DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s re-elected President John Magufuli on Friday re-appointed Philip Mpango as finance minister, and promised continued reforms to the mining sector to help deliver the goal of 8% annual economic growth in his second term.
Nicknamed the “Bulldozer”, Magufuli was declared the winner of polls last month after securing 84% of the vote, although the opposition have rejected the results, alleging widespread irregularities.
Magufuli’s choice to retain Mpango signals confidence in a minister who helped execute policies which, according to official figures, contributed to average growth of 6.9% during his first term, propelling Tanzania to low middle income status.
As finance minister since 2015, Mpango helped the president push through an industrialisation drive and implementation of big infrastructure projects, including a new rail line, hydropower dam and a revival of the national carrier.
Magufuli told lawmakers on Friday his government aims to expand the economy by at least 8% and one of his key priority for his second term is continued reforms of the mining sector.
“There are some people who have been issued with exploration and mining licences but they have not worked on them, we will revoke the licences and distribute the areas to small and artisanal miners,” he told lawmakers.
“The steps that we will take in the next five years will help the mining sector to contribute at least 10% of the GDP by 2025.”
Gerson Msigwa, the director of presidential communications, said in a statement that the president had also re-appointed another ally, Palamagamba Kabudi, as minister of foreign affairs.
(Writing by Elias Biryabarema and Omar Mohammed; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Kim Coghill, William Maclean)