East Africa Today: An interview with Dr. Salim A Salim
In Episode 26, East Africa Today speaks with Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania and former Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). In the podcast Dr. Salim reflects on the golden jubilee summit of the OAU and African Union (AU) that was recently held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Will the AU be relevant in 50 years especially in light of the funding crisis the institution is currently facing? What are the key differences between the OAU and AU? Are Africans more or less united today than they were during his time as OAU Secretary General? We then shift gears and discuss the draft constitution of Tanzania, which was made public on June 3, 2013, in his capacity as a member of the Constitutional Review Commission. What will the new Tanzania look like? Will we have one government, two governments or three? How will Tanzania's new Constitution address the key challenges facing Tanzania namely inequality and social welfare, social and religious tensions and the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar? Dr. Salim answers these questions and shares his vision for Tanzania in light of the new Constitution
Dr. Salim is a distinguished Tanzanian diplomat who has served his country and the African continent for fifty years. He is one of Africa's most senior diplomats and statesman who began is career at the very young age of 22 when he served as an Ambassador to Egypt. He also served Tanzania in numerous ambassadorial positions including India and China. In 1970, he was appointed Tanzania's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he remained for more than ten years. During his period at the UN, he was concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Cuba, High Commissioner to Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Nationally, he served as Prime Minister from 1984-1985, then served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and National Service from 1985 until his election of OAU Secretary General.
He is the longest serving OAU Secretary General, serving three consecutive terms from 1989-2001 overseeing the transformation of the OAU to the AU. Thereafter he served as AU Special Envoy for Darfur from 2004-2008.
Dr. Salim also serves on numerous boards, including chairman of the board of the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial Academy and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation. He is also on the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation where, for the last two years, he has served the Chairman of the Prize Committee.
Photo: Salim Ahmed Salim