|The President of Tanzania Hon. Jakaya Kikwete|
C) Kikwete represents the "young Turk" segment of the CCM party. He is popular, politically adroit, charismatic and very ambitious. In socially conservative Tanzania, however, Kikwete's relative youth - he is 55 - has worked against him. So has his playboy reputation. As the party has increasingly emphasized experience and education, Kikwete has a built an impressive resume. Since 1995, Kikwete has been Foreign Minister and also the MP for Chalinze Constituency. Previous government positions include Minister for Finance (1994-95), and Deputy Minister, then Minister for Energy, Minerals and Water (1990- 94.) For the twenty years before his government service, Kikwete served in various positions in the CCM party, and in its predecessor party, TANU.
7. (U) Kikwete comes from the small town of Msogo, on the coast near Bagamoyo. He has a BA in economics from the University of Dar es Salaam.
8. (C) An able politician, Kikwete is a somewhat unenthusiastic administrator. On Embassy row, his Foreign Ministry has a reputation for being understaffed and minimally responsive. Kikwete himself is personable, and conveys the impression that he will at least consider the views of foreign diplomats. Kikwete has signaled that he might discuss signing an Article 98 agreement with the US; the current President Benjamin Mkapa has firmly closed the door on any agreement for the remainder of his Presidency. For years, observers of the Great Lakes conflicts have considered Kikwete to be virulently pro-Hutu. Rumors that he was facilitating arms transfers to Burundian Hutu rebels persisted, but have never been substantiated. Kikwete's marriage to a cousin of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana may have fueled these rumors, which are now fading as the Burundi conflict winds down.
9. (u) Please see Embassy Dar es Salaam's SPRNet site for a complete update and background on the Tanzanian elections.