Archive for Reviews


British High Commissioner Andrew Pocock was at the unveiling of plans for a MWALIMU NYERERE UNITED WORLD COLLEGE FOR SELF RELIANCE in Dar es Salaam. It will be built at Mwalimu Nyerere’s home village of Butiama in Mara Region. There are already United World Colleges in the UK, Singapore, Canada, Swaziland, United States, Italy, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Norway and India. The Tanzanian College would be similar to the Simon Bolivar United World College of Agriculture in Venezuela and would be established on a 600-acre piece of land that had once been developed through Cuban assistance, he said.

Over 147 types of prohibited COSMETICS worth Tsh. 24 million, were seized from shops during surprise inspections carried out by Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TDFA) officers in all municipalities in the country. Speaking at a press conference the Director of the project Dr. Sekubwabo Ngendabanka said that laboratory tests revealed the presence of harmful substances, which were not displayed on the packaging, contrary to regulations, while some of the cosmetics carried labels with unfamiliar names aimed at fooling the authorities. He said that there were side effects from using cosmetics containing Hydroquinon, mercury and steroids. Some people got pimples on the face and there were also dangers from skin cancer, heart attack and kidney infection – Guardian.

In a recent report prepared by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, which met earlier this year in Davos, Switzerland, Tanzania ranked 63rd out of 146 countries in the 2005 INDEX OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY. The index ranks nations on their success at such tasks as maintaining or improving air and water quality, natural resource management, biodiversity, and cooperating with other countries on environmental problems. Finland, Norway and Uruguay held the top three spots and the US ranked 45th behind for example Japan, Botswana and most of Western Europe, but before Britain which ranked 66th. Near the bottom were Haiti, Taiwan, Iraq and North Korea. The report is based on 75 measures, including the rate at which children die from respiratory diseases, fertility rates, water quality, over fishing and emission of heat-trapping gases.

Speakers at a memorial meeting in Dar es Salaam to celebrate the life and work of JOAN WICKEN, Mwalimu Nyerere’s lifetime private secretary, showered praise on her as an exemplary leader, worker and intellectual who dedicated her life to serve Tanzania. President Mkapa’s special emissary to see her when her health degenerated, Mr Walter Bgoya, said it took him some time to persuade Joan that he was in London last December for no other reason except to convey greetings from the President and Mama Anna Mkapa. They spent about ten hours together spread over three days just before she died. Even then, he said, her wish was to get news on how the issue of leadership succession was evolving. Walter said he gave her some of the names that were being mentioned and her single reaction was that she was surprised that some of them were even contemplating running for the presidency. He did not reveal those names but the remark had made President Mkapa laugh. CCM Secretary-General Philip Mangula said Joan’s name stood out prominently in the history of Tanzania. Her efforts to set up the Kivukoni College along the lines of Ruskin College, Oxford, had inspired and shaped the destinies of many cadres in the ruling party. Executive Director of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation Joseph Butiku said she was a very strong-willed person and moderated Mwalimu’s behaviour on several occasions, by simply but firmly, telling him that he could not do what he wanted to do just because he was president. Her personal secretary, Ms Anna Mwansasu, said Ms Wicken was, apart from being a very strict disciplinarian, very humane in nature and always seemed to know the needs of her subordinates even before they revealed them. In the office, she was affectionately referred to simply as shangazi, Swahili for aunt. Ms Mwansasu, who seemed to lose the steadiness in her voice, said that Ms Wicken was not only her boss but also a great friend. When the eulogies were read out, tears welled in quite a number of cabinet ministers and top civil servants’ faces – The Guardian.

TWO BRITISH SOLDIERS who were accused of murdering a woman in Dar es Salaam in November 2004 were released in December when Director of Public Prosecution Geoffrey Shaidi said that, much as the public would wish to believe otherwise, the truth was that the police findings did not establish that the British soldiers killed Conjesta Ulikaye (26). There was no reason therefore for the court to continue holding the two soldiers. According to the British Ministry of Defence, the 22 soldiers came from the ‘Light Dragoons’ and were in Tanzania for training. “When the State pronounces that it has no interest in a particular case (nolle prosequi), the decision is made by professionals, without any influence from anyone,” Shaidi said. He was also reacting to claims from certain quarters that his office had been under pressure from the British government, one of Tanzania’s major donor countries. “None of us can silence the people. They are free to think or say what they want. But I can assure you that a three-panel judge and I worked together on this case. We could not find any substantial evidence to convict the suspects” he said. The death certificate issued by the Muhimbili National Hospital said that the woman died of ‘Aspiration Pneumonia.’ Some human rights activists had said earlier that the government showed that it valued the rights of foreigners more than those of its citizens and added that the decision had tarnished Tanzania’s image. One said the decision to drop the case had “shocked” women who now felt they were not being protected by their own government – Guardian.

When the British fugitive Duncan Grant moved to Dar es Salaam in 2002 from India, where he was facing CHILD ABUSE CHARGES, according to the Guardian, he knew he was not just taking a chance. The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Tanzania has requested Indian Police to expedite the extradition process. The ‘jigsaw puzzle’ which Grant seemed to have taken advantage of in deciding to choose Tanzania as a sanctuary, is based on the historical background of the two countries. The fact that some of the laws were inherited from the colonial administration and since there was no bilateral treaty on exchange of criminals, the extradition of Grant to India remained a matter of ‘probability’. Upon arrival in Tanzania, Grant opened three childrens’ centres in Kariakoo, Magomeni and Bagamoyo. After his arrest on August 30, 2004, two of the centers, in Kariakoo and Magomeni, were closed down.

