Dar es Salaam needs transformational leaders

Dar es Salaam needs transformational leaders

The Planning Commission Executive Secretary, Dr Philip Mpango, said this in a keynote address at the 17th Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) Annual Research Workshop on Socio-Economic Transformation for Poverty Reduction held in Dar es Salaam recently.

Dr Mpango listed several challenges that Tanzania faces, saying prosperity or poverty reduction cannot be attained through business as usual attitude. He said the country needs to put aggressive industrialisation drive and making land readily available for large scale investment in agriculture and the government should vigorously  support the process through good investor friendly policies and maintaining political stability.

He urged for radical change of people's mindset to bring about significant socio-economic transformation by doing away with lazziness, corruption and profligate lifestyle.

"Successful socio-economic transformation has to go hand in hand with a profound change in social norms, work ethos and professional etiquette instead of making endless complaints. 

"Among them is zero tolerance to corruption; throwing away the dependency mindset in the spirit of the famous Chinese saying that "give me a fishing net instead of fish."

Dr Mpango deplored dependency-syndrome, laxity and inefficiency,  carelessness on public property and infrastructure, phobia of investors, tax evasion and avoidance as lavish spending on parties.

He expressed his profound administration of architects of socio-economic transformation in their countries including China's Deng Xiaoping, Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, Malaysia's Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Mr Mohamad Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, South Korea's Park Chung-hee and Dubai's Sheikh Rashid Saeed.

Deng inherited a country fraught with social and institutional woes resulting from the Cultural Revolution and other mass political movements of the Mao's era.  He became the core of the "second generation" of Chinese leadership and is revered as "the architect" of a new brand of socialist thinking, having developed Socialism with Chinese characteristics and led Chinese economic reform through a synthesis of theories known as the "socialist market economy."

Deng opened China to foreign investment, the global market and limited private competition. He is generally credited with developing China into one of the fastest growing economies in the world for over 30 years and raising the standard of living of hundreds of millions of Chinese.

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew is the co-founder and first secretary-general of the People's Action Party (PAP). He led the party to eight victories from 1959 to 1990 and oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 and its subsequent transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a "First World" Asian Tiger.

During Dr Mahathir's tenure as Prime Minister, Malaysia experienced rapid modernisation and economic growth and his government initiated a series of bold infrastructure projects. As Prime Minister, he was an advocate of third-world development and a prominent international activist for causes such as the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Park seized power in South Korea in a military-led coup d'etat and ruled as an unelected military strongman until his formal election as president in 1963, a post he held for 16 years until his assassination on October 26, 1979.

Park has been credited with the industrialization and rapid economic growth of South Korea through export-oriented industrialization.[2] Despite this, Park remains a controversial figure in South Korean history due to his authoritarian way of ruling the country, particularly after 1971.

In 1999, Park was named by Time magazine as being one of the top ten "Asians of the Century." Today, Park's legacy is split between those who credit his role in rebuilding war-ravaged South Korea after the devastating Korean War, to those who fervidly condemn his authoritarian policies, particularly those implemented after 1971.

Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum was responsible for the transformation of Dubai from a small cluster of settlements near the Dubai Creek to a modern port city and commercial hub.

His famous line, "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."  The quote reflects his concern that Dubai's oil, which was discovered in 1966 and which began production in 1971, would run out within a generation.

He therefore worked to develop the economy of Dubai so that it could survive after the end of oil production and became a driving force behind a number of major infrastructure projects to promote Dubai as a regional hub for trade.  Dr Mpango said Tanzania was in safe hands with President Jakaya Kikwete describing him as a leader with vision and competent.

"Speaking as a person that has had the privilege to work in the private office of the President and now as Executive Secretary of the Planning Commission for which the President is the Chairman.

"I want to confide that President Kikwete is a leader with the poor people at his heart. He is also a man with sharp intellect and a mission. An icon that is easy to spot."

He, however, said that it was beyond the scope of his keynote address  to comment whether Tanzania has enough transformational leadership in the government and the ruling party. Dr Mpango called for support to the socio-economic transformation of Tanzania envisaged under the forthcoming Long Term Perspective Plan 2011-2025.

In June, last year, the Parliament approved the first Five Year Development Plan 2011/12-2015/16 as a roadmap to implement the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 more systematically.

The plan is the first in a series of three successive and interdependent five year plans, knitted together by the Long Term Perspective Plan  2011-2025, aiming at making a quantum leap for Tanzania to graduate to middle-income country status by 2025, in line with the Tanzania Development Vision (TDV 2025) goal to transform Tanzania into a diversified and semi-industrialised economy with a substantial industrial sector comparable to typical middle-income countries.

TANZANIA Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has encouraged ...

Mwandishi: a Correspondent

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