Tanzania’s Laurier University Introduction Tanzania an East African state

 

 

 

 

 

Tanzania’s
Ujamaa

Aykan
Mesek

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150346470

PO319

Dr.
Brown

Wilfrid
Laurier University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

            Tanzania
an East African state formed in 1964 with the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
created a beautiful country filled with lots of eye catching scenery with the
likes of Mount Kilimanjaro for example.( Chiteji et all,2017 ) Outside of the eye catching scenery
Tanzania is home to many influential people such as Julius Nyerere. He was the
first President of Tanzania and is mainly known for his ujamaa philosophy (Ibhawoh
and Dibua, 2003). Ujamaa is what Nyerere believed to be the “basis of African
socialism” (Nyerere, 1962) in order to better understand ujamaa we can look at
a series of questions. Such as how
did colonial rule impact Tanzania’s post-colonial economic, political, and
social development options? What were the central challenges at the time of
independence?, What are ‘ujamaa’,
the ‘Arusha Declaration,’ and ‘villigization’? , Evaluate the arguments Nyerere
presents in his piece, “Ujamaa – the Basis of African Socialism.”, Evaluate the
pros and cons of Tanzania’s early strategies of socialist development. What
were the central obstacles to effectively implementing these strategies?, What are the competing interpretations of Nyerere’s
legacy, and how are they supported? Which do you find most convincing? What
accounts for his long-standing popularity in Tanzania? To start we can begin by
answering the first question.

How did colonial rule impact Tanzania’s post-colonial
economic, political, and social development options? What were the central
challenges at the time of independence?

            To
start the impact of colonial rule we can look at economy. The economy of post
colonial Tanzania “was centralized to the implementation of ujamaa” (Ibhawoh et
all, 2003).  This meant that the state
owned companies meaning that post colonial Tanzania’s economy was in the hands
of the government as opposed to the seller and buyer. Economically the major export
that economically benefited Tanzania was agriculture and it was considered the
“basis of development” (Ibhawoh et all, 2003). On top of which Nyerere “announced
the nationalization of all banks and large industrial enterprises including
large-scale agricultural processing industries. Also announced were the
nationalization of part of the trade sector and 60 per cent nationalization of
the dominant sisal industry” (Ibhawoh et all, 2003). Next politically post
colonial Tanzania adopted the idea of socialism through ujamaa this was
Nyereres view of African socialism and his way of responding to western
capitalism because he believed capitalism would conflict or interfere with the
hopes and needs of Tanzania which was a new country at the time (Ibhawoh et
all. 2003). Along with this Nyerere decided to eliminate majority of private
ownerships resulting in the state being responsible for everything economic
(Ibhawoh et all 2003). In relation to this Nyerere claimed “The TANU Government
must go back to the traditional African custom of land-­holding. That is to say
a member of society will be entitled to a piece of land on condition that he
uses it. Unconditional, or ‘freehold’, ownership of land must be abolished”
(Nyerere, 1963) again emphasising the elimination of the private sector. Also
land laws have interestingly not have changed as “Post-colonial Tanzanian land
law and management remains fundamentally shaped by German and British colonial
law and administrative practices” (Mercer, 2016). Furthermore we can analyse
the social development impact of post-colonialism in Tanzania. The merging of
Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Chiteji et all, 2017) meant that two nations would become one
meaning various ethnic and religious groups would be one and living together
under a newly formed fragile state.  In
conclusion Nyerere was faced with the challenge of giving birth to this new
post-colonial country and guiding it forward is not an easy task faced with having
a weak economy with one main legitimate form of revenue plus having a whole new
centralized state and the recent formation of your country having the social
pressures two ethnicities live together as Tanzanians all raise as central
challenges. More so this can lead us onto the second question in attempts to
learn more about Tanzania’s ujamaa.

 What are ‘ujamaa’, the ‘Arusha
Declaration,’ and ‘villigization’?

            To
begin let us start by discussing ujamaa, it is a Swahili word that translates
to “familyhood” (Drew, 2017), ujamaa “was rooted in traditional African
values and had as its core the emphasis on familyhood and communism of
traditional African societies” (Ibhawoh et all, 2003). Ujamaa was
basically Nyerere’s idea to “integrate traditional African values with the
demands of the post-colonial setting” (Ibhawoh et all, 2003). The traditional
African values mainly being no private ownership and the community helping one
another as opposed to exploiting and using each other (Ibhawoh, 2003).  Next we can define the Arusha Declaration,
put into play in 1967 this was to show the people not only in Tanzania but
people around the world that ujamaa was official and the arusha declaration
showed their commitment to the philosophy (Thompson). “The arusha declaration
aimed to create a society based on co-operation, mutual respect and
responsibility (Ibhawoh, 2003). The declaration did this by presenting equal
rights, equal opportunities, preventing exploitation and by having gradually
increasing levels of material welfare. Plus it outlined it had to overcome potential
state and civil inequalities, capital development and the expense of human
development and the urban rural imbalances. (Ibhawoh, 2003). Finally we can
define villagization, according to Thompson the main idea behind this was:

“To
combine tradition with modern production methods. Economies of scale could be
gained with the whole village combining to farm common land rather than their
own separate plots. Rural Tanzanians would work together for the community, to
provide both its subsistence and a surplus enabling the village to develop. The
villages would also act as a point of contact for government officials to teach
peasants modern agricultural techniques, and for them to supply technology.  There was also the opportunity for the state
to invest in the country’s human resources. The majority of Tanzania’s new
schools and health centres” (Thompson).

Along with this “The process of
villagization was intended to integrate the logic of economic efficiency with
the goal of social equality” (Thompson). Furthermore Wakota explains “villagization
was both a resettlement and production project, through which villages were to
become schemes in which people lived and worked communally” (Wakota, 2016). The
main focus and idea of villagization was to bring people to work together as a
community, more so we can move on to our next question in line.

Evaluate the arguments
Nyerere presents in his piece, “Ujamaa – the Basis of African Socialism

            In
his piece Nyerere brought forth some very strong arguments in support of his
philosophy. One of the first ones is his belief in African aspirations, Nyerere
states “Old days Africa never aspired to the possession of personal wealth for
the purpose of dominating any of his fellows” (Nyerere, 1962). Here  we are able to see his emphasis on what Africa
was pre-colonization this is a very strong argument he brings up in relation to
his philosophy of ujamaa to work as he plans  Tanzania must aspire the same way. This is
critical because it is Nyerere’s way of combating exploitation, capitalism and
domination of his people like they experienced in colonialism. This argument is
his attempt to express what Africa was before colonization and to get Tanzania
back the way it was. Another very strong argument brought up by Nyerere is the
way society should act as he states “society should look after man and hot have
him worry about tomorrow look after him, his widow, or his orphans” (Nyerere,
1962). This quote was in context to what African society used to be like, the
community bond in society was so strong that the Tanzanians did not have to
worry about who would take care of their families if something happened to them.
Following the principle of ujamaa having that “extended family” of course is
critical for Nyerere and his philosophy of ujamaa by using and exemplifying
what African society was like in the past Nyerere argued his people of Tanzania
could recreate that with ujamaa. Finally we can look at his last major argument
and that is the wrongs of modern society. He states ” something is wrong in
society where one man, however hard-working or clever he is, can acquire more
“reward” over thousands of his fellows can acquire between them” (Nyerere,
1962). In this argument Nyerere defends socialism against capitalism as he
argues how wrong it is for someone to get more wealth over other people
especially if that wealth is greater than those of the others combined and
gained through exploitation. Again going back to traditional African roots
Nyerere does not support capitalism and the private industry by doing so he argues
it is unfair and that African socialism without exploitation is better, he does
not have anything against people having wealth but he believes that wealth
should be distributed amongst all of community saying it is better as everyone
is equal and no one is exploited (Nyerere, 1962). This can lead us to move onto
our forth question.

Evaluate the pros and cons
of Tanzania’s early strategies of socialist development. What were the central
obstacles to effectively implementing these strategies?

            To
start we can begin by looking at the pros of Tanzania’s early stages of
socialist development. Tanzania’s focus on the fundaments of socialist
development was a positive as we can start to see this by looking at the
distribution of labor, the ideal development idea was fair pay for fair work
and equally distributing the labor amongst the community this equality of labor
was an easy way to distribute equal pay for that work done (Nyerere, 1962).
Another pro was the education and healthcare. With the help of the arusha
declaration Tanzania was able to emphasize the importance of education and
implement it in society (Ibhawoh, 2003). The implementation of education was
huge in Tanzania with the development of many schools around the country due to
this implementation which resulted in “Tanzania having sic. one of the
highest literacy rates in Africa with every village boasting of at least a
primary school” (Ibhawoh, 2003) and in relation to this we can look at the health
care. Tanzania was one of the more socially developed nations in Africa “60
percent had relatively easy access to safe water supply, a health center or dispensary”
(Ibhawoh, 2003). A social development of this magnitude for a post-colonial
country was huge being able to provide health, aid and education for more than
half its population. On top of this early socialist development resulted in the
peaceful unity of the many ethnic groups in Tanzania that were merged together
when Tanzania was founded. (Ibhawoh, 2003). Next we can look at the cons of
Tanzania’s social development strategy, to begin the cons we can look at the
limitations of individual freedoms. Ujamaa restricted the freedoms of society
was they were in a sense stripped of their freedoms to become equal (Ibhawoh,
2033). The limitation of freedoms shows oppression of its people and can be
seen as a negative if perceived that way in relation to this ujamaa forced the
idea of villagisation and forcing the rural communities to move to urban areas for
the benefit of the economy but unfortunately it resulted in negative economic
consequences and again hinted at the sense of oppression with forced movement (Ibhawoh,
2003). The next con we can look at is the rejection of international aid;
Tanzania was trying to create a society that was self-sufficient. They could
not participate fully economically as they needed to limit and eventually cut
of all imports and rely on its self for the creation and development of
everything they needed to keep a country running (Ibhawoh, 2003). As for the  central obstacles international aid was the
biggest problem without  international
aid especially economically it is hard for any country to sustain a strong
socialist development a country can only rely on self-sufficiency until
resources are exhausted and in Tanzania’s case if they were to accept
international economic aid they would have had a better economy, they would not
have suppressing the freedoms of its peoples with ujamaa by trying to rapidly
urbanize the country with villagisation for economic purpose.  These had major impacts that essential slowed
and damaged Tanzania’s socialist development for the long run. This can lead us
to push forward to our final question 