Prof. Sospeter Muhongo of the Department of Geology at the University of Dar es Salaam has been elected the new Chairperson of the Scientific Board of UNESCO’s INTERNATIONAL GEO-SCIENCE PROGRAMME. Prof. Muhongo, who becomes the first scientist from a developing country to lead the global scientific Board, was also recently elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and by the Elsevier publishing company was appointed as one of the two editors-in-chief of the ‘Journal of African Earth Sciences.’ IGCP was established in 1972 as one of the five scientific programmes of UNESCO. It operates in about 150 countries involving several thousands of scientists and has funded more than 500 projects in all continents of the world.”

The ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (ZIFF) is planning a conference from July 1 to10 under the theme “Monsoons and Migration, unleashing dhow synergies”. ZIFF is inviting papers on such topics as immigration, cultures of tolerance and peace, Indian ocean cultures, maritime routes, trade and relationships, the Dhow Culture, the African diaspora in the Indian Ocean, and cultural diversity in Zanzibar. ZIFF does not have its own funds, but hopes to raise enough for local costs of the conference. It may not be able to help with airfares or accommodation. The organiser can be contacted at

Dar es Salaam is to have a Shs 20 billion BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM intended to severely restrict the use of cars in the city centre. The project will be financed by the World Bank, UNEP, USAID, and the City Council and will be planned and constructed by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy of New York, Logit Engenharia Consultiva of Brazil and Inter Consult of Tanzania. The architect is a former Mayor of Bogota who was quoted in the Guardian as saying that “The real objective is a city where it is nice to walk and ride a bicycle or sit on a plaza under a giant tropical tree.” The proposed system would provide the city with hundreds of kilometres of pedestrian streets lined with giant tropical trees, sports fields and thousands of kilometers of protected bicycle-ways. 160 to 200 passenger capacity buses would help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution at the city center.



Edited by John Cooper-Poole (UK) and Marion Doro (USA)

LORDS OF THE FLY: SLEEPING SICKNESS CONTROL IN BRITISH EAST AFRICA 1900-1960. Kirk Arden Hoppe. Westpoort (Connecticut), Praeger, 2003. ISBN 03250 71233. h/b 216pp. £37.99

In his book Lords of the Fly Hoppe looks primarily, but not exclusively, at the relationship between disease control and the exercise of power at various levels in colonial Uganda and Tanganyika.
In Uganda from 1903 and Tanganyika from the 1920s, the imperial government introduced measures aimed at curtailing the spread of sleeping sickness, which the author contextualises as part of Britain’s ‘civilising mission’ for the colonies. Underlying the apparent benign paternalism, however, lay less benevolent practices. The colonial regime introduced a number of coercive measures to tackle disease and eradicate the tsetse fly. Read the rest of this entry »



Edited by John Cooper-Poole (UK) and Marion Doro (USA)

MIMI & TOUTOU GO FORTH. Giles Foden) – ISBN 0718145550 – Penguin – pp320. £16.99.

At the start of World War 1, German Warships controlled Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa which was of great strategic value. In June 1915 a force of twenty-eight men were dispatched from Britain on a vast journey. Their orders were to take control of the lake. To reach it they had to haul two motorboats with the unlikely names Mimi and Toutou through the wilds of the Congo. This is their story.
Giles Foden has unearthed new German and African records to retell this most unlikely of true life tales. The twenty-eight men were a very strange bunch. One was addicted to Worcester sauce and would drink it as an aperitif, another was a former racing driver, but the strangest of them all was their commander, Geoffrey Spicer-Simson, who liked to wear a skirt and had tattoos all over his body. He was also determined to cover himself with glory. This is a classic tale of amateurism triumphing over disciplined opponents, which Giles Foden tells almost as if it was a novel, having had access to eyewitness accounts, which adds to this incredible true story.

David Holton Read the rest of this entry »



Editor – John Cooper-Poole


The origins of this remarkable biography lie in an invitation to the author from the Director of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, to transcribe the unpublished expedition diary of Keith Johnston, who was among the last of the European explorers of the classical period of African exploration. Only a small part of the book derives from that manuscript, however. The author obtained access to Johnston family papers, which provided insights into the formative years in Keith Johnston’s short life. Thereafter, the author sought out a range of archival sources shedding new light on the evolution of the family firm of Alexander Johnston, Keith’s father and one the most prestigious cartographic houses of the nineteenth century. The author also immersed himself in the literature of nineteenth-century African exploration. The result is a significant contribution, both to the history of nineteenth-century cartography and to the history of European penetration of Africa.

Although much the smaller part of the narrative, the part which will be of most interest to readers of Tanzanian Affairs will be the account of four months of preparation in Zanzibar in 1879, the trial safari to the Usambaras, before eventually setting off from Dar es Salaam southwest to Behobeho village on the banks of the Rufiji, where Johnston died of dysentery and was buried, with the expedition less than two months old. The slow progress of the expedition, the observations which were made and the many difficulties encountered are related from Johnston’s diary and from the records of his young and ultimately more famous assistant, Joseph Thomson. The tragic brevity of Johnston’s journey into what is now the Selous Game Reserve is emphasised by the short flight which the author himself made in 2001, in an unsuccessful attempt to locate Johnston’s grave. This was to be the last great expedition into Africa mounted by the Royal Geographical Society. At last, a part of it has been meticulously researched in its wider context, within a scholarly biography which is lucidly written and appropriately illustrated.

Jeffrey Stone

WOMEN STRIVING FOR SELF-RELIANCE: DIVERSITY OF FEMALE-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS IN TANZANIA AND THE LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES THEY EMPLOY. Anke van Vuuren 2003. Amsterdam University, Drukkerij Haan-Bedum. ISBN 090 5448 055 3. Available from African Studies Centre, P.O. Box 9555, 2300 Leiden, The Netherlands.

