Biography of H. E. Amani Abeid Karume
Amani Abeid Karume is of the new generation of African leaders, succeeding leaders who led the liberation of Africa from colonialism. His focus is on economic and social development and he is fortunate to have been born by a leading nationalist leader. His father, Abeid Amani Karume, was the leader of the freedom movement in Zanzibar in the 50’s and early 60’s. He became the founding father of the Zanzibar Nation and later Tanzania when he united his nation with Julius Nyerere’s Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
His Excellency Karume was schooled in the freedom struggle through his association with his father. Thus, it was easy for him to step into the political world. He was already a seasoned Politian in 1990 when he was elected a Member of Zanzibar House of Representatives at the early age of 42. He was appointed a Cabinet Minister in the Zanzibar Government leading the Trade, Industry and Marketing portfolio. At the same time, he was nominated a Member of the Tanzania Parliament. In his second term as a representative, he was appointed Minister for Communications and Transport. He rose to become the elected President of Zanzibar in 2000 and re-elected to another five year term in 2005.
Since assuming the Presidency, Karume has engaged himself greatly in economic and social development of Zanzibar particularly in education and health sectors and poverty reduction programs. Under his leadership Zanzibar has launched an Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy with emphasis on education development.
Karume is an idealist leader who leads a simple life. He is well described as a workaholic but at the same time he is family man who specially dots on his grandchildren. His love for children is universal, thus his great zeal in the promotion of education.
Under his administration Zanzibar has adopted a Universal Primary Education policy whereby 100% of school going children are enrolled in the first primary classes.
Through his vision, Zanzibar economy and infrastructure development including road network and telecommunication has surpassed many counties in Africa, South of the Sahara.
Karume is populist politician, a quality he inherited from his father, but he is also a realist. This is reflected in his successful contribution to conflict resolution in his country.
He is Vice-Chairman of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi. He is also the Chancellor of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) and is an honorary fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Tanzania. He rose to the current leadership position from the ranks, first within the youth movement of his party to constituency representation.
He is a great reader of politics, history, social studies and economics.