What are the competing
interpretations of Nyerere’s legacy, and how are they supported? Which do you
find most convincing? What accounts for his long-standing popularity in
Tanzania?

            Nyerere’s
legacy was interpreted in two ways a positive and negative way, the positive
interpretations are supported by the people of Tanzania for his efforts and
believes they honor him for trying to prevent exploitation and create equality and
the other view was critiques and less supportive view from western economists
like Forbes as they did not agree with his socialist views and self-sufficiency
through ujamaa (Ibawoh, 2003). I find the economist view more convincing, I do
agree with what Nyerere was trying to do but I don’t think it was the right
option for a new country. I believe the proper economic trade would have been
essential for Tanzania as it was still a new post-colonial country it needed
money to fund its self and trade is the best way to earn fast money. Along with
that Nyerere trying to push ujamaa, nationalization and self-sufficiency to
fast without considering the other things like a stable economy the country
needed. This resulted in a lack of proper focus on the economy and
nationalization led to damaging the country in the long run. The economists
even looked at neighboring Kenya who since the birth of Tanzania had its “output
grow sic. more rapidly than Tanzania’s by 50 percent up to 1973” (Ibawoh,
2003). This was due to proper focus on economy and not nationalizing majority
of the private sector. As for his popularity Nyerere was a respected man for
his efforts, trying his best for a country he did not want to see fall into
corruption and exploitation under the capitalist system like it did under
colonialism. Therefore his idea of African socialism linked backed to traditional
African heritage as it was pre-colonial era and people respected his efforts
for that. (Ibawoh, 2003) (Nyerere, 1962). This can led us to a general
conclusion on Tanzania’s Ujamaa.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Julius Nyerere’s philosophy of ujamaa as the basis of
African socialism is on that is admirable. Trying to bring back the traditional
African society of community and helping one another by laying out a guideline
to follow for post-colonial Tanzania to implement new technology and to protect
them from exploitation and have everyone live in equality just like they once
did in the pre-colonial era.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bryceson,
D. F., Chiteji, F. M., Mascarenhas, A. C., & Ingham, K. (2017, October 17).
Tanzania.

Retrieved
January 20, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/place/Tanzania

 

Drew,
A. (2017, October 27). African socialism. Retrieved January 20, 2018, from

https://www.britannica.com/topic/African-socialism 

 

Ibhawoh,
B., & Dibua, J. (2003). Deconstructing Ujamaa: The Legacy ofJulius Nyerere
in the

Quest for Socialand
Economic Development in Africa. Retrieved January 19, 2018, from https://app.perusall.com/courses/po319-african-politics-winter-2018/p7-ibhawoh-deconstructing-1?assignmentId=6BJCN5YrhSdQSo9RM

 

Mercer,
C. (2017). Landscapes of extended ruralisation: Postcolonial suburbs in dar es
salaam,

tanzania. Transactions
– Institute of British Geographers, 42(1), 72-83. http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.wlu.ca/10.1111/tran.12150

 

Nyerere,
J. K. (1962). Ujamma–The Basis of African Socialism. Retrieved January 21,
2018, from

https://app.perusall.com/courses/po319-african-politics-winter-2018/p6-nyerere-ujamaa-1?assignmentId=p3uwewShWSdkH9HaM

 

Thompson
. (n.d.). Case study: socialism and ujamaa in Tanzania . Retrieved January 20,
2018,

from https://app.perusall.com/courses/po319-african-politics-winter-2018/an-introduction-to-african-politics?assignmentId=7GSpHxj8G5cucnXyX

 

Wakota,
J. (2018). Ujamaa’s villagization and gender dynamics in selected tanzanian

fiction. Journal
of African Cultural Studies, 30(1), 49-64. http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.wlu.ca/10.1080/13696815.2016.1207158

 

 

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