This book provides a detailed account of livelihood strategies of Nyamwezi female household heads in Ndala, Tabora, documenting the ways and means by which female-headed households manage to not only get by but even flourish. This bucks the view that female-headed households are necessarily marginalized relative to male-headed households. Interestingly, Van Vuuren found a very high incidence of female-headed households in Ndala, 42%, rather than the normal 20-33% one comes to expect in rural villages in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Van Vuuren refined the concept of household headship discerning four different forms of female headed-households. Besides the usual divorced, widowed or married women temporarily heading households by virtue of male migration, there was a relatively new category, the avowedly unmarried single female heads of households. This is a category that has been observed in urban settings for decades, but it has been rare in rural areas where women are generally made to feel that they should reside with a male ‘protector’ in the form of a father or husband.

Non-agricultural income diversification is central to the economic well-being of the female heads of household. Non-agricultural income diversification is very far advanced in Ndala generally with 96% of female-headed households’ income and 88% of male-headed households’ income coming from non-agricultural sources. Ndala is a settlement that is outgrowing its village origins, being the site of a Catholic mission hospital and school. The Mission complex offers salaried employment opportunities to a level quite unusual in the Tanzanian village context. The implication is that not only is salaried employment higher but the multiplier effects of such formal employment raises the level of informal sector opportunities for people. Hence Ndala has a higher than average level of non-agricultural income-earning.

Women have access to formal and informal employment and are choosing not to marry men – the new breed of female household heads. But would such a category exist in the absence of the Mission employment? Why are such women avoiding marriage to men? Men are largely invisible in this study. How are they reacting to this? And what do the missionaries think about this trend?

This is a pioneering study with surprising findings, opening the way for research elsewhere to ascertain if Ndala is an isolated case or part and parcel of a growing trend. It is readily evident that the author had very good rapport with her female informants and gleaned valuable insights into household emotional relationships and family finance. The book will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about Unywamwezi, Tanzanian female-headed households or general social trends in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Deborah Bryceson

By Gerhard Maier (2003). Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 380 pp. $49.95. ISBN 0-252-34214-7

Eastern Africa is today famed for its fossil human ancestors, the hominins, but few concerned with those stars of the palaeontological world may know of the earlier work in the region that produced huge quantities of those other famous and popular fossils, dinosaurs. In fact between 1907 and 1931, German and then later British research teams recovered some of the finest known specimens of large Jurassic dinosaurs at Tendaguru in what is now southeastern Tanzania. This fascinating book by Gerhard Maier interweaves the history of the discoveries and the later fate of the remains with the political events of the 20th Century, and in the process even underlines the links between the search for dinosaurs and human ancestors. That most famous of all African palaeontologists and archaeologists, the Kenyan-born Louis Leakey, then a Cambridge student, was originally invited to join a British Museum (Natural History) expedition to recover more dinosaurs from Tendaguru in 1923

While the British sought more specimens, in Berlin technicians were busy removing the huge bones from the plaster jackets in which they had been encased for transportation back to Germany before World War I. The logistics of such recovery from field to museum would tax even a modern expedition, and in the chaos of early 1920s Germany raising funds for the preparation of the material in the museum was an equally daunting task. But by the late 1920s whole skeletons had been reconstructed and numerous scientific papers published, and the importance of the material made clear to the scientific world and public alike. The material even survived the massive destruction of Berlin during World War II and the rather cavalier attitude to lending whole skeletons to overseas institutions under the German Democratic Republic, and to this day forms one of the centrepieces of the Berlin Natural History Museum.

Maier’s book details all of this in great (perhaps at times a little excessive) detail, and ends with a very good review of the interpretation of Jurassic dinosaurs and the significant contribution to this field of study made by the Tendaguru specimens. In doing so, he also gives a very impressive review of the history of fossil prospecting in eastern Africa as a whole during the first part of the 20th Century, and of the extreme conditions in which much of the work at Tendaguru and elsewhere had to be done. It puts the specimens that we palaeontologists now casually look at in museum collections into a very useful and at times frankly sobering context, and underlines the debt that we owe to those who recovered the material, often at the cost of their health or even their life.

Alan Turner

THE FORGOTTEN FRONT (The East African Campaign 1914-18), Ross Anderson, Tempus Publishing, ISBN 07522423444.pp.352, £25 hardback.

Ross Anderson’s earlier book The Battle of Tanga 1914 was reviewed in Tanzanian Affairs No. 77. He has now continued his scholarly account of the war in East Africa to its conclusion in November 1918.

Following the disastrous attack on Tanga in November 1914, Field Marshall Kitchener, The Secretary of State for War, was anxious to avoid further setbacks. He told the British Commander in 1915 “You are entirely mistaken in supposing that offensive operations are necessary”. While the Germans remained in firm control of their colony throughout 1915, the British had to be content with the sinking of the battle cruiser Konigsberg in the Rufiji delta.

The appointment of General Jan Smuts to command the British forces produced a dramatic change in the situation. The offensive he launched from Kenya in 1916, assisted by an attack by Belgian forces from the Congo, steadily forced the German army under Colonel von Lettow Vorbeck to withdraw. Dar es Salaam, Kilwa and Lindi were captured in September and in January 1917 Smuts announced that the campaign was more or less finished, with only “mopping up” left.

Unfortunately the Germans showed no signs of readiness to be “mopped up”. Von Lettow won several skirmishes against British forces (now mainly from Nigeria and the Gold Coast) and a separate column under Colonel Naumann roamed at will for eight months as far north as Moshi before being defeated near Dodoma. In November 1917 von Lettow avoided attempts to encircle him and slipped across the Ruvuma River into Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique). Finally he moved into Northern Rhodesia in October 1918, and only surrendered on 13th November after learning of the Armistice in Western Europe. As a mark of respect for his dogged resistance the British allowed the German officers to retain their swords when they were repatriated to Germany.

