Tanzania’s finance minister dies in South Africa

2014-01-02 15:44

Tanzania’s finance minister William Mgimwa has died of natural causes at a Pretoria hospital, the South African government has said.

He died on New Year’s day after undergoing treatment for an unnamed illness, the treasury said today in a statement.

Mgimwa had spearheaded rapidly growing Tanzania’s drive to tap global bond markets to fund investment and tackle poverty.

He had masterminded a maiden eurobond worth as much as $1 billion (R10 billion) – although the project remains unfulfilled as the country waits for a credit rating and battles a weaker-than-expected fiscal position.

Mgimwa would have been 64 this month.

According to his parliamentary biography, he was a veteran of Tanzania’s National Bank of Commerce where he rose from accountant to director.

He was elected to parliament in 2010 and appointed as finance minister in 2012.

In a statement, Mgimwa’s South African counterpart Pravin Gordhan described him as someone who “keenly appreciated the importance for African countries to strengthen their economies” to ensure stability and attract investment.

The economy of Tanzania, a country of 48 million people, is expected to grow at about 7.2% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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