EDUCATION NEWS UGANDA – A gallant alumnus and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Dr. (h.c.) Benjamin William Mkapa on Friday 24 July 2020 completed his earthly race. Born on 12th November 1938 in Ndanda Town in the present-day Masasi District, Mtwara Region, Southern Tanzania, H.E. Mkapa came to Makerere University – then a University College affiliated to the University of London – in the 1950s as a 19-year-old youth.
In his own words, Makerere University was “a small institution then; enrollment was in the hundreds not thousands. There were four halls of residence, three for males and one for female students. Staff was predominantly British and a touch South African. Local, i.e. African, staff could be counted on the fingers of two hands.”
He graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He went on to study at Columbia University in New York and graduated with a Master of International Affairs. He rose through the ranks of civil service in his home country to the highest position, being elected as the third President of the United Republic of Tanzania for two successive terms which ran from 23rd November 1995 to 21st December 2005.
In recognition of his outstanding record of excellence in diplomacy, journalism, administration, governance; regional and global politics, his alma mater Makerere University on 27th November 2009 awarded H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.
Following his conferment, H.E. Dr. (h.c.) Benjamin William Mkapa on 28th November 2009 delivered a public lecture on “The Role of the Alumni in Governance and Institutional Development”. On the occasion, he was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Grand Alumni Re-Union.
He also holds Honorary degrees from Sōka University-Japan (1998), Morehouse College-USA (1999), The Open University of Tanzania (2003), National University of Lesotho (2005), Kenyatta University-Kenya (2005), University of Dar es Salaam-Tanzania (2006), Newcastle University-UK (2007) and University of Cape Coast-Ghana (2008).
We thank God for the life and legacy of H.E. Dr. (h.c.) Benjamin William Mkapa and May his soul rest in eternal peace.