EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL
Date: 24th July, 2020
H.E. President Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli
President of the United Republic of Tanzania
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA
RE: CONDOLENCE MESSAGE ON THE PASSING ON OF FORMER PRESIDENT BENJAMIN WILLIAM MKAPA
It is with shock and regret that we at the East African Community have received the sad news of the untimely demise of retired President Benjamin William Mkapa, the 3rd President of the United Republic of Tanzania and a Founding Father of the EAC, in the wee hours of Friday, 24th July, 2020 while undergoing treatment in Dar es Salaam.
President Mkapa was a signatory to the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community on 30th November, 1999 alongside the late President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi (Kenya) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Uganda).
The departed Head of State also signed the EAC Customs Union Protocol in Arusha alongside President Moi and President Museveni on 2nd March, 2004. The Customs Union Protocol, which took effect on 1st January, 2005 and became fully fledged on 1st January, 2010 resulted in significant increases in the volumes of intra-regional trade in East Africa.
President Mkapa was a dedicated Pan-Africanist who was committed to regional integration and South-South cooperation, in addition to mediating in armed conflicts and political disputes in various African countries, where he championed African solutions to African problems. He was part of the African Union Panel of Eminent African Persons who mediated in the 2008 post-election dispute in Kenya that resulted in the formation of a Grand Coalition Government that brought peace and stability to the country.
Based on his strong diplomatic credentials and as an elder statesman, the EAC Summit of Heads of State appointed him to facilitate the Inter-Burundi Dialogue that brought together the government and various shades of opinions opposition groups in the Republic of Burundi between 2016 and 2018, to deliberate on a way out of the political crisis.
The Community has therefore lost a mentor, adviser and intellectual who has provided guidance and advice whenever called upon to do so.
On behalf of the EAC and on my own behalf, I convey my heartfelt condolences to your Excellency, and through you to: the family, relatives and friends of the retired President; the Government, and; the people of Tanzania.
In honour of the departed Founding Father of the Community, I have directed that the EAC Flag and all flags at EAC Organs and Institutions be flown at half-mast from today until the day of burial of the departed President.
MAY THE ALMIGHTY GOD REST THE SOUL OF THE DEPARTED PRESIDENT IN PEACE
Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko