The Mandela School mourns the passing of Professor Benno Ndulu

22 Feb 2021
22 Feb 2021

The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at UCT mourns and celebrates the life of Professor Benno Ndulu. The School mourns the passing of one of Africa’s greatest contemporary intellectual and practical leaders. We extend our sincere condolences to the Ndulu family, friends, colleagues, and the people of Tanzania.

Professor Ndulu was a member of the Mandela School’s International Advisory Board since the early days. A generous and insightful friend and advisor to the School’s first director, Emeritus Professor Alan Hirsch. Professor Hirsch remembers Professor Ndulu as a bold, innovative, and deeply insightful thinker. His impact on the economic development of Africa is without parallel. Equally significant was his impact on South Africa, through his relationship with Universities, his role in the IDRC mission, and his role on President Ramaphosa’s Advisory Council were hugely significant too. “We have lost a kind and dedicated development intellectual and activist who will be impossible to replace,” said Prof Hirsch.
Professor Ndulu became involved in the reconstruction of South Africa when he was the deputy head of a Canadian (IRDC) project to support the development of macroeconomic policies for the new South Africa in the early 1990s, before the transition to democracy. At the time he was the director of the Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC), a significant contributor for economic research, thinking, and policymaking in Africa. He had joined AERC from serving at the World Bank and returned to latter to implement the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) program. 
After the successful and very effective implementation of the HIPC program, including in his own country, Professor Ndulu was appointed governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania (CBT) between 2008 and 2018. During his Governorship CBT became a hive of developmental thinking for Tanzania and the region under his leadership. He has been a Research Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, before returning to teach at his beloved University of Dar es Salaam.
Professor Ndulu generously lent his knowledge and leadership skills throughout Africa and helped with advice, mentoring, and teaching at higher institutions of learning, including our School. He was one of the international economic luminaries appointed to the South African Presidential Economic Advisory Council by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019.
“Benno was a household name for all Africans interested in economic transformation, ever since he played a key role in the establishment of the AERC. He has served his country with distinction as a scholar and as Tanzania’s Central Bank Governor; but that was not enough for him. He embraced the entire African development debate as his key motivator. We will all miss his insights and fine analytical skills, apart from his humour and pleasant personality,” said Professor Carlos Lopes of the Mandela School.
The Mandela School is indebted to Professor Ndulu’s leadership and guidance throughout the years. Rest in peace Professor Benno Ndulu, the Mandela School will continue to honour your legacy.