Anderson gives some fascinating glimpses into the complicated political maneuvering behind the military campaign. The Belgians from the Congo were determined to annex Rwanda and Burundi and made an important contribution to the fighting, with their troops operating as far south as Njombe and Mahenge. On the other hand, the Portuguese forces were totally inadequate and von Lettow regarded their outposts not as obstacles but as useful sources of food and ammunition. When the Portuguese commander was recalled to Lisbon in disgrace, the Portuguese Government imprisoned him for two months, while the British Government, in the interests of bilateral relations, made him a Commander of the Bath (CB).

The general reader, without a detailed knowledge of East African geography, might sometimes find it difficult to follow the intricacies of the bush fighting, particularly as Anderson uses German place names like Bismarckberg and Wiedhafen without giving their English equivalents. The index could also be rather fuller. But the book as a whole gives a comprehensive and definitive survey of the “Forgotten Front” and deserves to be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the military history of East Africa.

John Sankey


In his exploration of Burundian refugees in Lukole camp in northwest Tanzania, Turner argues that while confinement in the camp alienates refugees from national (i.e., Tanzanian) socio-political processes and rights, their role as aid recipients has brought them closer to the international community. This exposure has, through rumour and conspiracy, led to international factors being insinuated into refugees’ understanding of the roots of the conflict that has led to their displacement: Hutu refugees have positioned themselves as victims of a Tutsi plot endorsed and abetted by the international community (including Tanzania). Paradoxically, neither the refugees’ extra-national status nor their suspicions of international actors have undermined their faith in the nation state or in the international community’s ability to engender a peaceful future.

While borrowing heavily from post-modernists critiques of the nation-state and analytic divides between domestic and international affairs, Turner argues that these artificial constructs exert strong influence even among those most likely to question their ontological status. Turner supports his position through a review of how development and displacement provide the schematic foundations for national allegiances while drawing attention to ways in which everyday practices—rumor, economic exchange, displacement, and encampment—reproduce and naturalize refugees’ shared history and ethno-national divisions. Through this analysis, and a review of United Nations operations and refugees’ attitudes, he also counters facile charges that refugee camps serve as anomalous systems of governmentality removed from broader domestic trends and histories.

Although this is a significant analysis and contributes to restoring human agency to the displaced, one wonders if Turner has made too much of the rumours he encountered. There is little doubt that rumour and casual conversation are important in shaping refugees’ perspectives and, presumably, actions. Indeed, the way in which Hutu refugees relate Monica Lewinsky’s ‘seduction’ of Bill Clinton to the ways in which Tutsi women ostensibly elicited the allegiance of foreign powers is both comic and illustrates how all societies use familiar logics of causality, however specious, as metaphors for understanding the unknown. Similarly, Turner convincingly illustrates how Hutu refugees’ reliance on global conspiracy theories serves as a powerful (informal) tool for absolving domestic actors—including themselves—for their suffering. However, understanding the emergence of these conspiracies and their ontological power requires a broader analysis of the camps’ political structures. While rumor is a mechanism through which conspiracy theories take form, they do not adequately explain the interests and motivations behind them. That said, Turner is unlikely to dispute the need to situate these rumours within a broader socio-political and historical context, as indeed he tries to do. Rather, he would justifiably argue that this article is intended merely to draw attention to the ways in which rumor and sub-altern discourse can transfigure or, as in this case, fortify, the national order of things.

Loren B. Landau

AN AFFAIR WITH AFRICA Tanganyika Remembered. Donald Barton. Authors Online Ltd, 40 Castle Street, Hereford, SG14 1HR. ISBN 0 7552 0122 1. Pp xii. 260. p/b. Available from the author at Christophers, Powntley Close, Alton, Hants, GU34 4DL. Tel. 01256 862630. £11.50 plus £1.50 postage. The author will donate £1.50 to the Britain Tanzania Society for each copy bought direct from him.

Memoirs by former Colonial Service officers replete with tales of witchcraft and exciting encounters with wildlife are not uncommon, and probably fairly easy to write. In this case the author goes much further and tries to answer such questions as “yes, but what did these chaps actually do for their living, and why and how did they do it?”

Don Barton joined the Colonial Administrative Service in 1951 and after attending the First Devonshire Course at Oxford was posted to Tanganyika in 1952, where he served until 1961. During that time he had postings in Manyoni, Kondoa, Lindi and Masasi and finally Ukerewe.

The author’s feel for place results in vivid description, not just of views and sights, but of tastes and smells. That pervasive smell of bat droppings above ceilings, for example. He also shows us the day to day work of administration at District level, and the impetus which lay behind it, and gives a good insight into the diversity of matters with which young officers had to deal, including much which was routine or plain boring. This insight into the work of the young District Officer gives the book an historical value which such memoirs do not always have. The reproduction of the letter from Julius Nyerere to the author, and presumably other officers, begging them to stay on after independence would alone give the book an historical interest.

There are interesting insights into family life. Very special qualities were needed by the wives of colonial service officers. The early years of their marriages were marked by long separations and the difficulties of bringing up young children in remote places. A lot could (and should?) be written about the way they spent their time.

The book is well illustrated. There are interesting and relevant photographs and attractive drawings by Don and his daughter, Nicola, as well as maps.

The author was initially attracted to the idea of a Colonial Service career by reading Kenneth Bradley’s “Diary of a District Officer” at the age of sixteen. If there were still a Colonial Service this book would surely attract other youngsters to join it. As it is, it is a very enjoyable read, while being also a document of considerable historical interest. Thoroughly recommended.

