Anna Elisha Mghwira

ACT - Wazalendo National Chair and Presidential Candidates 2015, The United Republic of Tanzania

Anna Elisha Mghwira is the national chair of a political party in Tanzania known as ACT – Wazalendo. Last year she was among (and the only female) candidates for the Presidency in the United Republic of Tanzania. Hers has been a successful good attempt as it was her first time to vie for a political post. Anna is trained in Law and Theology and specializes in International Human rights law from the University of Dar Es Salaam and Essex University in the United Kingdom. She has worked as a governance advisor / Civil Society strengthening in international development under The Dutch Development Organization (SNV) and occasionally trains as an associate at MS – TCDC in Usa River, Arusha.

In the past she worked for the Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) Central Diocese as the Director for the women’s Department. She has also worked for the Refugees under the Lutheran World Service Program as the Planning and Monitoring Coordinator. In the Mid 90’s Anna was among the founding members of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), a well renowned Tanzanian Legal and Human Rights Organization.

Apart from political roles, Anna is a member to a number of activists / Professional Associations including Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), Tanzania Gender Network Program (TGNP) and the Circle of African Women Theologians. She has served in boards of education, microfinance services, women organizations and for some NGO’s in the country and internationally such as Ms TCDC and ECLOF – The Ecumenical Loan Fund.

Anna is an author to local and international newspapers. She writes and has pages with the Citizen, Mwananchi and occasionally with the East African. She writes on Law and human rights, women’s rights/gender and other socio political societal issues. Anna enjoys debates on socio political issues and has been a speaker to many national and international conferences on similar issues. Anna’s interest in leadership is guided by a maxim that Africa faces both a political/socio and economic leadership vacuum. It faces challenges in the process of building its democratic pillars and institutions. Despite these challenges, Africans must understand that they are responsible for their own development. African women are even more indebted to African awakening that requires their full participation in realizing fruitful results of independence and self-determination. Anna believes that poverty is a violation of rights coupled with the leadership vacuum that Africa faces since independence. Anna affirms President Ellen Johnson’s position that Africa is NOT poor but it is poorly managed. She believes that African women have a reason to claim their rightful place in the management of African countries; and in the process of construction and reconstruction of the continent and individual countries.

Anna wants to participate in a leadership process in Africa. She believes that Africa needs a progressive, developmental, humanistic, mission oriented kind of leadership and she believes women are also best suited as men for such a ministry.

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