Nyerere and Tanzania: No Regrets at Socialism... | JamiiForums | The Home of Great Thinkers

Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

Nyerere and Tanzania: No Regrets at Socialism...

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Messages: 15,871
    Likes Received: 56
    Trophy Points: 145

    By PAUL LEWIS, "The New York Times," October 24, 1990

    Julius K. Nyerere, who led Tanzania for the first-quarter century of its existence as an independent state, struck an unapologetic note as he said he had no regrets, despite the ramshackle condition in which he leaves his country.

    "If I had my time over again, I would do it much the same way," said the 68-year-old founding father who is called Mwalimu -- Swahili for the teacher -- by Tanzanians. He made his comments in an interview while on a recent visit to the United Nations.

    A thin, gray-haired man with a ready laugh, Mr. Nyerere has given up his last official position, stepping down in August as chairman of Tanzania's single, ruling party. Five years earlier, he became one of the handful of African leaders to leave office voluntarily, resigning as President, a post he held since 1962, a year after independence from Britain.

    In the years that followed, Mr. Nyerere came to be revered throughout Africa as a nationalist who, along with men like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast and Kenneth D. Kaunda of Zambia, brought an end to colonial rule. They served as the first generation of leaders of independent Africa. Pulling Together

    He was also a social engineer who brought his own vision of "African socialism" -- he called it "ujamaa," or pulling together -- to his country.

    Peasants were regrouped into collective villages; factories and plantations were nationalized; state-run corporations were established; egalitarianism was encouraged; great investments were made in literacy, the accumulation of private wealth was discouraged.

    At first, many Western aid donors, particularly in Scandinavia, gave enthusiastic backing to this socialist experiment, pouring an estimated $10 billion into Tanzania over 20 years.

    Yet today, as Mr. Nyerere leaves the stage, the country's largely agricultural economy is in ruins, with its 26 million people eking out their living on a per-capita income of slightly more than $200 a year, one of the lowest in the world.

    The World Bank reports that Tanzania's economy contracted on average by 0.5 percent a year between 1965 and 1988. It notes a 43 percent decline in average personal consumption since 1973 and reports that "food purchases have moved away from meat, dairy products and vegetables toward cheap starches and beans." A Number of Achievements

    To be sure, despite the economic decline, Tanzania can claim some achievements, the work of its gentle and charismatic former leader, an admirer of Rousseau and an intellectual who loved to translate Shakespeare into Swahili.

    The country enjoys one of the highest rates of literacy and primary-school enrollment on the continent. It has avoided the civil wars and tribal conflict that plague many other countries. "Tanzanians have more sense of national identity than many other Africans," Mr. Nyerere said.

    But while the former President admits some errors, he argues that his inability to translate a relatively educated populace and a stable society into tangible economic progress is largely the fault of an unsympathetic industrial world.

    "What would I have changed if I had my time over again?" he mused. "Not much."

    Mr. Nyerere said socialism did allow the Tanzanian economy to develop in the 1960's and 70's. "There was growth and wealth distribution," he said, and statistics generally support this view.

    What knocked Tanzania off course, he said, was "the hostile international environment" of the 1970's and 80's, including rising oil prices that "absorbed 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings" and falling revenues from the sale of sisal hemp and coffee, major Tanzanian exports.

    Sisal, once the raw material of ropes and mats, was increasingly replaced by synthetics, and the international commodity price of coffee plummeted.

    "We used to sell our coffee in London for $:3,000 a ton, now we get $:600," he said. "How do you fight that?"

    Mr. Nyerere rails against the austerity programs that the West is imposing on developing countries these days through the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for loans. As budget deficits are cut in an effort to reduce inflation, he complains that social progress is being reversed and poverty increased as the promised speed-up in economic growth fails to materialize. Not Just in Tanzania

    Many of Tanzania's problems are widespread in Africa, where living standards have fallen for a decade. But some countries, like Kenya or the Ivory Coast, partly bucked the trend with the free-enterprise approach that Mr. Nyerere rejects.

    Even this was insufficent to shield them from the pervasive recession on the continent. And today, Mr. Nyerere almost gloats at their discomfort. "Houphouet-Boigny is really bitter with the West," he said. "He feels capitalism has betrayed him."

    Mr. Nyerere's sucessor as President, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, something that Mr. Nyerere could not bring himself to do, and in 1987 began an Economic Recovery Program that is slowly reversing many of Mr. Nyerere's

    cherished achievements. Government spending is being cut, the Tanzanian shilling devalued, price controls lifted and foreign investment encouraged. Modest growth has resumed.

    Mr. Nyerere remains skeptical. "We're not earning any more foreign exchange with the World Bank and the I.M.F. running the economy," he said. "In my day, inflation was 28-30 percent a year. Now it's 22 percent. I don't see much success.

    "They keep saying you've failed. But what's wrong with urging people to pull together? Did Christianity fail because the world isn't all Christian?"

    - - -

    Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 15:59:08 +0300 [06:59:08 AM CST]
    From: edwin mwaura
    Subject: Nyerere and Tanzania: No Regrets at Socialism

  2. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Messages: 15,871
    Likes Received: 56
    Trophy Points: 145
    Nyerere aliona Mbali, alijua kuwa UKABILA ndio mbaya zaidi ya UDINI... UDINI; UDINI bara ni rahisi kuumiliki sababu

    tuna historia na kabila zetu, na Lugha zetu na Mabdili kwa lugha ya Kiswahili.

    Tatizo la UDINI naona linatokana na MUUNGANO wetu; Wazanzibari wanaona wanaonewa na ni sababu ya BARA na

    Wanaona BARA ni WAKRISTO zaidi ndio wanaoitaka ZANZIBAR... lakini kuna wananchi wa ZANZIBAR wanapenda kuishi

    BARA zaidi ya kuishi MOMBASA, Kenya...

    * Nyerere aliachia Madaraka akiwa na Miaka 65; Sasa kwanini Msekwa bado yupo? Kwanini Lowassa anagombea? Kwanini

    Vijeba bado vinagombea UONGOZI? na wanamapesa?