J. C-P.

DHOWS AND THE COLONIAL ECONOMY OF ZANZIBAR 1860-1970. Oxford, James Currey. P/b viii+ 176 pp. ISBN 0 8214 1558 1. £15.95.

This is an interesting and pleasingly slim and accessible volume from a specialist East African Publisher, more often known for its longer and less penetrable works of scholarship. Erik Gilbert went to Tanzania to research a thesis on the effects of the caravan trade on nineteenth century farming. However, he came across supposedly extinct dhows being newly built, and decided that a much more interesting thesis topic would be to investigate the history of the dhow trade that had helped create an Indian Ocean world linking peoples and commodities from India, the Swahili coast, the Red Sea, Arabia and the Persian Gulf long before European steamers and officials arrived on the scene.

The “dhow trade” was to a large extent a creation of colonial ideas about modernity and tradition, Gilbert concludes, similar to Western constructs like “witchcraft”. It sat ill alongside the modernising and regulating tendencies of colonial rule, particularly after the dhow’s fateful association with the slave trade gave it pariah status. Colonial officials, and most subsequent historians, repeatedly characterised the dhow trade as “dying out”, yet it remained stubbornly alive. Though a new colonial economy based on steamships emerged in the later nineteenth century, the dhow trade survived, still essential in the carriage of goods around the Swahili coastal ports and linking the region to Arabia and India. Though Zanzibar ceased to be the capital of a commercial empire in the Western Indian Ocean, the dhow trade remained a prop to the local economy and critical to Zanzibar’s well-being. Under colonial rule dhows had been expected by the British to wither on the vine as steamships took over, and dhow owners were prevented from carrying the export crops that colonial governments hoped would underwrite the future, like cotton, coffee, and sisal. But mangrove poles, dried shark, coconuts and salt were still hugely important staples, and the dhow continued to ship them. Dhows even experienced a significant revival during the second world war because of the dearth of shipping.

The end of colonial rule brought new challenges for the dhow trade, as governments fervently embraced modernisation. In 1979, however, dhows still carried nearly 30 per cent of Zanzibar’s official cargo traffic.

This book will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in Zanzibar’s history, because its trading connections with a wide regional economy are so central to it.

Ashley Jackson


Beth-Elise Whitaker., “Refugees and the Spread of Conflict: Contrasting Cases in Central Africa.” Journal of Asian and African Studies. Vol. 38. #s 2-3, August 2003, pp. 211-231. Basic focus on the 1994 Rwandan refugee movements into eastern Congo as well as into western Tanzania, the first of which contributed to the outbreak of war in 1996 and 1998, while the Tanzanian experience was relatively peaceful.

Jim Igoe. “Scaling Up Civil Society: Donor Money, NGOs and the Pastoralist Land Rights Movement in Tanzania.” Development and Change. Vol. 34. #5, November 2002, pp. 863-885. Traces the complex evolution of traditional grazing land rights and the registration of pastoralist NGOs as the process moved through traditional cultural institutions to modern structures; donor funding greatly influenced institutional behavior and outcomes.

Birgit Brock-Utne. “The Language Question in Africa in the Light of Globalisation, Social Justice and Democracy.” International Journal of Peace Studies. Vol. 8. #2, Autumn-Winter 2003, pp. 67-87. Focus on use of European languages in Tanzanian and South African institutions, noting conflicting trends that support globalization and the capitalist market economy as opposed to democratic patterns of behavior and social justice.

Siri Gloppen. “The Accountability Function of the Courts in Tanzania and Zambia.” Democratization. Vol. 10. #4, Winter 2003, pp.112-136. The courts in both Tanzania and Zambia tend to restrain their judicial authority to hold government accountable because the legal culture, the institutional structure, and the social legitimacy of the courts serve to minimize their willingness to challenge the executive.

Marion Doro


McCabe, J.T. Sustainability and livlihood diversification among the Maasai of Northern Tanzania. Human Organisation, 62(2), 2003, pp100-11.

Maoulidi, Salma. The Sahiba Sisters Foundation in Tanzania: meeting organisational and community needs. Development, 46(4), 2003 pp.85-92.

Mercer, C. Performing partnership: civil society and the illusions of good governance in Tanzania. Political Geography, 27(7), 2003, pp. 741-63.

Stiles, Erin E. When is a divorce a divorce? Determining intention in Zanzibar’s Islamic Courts. Ethnology, 42(4), 2003, pp. 19-30.

Bonu, S., Rani, M. and Bishai, D. Using unwillingness to pay to investigate regressiveness of user fees in health facilities in Tanzania. Health Policy and Planning, 18(3), 2003, pp. 370-82.



