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Tanzania President Names Finance Minister Mpango as Deputy

President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan faces a mammoth challenge in managing – and many hope, reversing – her predecessor’s legacy, especially Covid-19 denialism. (Photo: UNFPA Tanzania)

(Bloomberg) --Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has appointed Philip Mpango, who has been serving as finance minister, to be vice president.

By Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala
Mar 30, 2021, 10:07 AM – Updated on Mar 30, 2021, 1:39 PM
Word Count: 280

All 363 lawmakers that voted on the matter on Tuesday approved the nomination, Speaker Job Ndugai said in the capital, Dodoma. Hassan became president of the East African nation following the death of John Magufuli this month. She is yet to name a replacement at the finance ministry.

The nation’s sixth post-independence ruler, Hassan is the first woman to occupy the post and while widely regarded as an astute politician, the 61-year-old lacks a powerful political constituency of her own. She succeeded Magufuli under a constitutional provision that the president’s deputy will serve out their term if they die in office.

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“Dr Mpango is a renowned liberal democrat in the economic speak, who will help push forward the president’s economic agenda,” said Bravious Kahyoza, an economics lecturer in the commercial hub of Dar es Salaam. “The fact that he is not entangled in any factions or groups within the ruling party means that he does not come with any political luggage.”

As finance minister since 2015, Mpango oversaw macroeconomic stability and prudent fiscal policy that helped the country’s economy grow at an average of 6% to 7% over the past five years, according to government data. The former World Bank economist is also credited with boosting government revenue, which has been vital in helping Tanzania finance its budget domestically.

Mpango, 63, told lawmakers before they voted on his nomination that he will continue to implement flagship infrastructure projects, including a new standard gauge railway and roads, and fight corruption.

(Updates with approval from second paragraph)
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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