Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan named Ms Liberata Mulamula as the new Foreign minister, prompting some people to look into the latter’s background.
Following this, a number of people reacted, mostly on social media, expressing their satisfaction with the choice for the key docket – given the fact that Ambassador Mulamula has a solid background in public service, particularly as a career diplomat.
Although Ms Mulamula is joining the cabinet for the first time, she has a 35-year experience as a diplomat who represented Tanzania in different missions and other international bodies.
She replaced Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, a law don, who was relocated to the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Ambassador Mulamula, 65, was sworn in on April 1 this year at the Chamwino State House in Dodoma along with other newly-appointed ministers, deputies and Chief Secretary Hussein Kattanga.
She becomes the country’s 16th Foreign Affairs minister – and the second woman to serve in that position after Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, who served between January 2006 and January 2007.
Analysts expressed optimism – given her elaborate record as a diplomat – saying she would use her experience to help shape a practical Tanzanian foreign policy.
The University of Dar es Salaam’s Political Science lecturer Prof Bernadeta Kiliani, says Tanzanians have witnessed Ms Mulamula working in several foreign missions for a long time – and, hence, she knows her way in that area.
She pointed out that Tanzania’s foreign policy would now become clearer, more purposeful.
“Being nominated by the President to lead one of the key ministries is proof that the President herself believes in the capabilities of Ms Mulamula to actually bring about transformation in foreign policy,” Prof Kiliani said.
She further said that Tanzanians should give Ms Mulamula time to start showing how she would reshape Tanzania’s foreign policy.
For his part, Mr Paul Loisulie, a political analyst at the University of Dodoma, said Ms Mulamula must first address rumblings that have marked Tanzania’s foreign policy for quite some time.
“There are claims that Tanzania has not had good relations with a number of countries recently. For instance, never ending squabbles with Kenya and other countries. She must end that and ensure Tanzania sits at a dialogue table with all nations,” argued Mr Loisulie.
He further advised that Ambassador Mulamula should spearhead economic diplomacy so that Tanzania would benefit from its relations socially and economically.
“She has to restore Tanzania’s status as a respected member of the international community built over many years,” says Mr Loisulie.
For her part, Ms Lilian Liundi, the executive director of Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), said Ms Mulamula was well-known from the days she was leader of the steering committee of African Women Leadership Network (AWLN).
“She has a rich history in leadership and public service. She has the requisite skills and experience for the tasks ahead. So, we’re hopeful that she would deliver accordingly and bring about transformation in the foreign policy,” explained Ms Liundi.
She expressed her belief that the new leader at the Foreign docket would keenly negotiate Tanzania’s stands in talks with other foreign countries.
“It is important that Minister Mulamula pushes for win-win situation in all negotiations so that Tanzania would benefit accordingly,” Ms Liundi said.
Ms Mulamula is a graduate of St John’s University in New York where she acquired a Master’s degree in Government and Politics, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in International Law.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Dar es Salaam.
Previously, Ms Mulamula was the permanent secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation until 2016.
Prior to that position, she was Tanzania’s ambassador to the United States and Mexico. She also worked as a Special Advisor to President Jakaya Kikwete on diplomatic matters from 2012 to 2013.
Then she served as the first executive secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) – and, while in that position Ms Mulamula oversaw 11 countries from 2006 to 2011.
As she served in multiple diplomatic positions, she provided managerial and administrative leadership to the ministry’s staff and Tanzania Diplomatic Envoys abroad.
Having served for a while at the State House, she successfully coordinated the visits of President Xi Jiping of China and President Barack Obama to Tanzania in July 2013, as well as the visits of other heads of state and high officials.
She attended cabinet meetings, prepared policy briefs for the President, and aided the implementation of cabinet decisions in areas of international partnerships in order to achieve the country’s development goals.
During her tenure in Washington, Ms Mulamula participated actively in the preparations for the first US-Africa Summit on Partnership for Economic Growth.
She also oversaw the implementation of various programmes that were funded by US development agencies and institutions, including the Millennium Challenge Compact, the Power Africa Initiative, the Feed the Future Programme, the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, Maternal and Child Healthcare initiative.
Addressing the appointment and swearing-in of Ms Mulamula as the minister for Foreign Affairs, political analysts and a gender specialist have detailed the reasons why she was the right choice for the post – and what she has to do to straighten the ministry of Foreign Affairs accordingly.