URBAN LIFE AND STREET CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Children’s Accounts of Urban Hardships and Violence in Tanzania. Joe L.P. Lugalla and Colleta G. Kibassa. Lit Verlag Munster, 2003, ISBN 3-8258-6690-4. 158 pages.
This is not a feel-good read. It is a serious research effort. The authors have five objectives: 1) identify the factors which generate and perpetuate the increasing number of street children; 2) understand the socio-economic background of these children; 3) explore basic daily needs and how they are met; 4) identify problems confronted and how the children surmount them; and, 5) assess how street life impacts the children’s behavior and health, and how they vary by gender. There are 10 Chapters.
The authors point out that the problem has been rife in other parts of the world for decades and ask why it only appeared in Tanzania in the ‘80’s The conclusion given later that the problem can “only be understood within the context of Tanzania’s political economy”, a result of the SAPs (Structural Adjustment Programs) designed to get the economy on track (from 1986), was trashed by their later statement that “this is happening in a country with a serious HIV/AIDS epidemic”, which results in orphans. This is mentioned now because it is an important point that was not convincingly addressed. There have always been poverty, famines, cruel step-parents, and hardships. Why, from the mid-80’s, did this result in children leaving their homes and relatives and living on the street? As pointed out by the authors themselves, officials see the children as hooligans, vagabonds, and criminals. Policies deal with symptoms rather than causes because the government is ignorant about the nature of the problem. “There have been no (italics authors) attempts to establish in-depth and systematic studies aimed at understanding these children…” In other words, there simply isn’t enough researched information on which to make a useful policy to help them.
This book is a good start. However, its funding from a private source (Guggenheim) points out another problem facing those dealing with street children/orphans (once mentioned, orphans were inseparable from the problem): chronic underfunding for day-to-day problems of food, let alone esoteric research for future alleviation.
Who will pay? Chapter Nine, The Civil Society and the Welfare of Street Children suggests everyone will, if this generation continues to be marginalized and criminalized. And buried. There is a term for prostitution: Survival Sex, but the authors called it “Death Sex”, because of the almost certain result of HIV/AIDS infection. In one street child’s own words, “We are not living! We are dead already.”. The NGO’s helping are doing a commendable job on a shoestring, securing life (read food, medication, education) for the children they deal with. But they are chronically understaffed, undertrained, underfunded, and inexperienced. And again, they deal with symptoms. Not one has designed an appropriate strategy for alleviation of poverty at the community level. Most started as drop-in shelters, and grew into “rescue centers”, but that proved to cause even more problems, as the children become institutionalized, and caretakers see a chance to avoid doing what they can. There are simply too many children in difficult circumstances today. (This is where the HIV/AIDS question comes into big play.) Reunification requires an enormous amount of backup. (Refer to “chronically understaffed…) Help within the community, advocacy and campaigning for children’s rights, makes the communities aware of the effect of abuse and harassment experienced by children. The authors say the NGO’s do a commendable job taking into account that the government has been silent in so far as helping street children is concerned. Also, NGO’s are too few to absorb the children in difficult circumstances. It was suggested NGO’s need to coordinate their efforts, and obtain sustainable and consistent funding. They also need to look into ways of promoting social development, alleviating poverty, and stopping social inequality.
There are several valuable tables and figures, including ones about age and sex, sources of income, narcotic drug use (a very dangerous new addition to the lives of street children), and a very interesting one on Distribution of Poverty by Education Level of the Household Head. That one alone justifies every effort to educate our children.
Chapter Five, Ethnographic Narratives of Urban Hardships and Violence, is a must read. You hear the voice of the children talking of their lives and their stark realities, the nightmare of every parent or guardian.
Chapter 10 has serious recommendations for long-term policies and poverty alleviation. Education and health infrastructure must be strengthened to bear the weight of these children. Community awareness and responsibility must be encouraged, as well as promotion of children’s rights through legislation.
The last conclusion offered by the authors states political will and commitment of the government, accompanied by people’s willingness and commitment will resolve the problem if all of us play our part.

Nancy Macha

TUTAFIKA: IMAGINING OUR FUTURE – TANZANIA. Society for International Development, Tanzania Chapter, P.O. Box 79540, Dar-es-Salaam. Foreword by Juma V. Mwapachu. Pp.40.
This booklet describes itself as a wake up call. Wake up for what? Reflecting on the past and forecasting the future is a natural thing to do for any thinking person; this is applied to three scenarios of the short and medium term future of Tanzania. These are termed in Kiswahili:
Yale: As it was (Central Government as it stands now)
Mibaka Uchumi: Those who grab the wealth (rapid privatisation with wealth and decision-making in a few hands)
Amka Kumekucha: Wake up, it’s dawn (formation of a
Federal Republic)
In recent years rapid changes in Tanzania have included:
* Liberalisation of the economy.
* The multi-party system
* Privatisation of state owned corporations
* Rapid foreign investment alongside decrease in donor support, especially to Government
* Urban economic growth with widening income distribution
Since 1963, Tanzania has emphasised the unity between the mainland and the Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. This has been of great significance for continued peace, but in recent years it has been the source of political tension as recent positions taken by the CUF which is anti-Christian and anti-West indicate. If this party gets the dominant vote in Zanzibar in the 2005 elections, under the present constitution, it is likely to fill the office of presidency of Zanzibar, which will lead to also the mainland presidency.
This booklet must be read in this context. The CCM party has led the nation to this present time. But it has been slowly losing its majority especially in Zanzibar where the influence of Islam and the Arab states is perceived to threaten Tanzanian unity. Zanzibar has been under pressure from the Arab world to break away from this union. Similar advice is also growing in the mainland especially in the coastal regions.
There is also rivalry between those who distinguish non-ethnic from ethnic Tanzanians (Wazawa) and want to exclude the former from various privileges such as bidding in the new privatisation programme. On the other hand there are those, such as the contributors to this booklet, who are against any form of discrimination. They would like to see a multi-ethnic Tanzania including the Zanzibari; they, therefore, are against separation of the mainland from Zanzibar.
The cover picture of the book illustrates the heart of the matter i.e. election and democracy. As the economy continues to move more towards favouring the few who control the wealth (mibaka uchumi), electioneering continues to be based less on policies and democracy, but rather on who controls money and influence. This makes the country increasingly unstable during the election period. This causes people to wonder where the nation is going (Yale yale) i.e. continuing with its past, where those who held political and economic power were foreigners, prompting the questions: Who are we? Where are we going? (P.12).
Alternatively, there is the possibility of radical change – Amka Kumekucha. This says that the country cannot remain as it is, and we cannot go back to the past, but we ought to move on. Specially, the suggestion is to form a federal government, which will join all the present regions into five provinces. The idea is to strengthen regional unity, in order to hold Zanzibar into the framework at this level.
Amka Kumekucha’s main objective is to uphold the national unity between the mainland and Zanzibar. Zanzibar continues to fall under the CUF, supported and funded by the Muslim world with an option of breaking the Union. Amka Kumekucha is trying to prevent this by increasing support for a Federation Government. The elections to provincial government will be held at regional level, while representation in parliament will be determined at provincial level. This will help to keep Zanzibar in the Federation because it will be politically and economically directly administered and linked to other regions in its province. With fewer people supporting CUF on the mainland regions of eastern province, it will help drop its threatening majority in the Island as it stands now.
The danger may come if there is disunity within the federal government or if one province becomes too strong (especially those next to the country’s borders), and seeks to move out of the Federation. It is very unlikely if the details of a new constitution will consider this before hand. It would be less dangerous if provinces were given limited autonomy e.g. with provincial executive councils rather than elected bodies. The experience of decentralisation in the period 1972-82 also supports this, as the semi-autonomous RIDEPs (regional programmes) had the effect of arbitrarily widening growth rates between the regions. Overall, the provincial scheme proposed in the third section of the booklet needs more careful assessment, if the major political and economic risks are to be minimised. Similarly, little attention seems to have been given towards the role of civil society especially faith based organisations such as churches and mosques, considering the reduction of state involvement in providing livelihood and welfare generating activities.

