In 2009, Tanzania’s President, Jakaya Kikwete, enlisted the support of Navigators to help direct his reelection campaign. The rise of the news media in Tanzania, coupled with the growing strength of his opposition parties, was creating a difficult political environment for the president and his ruling Party, the CCM. President Kikwete needed a new campaign model to ensure his reelection and protect his legacy.
As senior advisors to President Kikwete and the CCM, Navigators wrote a detailed strategic plan that introduced Western campaign techniques such as digital outreach, television and radio advertising, opposition research and rapid response, and sophisticated get-out-the-vote programs to Tanzanian politics. We helped train CCM campaign staff, developed a core message strategy for President Kikwete’s campaign and spearheaded a youth-driven campaign to mitigate CCM’s erosion of support with this key demographic. We also provided ongoing media relations counsel to senior CCM officials to better defend the party’s reputation in the urban population centers where media outlets and the Internet were proliferating.
On Election Day, President Kikwete was reelected with a commanding 63% of the vote. As importantly, we helped the CCM modernize its campaign strategies and tactics, putting the party in a strong position to maintain its dominance in Tanzania politics well into the future.