Following his surprise victory in the October 2015 presidential elections, President John Magufuli made headlines again in December 2015 when he named his cabinet. Fulfilling his campaign promise of a small government, Magufuli appointed just 19 just ministers – 11 less than the 30 cabinet ministers in former President Jakaya Kikwete’s government (Quartz, 11.12.2017).

The cabinet was subsequently expanded to 21 ministers in October 2017 when Magufuli split both the Ministry of Energy and Mining, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries into two agencies each – Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Mining, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries – reflecting a strategic shift towards mining and agriculture (Bloomberg, 07.10.2017).

More interestingly, in naming his government, Magufuli appears to have consolidated his power base by appointing his political allies to positions of influence.