John Madinda and Deryke Belshaw

SWAHILI FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED. Peter Moore. Bantam Books. ISBN 0553814524 – £6.99.
Peter Moore follows the fabled Cape Town to Cairo route by any means possible, and this is an account of his adventures. We follow Peter’s hilarious travels through South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania which he enters through Mbeya. He then catches the Train to Dar es Salaam. His descriptions of the landscape are superb and he encounters a lot of characters on the way. Peter takes us around Dar which is a place he likes, and visits some familiar landmarks and some not so familiar – like the T &M beauty salon & internet cafe! After a detour to Zanzibar, he heads north to climb Kilimanjaro. Wearing a pink fleece and using the route from Marangu our intrepid traveller sets out to conquer the highest mountain in Africa, but after an eventful climb told in his inimitable style, he fails – along with 80% of those who attempt it. He then continues north and finishes his journey in Cairo with lots more incidents on the way. Peter’s dry wit and observation make this a very enjoyable book.
David Holton

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION IN TANZANIA. THE VOICES OF WORKERS’ REPRESENTATIVES. Samuel E. Chambua 2002 Dar es Salaam, DUP. ISBN 9976603630. Distributed in U.K. by African Books Collective, 27 Park End Street, Oxford.
This book is the product of a five year research project – African Workers’ Participation Development Programme – executed by the Institute of Development Studies (University of Dar es Salaam). The research project was based in a series of survey questionnaires, delivered to workers’ representatives at various levels of the Organisation of Tanzanian Trade Unions. As a result, the book is very rich in empirical survey information: no less than 59 Tables and Boxes in less than 200 pages.
Chambua covers a great deal of ground. The book begins with a discussion of labour politics in comparative perspective. The argument here is that workers’ participation is a key property of developed capitalist societies, and is therefore not merely to be associated with ‘socialism’. The point drawn from this argument is that the appropriate participation of labour can improve the developmental or economic effects of structural adjustment. Thus, a scene is set in which Chambua aims to understand participation in order to make it work more effectively for Tanzania’s neoliberal programme. The second chapter gives an interesting history of labour organisation in Tanzania, largely following a series of legislative changes. Chambua emphasises the cloying corporatism of the single party period, although he does identify a limited space for autonomous worker politics in the Workers Committees until 1975 when they were banned.
Chapter three provides a case study of Morogoro Canvas Mills (MCM) which raises some interesting issues concerning the performance of this foreign-managed factory and the workers’ participation in decision-making. In keeping with the Presidential Circular (1970), at MCM, workers participation was largely conceived as a way to make firms more productive. As a result, participation was a means to an end, not an end in itself, which set limits to the quality and extent of participation: at best participation as good labour relations and at worst, as ‘lip service’ (page 55).
By and large, this tension is not investigated in subsequent chapters. ‘Participation’ as a concept works to externalise a wider variety of issues pertaining to labour politics in preference to a liberal model of labour relations in which astute labour management can make workers feel ‘valued’ and more productive. As a result, Chapters four to seven are largely ‘problem solving’ in their tone: how to make participation work better and in everyone’s interests. These chapters give a wealth of statistical detail concerning labour representatives’ views on information management, social provision, wage levels, training and other specifics. These all feed into a case study of the general strike in the turbulent year of 1994.
Not a great deal has been written about formal labour politics in Tanzania. As a result, Chambua’s book is valuable to those interested in the institutional dynamics of labour union politics. But, the book has such a wealth of questionnaire results to relate that it stops short of a fully political analysis. There are no passages in which one can get a sense of workers’ voices: the ‘moral economy’ of the workplace; the constructions of worker collectivity/identity and employers as ‘bosses’ or ‘managers’; the strategies that workers employ to bend jobs to their own preferences – ‘weapons of the weak’, are not considered. This is most apparent in the chapter on women in decision-making. The analysis is rather bloodless in that no women’s voices are heard, no application of concepts of gender analysis are brought in, and the principal conclusion is that women need to be ‘more confident’ which, intuitively to this reader, sounds rather like blaming the victim. The point that women lack confidence, even if related by a general survey, should be a place to start a critical analysis, not the place to conclude.
The book concludes with a sensible statement concerning the way forward for labour unions with a view to enhanced participation. Here, it appears that Chambua’s analysis fits well with the reformulation of structural adjustment as a Comprehensive Development Framework, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and so on. Chambua ends with an entreaty to ensure that foreign large-scale capital does not prevail in Tanzania and that labour constitutes a keystone of Tanzanian civil society in the face of predatory globalisation.

