THE NEWS IN BRIEF: Former Tanzanian Prime Minister Coming to KSG

Now that former Tanzanian Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye no longer has parliamentary sessions to attend, he’s found a new activity to keep him occupied—homework.

Sumaye, whose term as PM ended in 2005, has enrolled as a mid-career student in the Edward S. Mason Program at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) for the 2006-2007 academic year, according to KSG media relations manager Doug Gavel.

The Mason program enrolls 50 to 60 public and private sector executives each year from developing, newly industrialized, and transitional countries. Fellows graduate with a master’s degree in public administration after participating in two summer sessions and taking courses at the KSG during the fall and spring, according to the program’s website.

Melissa Kang of the Mason program said that most Mason Fellows have an average of 13 to 14 years of professional experience prior to their enrollment in the program and all come from decision-making positions in their country.

And while many Fellows have government experience prior to enrolling in the Masons program, Sumaye—as a former prime minister of a country with over 37 million people—is likely more accomplished in his career than some of his other classmates, Kang said.

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy Robert Rotberg said it was difficult to single out Sumaye’s accomplishments as prime minister because they were tied to the accomplishments of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, though he did note that Tanzania remained a parliamentary democracy and increased its developmental potential while Sumaye and Mkapa were in office.

Tanzania’s president is elected by popular vote. The prime minister is appointed by the president and serves as the government’s representative in the elected National Assembly.

Rotberg also mentioned that Tanzania has been a “pretty peaceful place,” with the exception of the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy.

As a Mason Fellow, Sumaye joins an impressive list of former fellows, including Mexican president-elect Felipe Calderón and Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.