DAR ES SALAAM Jan 19 Tanzania named a new
finance minister in a reshuffle on Sunday after the man she
replaced died in office, but the promotion of the former
minister's deputy is not expected to herald a policy change in
the fast-growing east African economy.
President Jakaya Kikwete also named new ministers for
justice, home affairs, defence, health and tourism, a statement
from the president's office said. The minister for energy in the
country, which is sitting on big gas finds, was unchanged.
The reshuffle also comes after Kikwete sacked four ministers
on Dec. 20 following accusations of abuses committed by security
forces during a huge operation against wildlife poaching.
The new finance minister, Saada Mkuya Salum, replaces
William Mgimwa, who died on Jan. 1 after a long illness. She was
deputy minister since 2012 and before that finance commissioner
in the Zanzibar government, a semi-autonomous region.
"The appointment of the new finance minister signals that
there will be continuity at the Finance Ministry," said Honest
Ngowi, an economics lecturer at Mzumbe University's Business
School in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
"This is a donor-dependent economy, therefore it needs to
engage donors in a continuous debate," he said. "Donors have
engaged with Saada Mukya frequently when she was deputy finance
Tanzania, like other east African economies, has been
enjoying solid growth and could see a big boost once it starts
exploiting major offshore gas discoveries, although production
and exports from those fields is still several years away.
The minister for energy and minerals, Sospeter Muhongo, was
The World Bank said in December the economy was likely to
grow by about 7 percent annually in the next two years, but also
said the budget deficit at 6.2 percent of gross domestic product
exceeded the level agree with the International Monetary Fund.
The bank also warned the government against raising its
spending based on unpredictable future gas earnings.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Edmund Blair
and Mike Collett-White)