Jakaya Kikwete appointed to Co-Chair UN’s Every Woman, Every Child Commission

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and former Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed former Tanzania President Dr Jakaya Kikwete to Co-Chair the Highest Panel on Women and Children Commission.

A statement issued by Tanzania’s Health and Social Welfare Minister Ummy Mwalimu in Dodoma on Monday said the appointment of the former Head of State is a testimony of efforts engineered by Kikwete to improve health of women and children.

Kikwete who co-chaired the UN Information and Accountability Commission on Women and Children Health with former Canadian Premier Stephen Harper pushed for UN member states to take immediate action to improve the welfare of women and children following a report released in 2011.

Since his election into power in 2005, Kikwete increased the number of health centres in Tanzania from 5,172 to 7,247 by 2015. This helped to reduce child mortality rate from 112 to 54 in every 1,000 live births during the period under review.

The efforts enabled Tanzania to attain her Millennium Development Goal number four much early than the targeted period. On attaining Millennium Development Goal number five on scaling down maternal mortality rate, the fatalities reduced from 578 in every 100,000 newborns in 2005 to 410 in 2014.

“We’re very grateful for the new appointment and we hope the former president would deliver as expected,” the Minister said adding: “He has our support as the ministry and as the government.”

The minister expressed government commitment towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals whose implementation starts this year.

Ex-president Kikwete was also last week appointed Chancellor of University of Dar es Salaam by his successor President John Magufuli.