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Uhuru: Magufuli taught Africa it could survive without foreign aid

By Jael Mboga | March 22nd 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the obituary guest book at the Tanzania High Commission when he paid his respects to the late former President Dr John Pombe Magufuli. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said President John Pombe Magufuli showed Africa it could do without foreign aid from donors in developed countries.

In the few years he was at the helm, Uhuru said Magufuli believed Tanzania could remove itself from the over dependence on foreign aid.

He spoke at Dodoma on Monday during the state funeral of President Magufuli.

“We are able as Africans to manage our economy and ensure citizens get their rights,” Uhuru said.

In 2018, Magufuli said he prefers foreign aid attached to no conditions.

He cited China, saying Beijing imposes fewer conditions compared to other donors.

“The thing that makes you happy about their aid is that it is not tied to any conditions. When they decide to give you (assistance), they just give you,” Magufuli said, according to a statement posted on State House’s website.

Uhuru, who is also the EAC chairman, said Magufuli was both respected in Tanzania, the Africa continent and the world at large.

He urged President Samia Suluhu to be confident in her new role as the country’s leader.

Uhuru cited developments spurred by Magufuli such as roads, airports and access to electricity.

He said Magufuli’s projects will help Tanzania and the larger EAC improve trade and boost unity.

The Kenyan President added that Magufuli was a close personal friend who communicated with him often about the two countries and the EAC.

“He was a respectable man.”

Magufuli, 61, will be buried in his native home in Chato district in Geita region on March 26. 

He had not been seen in public since February 27, sparking rumours that he had contracted Covid-19. Officials denied on March 12 that he had fallen ill. He was Tanzania’s first president to die while in office.

Magufuli died of heart disease Wednesday at the Emilio Mzena Hospital in the business capital Dar es Salaam.

He leaves behind widow Janet, seven children and 10 grandchildren.

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