Tanzanian President John Magufuli said he skipped United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 73rd session this year as part of his measures to cut nonessential public spending. The president who was represented his foreign minister, said sending presidential delegations to UNGA is too expensive for a poor country like Tanzania.
Magufuli is among several African leaders who did not show up for the opulent UNGA. “He [Foreign Minister, Dr. Augustine Mahiga] has just arrived from the UN summit where he represented me, saving the government money. This is because sending a minister and his assistant is less expensive than sending the president and his delegation,’ Magufuli said.
Magufuli has been praised across the globe for his zero-tolerance to corruption and fight against unwarranted public spending. Since taking office, Magufuli has not traveled outside of the east African region. He has also been spotted travelling on economy class to save tax payers money.
The 73rd session of the UNGA opened on September 10. Cameroon’s President Paul Biya did not attend, primarily due to upcoming elections in the country. Biya is known for his huge entourage to the gathering. Last year he took five ministers, their families and dozens for assistants and security guards with him.