the confidence of the President that he can be the Prime Minister in post 2025 elections.
- Honorable Biteko takes over a difficult docket – Ministry of Energy which has proved challenging for many prior serving Ministers. After the many reforms he led in the Ministry of Minerals, cementing state owned mining participation in Mining projects through the 16% free carried interest and bringing in again investors that had turned their back on Tanzania, Honorable Biteko’s has demonstrated that he can deliver and that his leadership is one of impact. Therefore, the appointment to be Minister of Energy is a signal that the President wants him to equally bring the much-needed reforms and delivery in the Ministry of Energy.
- Minister of Minerals – Honorable Anthony Peter Mavunde
- Immediately prior to this appointment, he was serving as the Deputy Minister of Agriculture
- Hon. Mavunde comes with a wealth of knowledge in the mining sector having served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Miners’ Association of Tanzania (FEMATA).
- Given his prior role as CEO of FEMATA, there is an expectation that he may bring unity between small scale miners and large scale miners whose relationship is currently one marked with tension. Furthermore, small scale miners are hopeful that they finally have a minister who will lend an ear to them and possibly enact some of the policies that small scale miners have been lobbying for years.
- Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation – Honorable January Makamba
- Immediately prior to this appointment, he served as Minister of Energy
- The Ministry needs serious reforms as articulated by the President and given Hon. Makamba’s proven strong track record of delivery in the prior Ministry he served (Ministry of Energy), the appointment serves as an indication that the President has confidence in Hon. Makamba to deliver the reforms to her expectation.
- The appointment of Hon. Makamba is strategic on several grounds. Given Tanzania’s history with regards to elected President’s emanating from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs docket, this may be a signal regarding political succession of the 2030 Presidential Election
- Hon. Makamba is known for his liberal economic policies and his pro- private sector attitude. Given that there is a big drive of Tanzania foreign policy being focused on economic diplomacy, he may well be the Minister to amplify engagement with the diplomatic community in Tanzania and abroad, the donor community and the private sector at large
- Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources – Honorable Angellah Kariuki
- Immediately prior to this appointment, she was the Minister in the President’s Office – TAMISEMI
- Angellah Kariuki is a seasoned politician with a wealth of experience in government and in private sector matters. Having served as Deput Minister of Housing and Lands in 2014, Minister of Minerals and Minster of Investment she is the right person to run the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources as she understands the mindset of investors and can strategize effectively on how to increase Foreign exchange earnings in the sector by bringing in more tourists.
- Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs – Dr. Pindi Hazara Chana
- Immediately prior to this appointment, she served as the Minister of Culture, Arts and Sports
- Dr. Pindi Chana holds a PHD in Law from Mzumbe University and was serving as a Member of the Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee at the Parliament of Tanzania.
All in all, this Cabinet reshuffle will have a positive impact on investments in Tanzania as all relevant ministers are pro- investment and pro – private sector development. They will be able to execute on the President’s vision of creating Tanzania as an investment friendly destination. We should not expect any radical policy changes that will hinder the private sector and private capital, but rather more reforms to accommodate more private investment in the country in given sectors.
The President has sent a strong message that she is a bold leader and not afraid to make the necessary changes if things are not working. Hence some of the changes come more as a trial and error and not strategic per se. Mama Samia also sends a strong message that she rewards loyalty and that she also believes in the young people given that there are many promotions of young people in her cabinet, which is very promising as often a younger generation brings more fresh perspective.
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