Africa

Tanzania finance minister dies in SA

Sapa-AFP

Tanzania's Finance Minister William Mgimwa has died in a Pretoria hospital after undergoing treatment for an unnamed illness, says the SA government.

Tanzania's Finance Minister William Mgimwa died on New Year's day. (Gallo)

Tanzania's Finance Minister William Mgimwa died of natural causes at a Pretoria hospital, the South African government said on Thursday.

He died on New Year's day after undergoing treatment for an unnamed illness, the treasury said.

Mgimwa had spearheaded rapidly growing Tanzania's drive to tap global bond markets to fund investment and tackle poverty.

He had masterminded a maiden eurobond worth as much as $1-billion – although the project remains unfulfilled as the country waits for a credit rating and battles a weaker-than-expected fiscal position.

Mgimwa would have been 64 this month.

He was a veteran of Tanzania's National Bank of Commerce, where he rose from accountant to director, according to his parliamentary biography.

Elected to Parliament
He was elected to Parliament in 2010 and appointed minister of finance in 2012.

Mgimwa's South African counterpart Pravin Gordhan described him as a someone who "keenly appreciated the importance for African countries to strengthen their economies" in order to ensure stability and attract investment.

The economy of Tanzania, a country of 48-million people, is expected to grow at around 7.2% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. – Sapa-AFP

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