Graham Harrison

LEADERSHIP, CIVIL SOCIETY AND DEMOCRATISATION IN AFRICA: Case Studies from Eastern Africa. Abdalla Bujra and Said Adejumobi, editors. Development Policy Management Forum, UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2002. Distributed by African Books Collective.
This edited volume contains four case studies of the role of civil society organisations in the democratisation processes in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, each of which is concerned with the organization’s location, history, size and structure, mission, and relationship with the state. Its special focus on civil society is designed to emphasize the capacity of the organization to act as an independent center of power, and consequently effectively participate in the political process. Chachage Seithy analysis of “Leadership in the Civil Society in Tanzania” is exceptionally interesting reading because the author develops a careful context that includes an historical overview of the concept as it evolved during the colonial and post-colonial periods with a focus on economic aspects which seemed to characterize both eras. NGOs gradually emerged in the post-socialist era as responses to societal needs which the government failed to meet; they tended to be non-political, rather than either liberal or conservative. This chapter includes two case studies. The first analyzes – dissects is probably a better description – the Association of Journalists and Media Workers (AJM) when independent newspapers began to emerge in the late 1980s. Given the media’s opportunities to take issue with the newly evolved non-socialist government it failed to take issue with various political policies, not so much because it feared government retaliation but rather because it feared loss of readership and profits. Rather than take a proactive approach to government policies the media tended to be reactive and indirectly pro-government. The second case study focuses on the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP) whose “vision and mission … stood for the interests of the less privileged and marginalized ….” (p.164) Organized in 1992 it gradually became an ‘umbrella’ organization for various groups dealing with women’s needs, extending from education, training, and advocacy to awareness raising, and evolving as a pressure group exerting a positive influence on the government. In effect, it has become a social movement, promoting positive and beneficial policies for women at local, regional, and national levels. The contrast between the two types of NGOs could not be more telling. A recent journal article – Jyotika Ramagrasad, The Private and Government Sides of Tanzanian Journalists, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 8, 1, Winter 2003, 8-26 – notes that the private media’s recent approach has been to exercise its freedom in a “sensationalistic and unethical manner”, which suggests that journalists have not yet utilized their independence in a manner comparable to the TGNP’s constructive approach to society’s needs.

Marion Doro

TELLING OUR OWN STORIES: LOCAL HISTORIES FROM SOUTH MARA, Tanzania. Shelter, Jan Bender. Brill, 2003. 334p bibl index (African sources for African history, 4) ISBN 9-00-412625-2 pbk, $31.00.
The Mara region of Tanzania, known mainly for its Serengeti National Park, is squarely placed in the center of the human cultural landscape by this book on the area’s precolonial history and social structure. The authors of the individual texts comprising this volume are the local residents themselves, usually male elders, who dictated their historical knowledge in one of the local languages to a now literate younger generation, who then transcribed the accounts into Swahili. (All participants are identified by name and photograph.) These texts in turn are faithfully translated into English by Shelter (Goshen College), who also provides an informative social and historical context for these indigenous accounts of the past, demonstrating that these peoples had both greater local identities and regional similarities than admitted to by the colonial regime, which transformed them into a series of manageable “tribes” for administrative purposes. This exquisite cultural portrait of the area and its peoples was clearly an intensive intellectual labor of love for all concerned. The result belongs in every library of higher education.
Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association.

THE UNIQUE FOREST BIRDS OF THE USAMBARAS. Lecture given by Dr William Newmark of the Utah Museum of Natural History at the Royal Geographic Society in November 2003.
Across the globe there are twenty five ‘Tropical Bio Hotspots’. Within these hotspots are the vast majority of the Earth’s threatened species. One such Hotspot is situated within the East Usambara Mountains, at an altitude of 1000 – 2500 metres. For the past sixteen years this area has been under close examination by Bill, who has built up a well organised system to monitor and analyse the delicate ecosystem.
His research, primarily focused on birds, has revealed this area of Tanzania, which covers 6/10ths of 1% of its land surface, is home to unique species of Sun Birds, Fly Catchers, Waxbills and Broadbills to name just a few! What’s all the more interesting is through netting and tracking the birds, Bill has found that 80% of them don’t venture more than 400 meters from where they were netted. This shows their strong dependence on their local forest area, and helps explain why small disturbances in the forest have a big impact on this rare bird population.
The current threat to this sensitive ecosystem is gold mining, which brings with it people and the demand for fuel wood. Bill’s simple message: to prevent further damage “Don’t fragment the forest!” In fact he has gone one stage better and agreed with the Government to reconnect large blocks of the forest and create a Wildlife Corridor, which will start taking shape when sufficient funds are achieved.
Bill uses both local villagers and volunteers in his research. The volunteers are arranged through Earthwatch. If you are interested in volunteering you can contact it at: or info[AT]earthwatch[DOT]org[DOT]uk.

Peter Leonhardt


As Plato duly warned: music politics and social change in East Africa. K M Askew. Anthropological Quarterly. 76 (4). 2003.

Poverty and wealth at the rural-urban interface: an actor-centred perspective from northern Tanzania. J Baker and H Wallevik, Environment and Urbanisation, 15 (2), 2003. Pps 8.

‘Brothers by Day': Colonial policing in Dar es Salaam under British rule, 1919 – 61. A Burton. Urban History, 30 (1), 2003. Pps 28.

Reconsidering Witchcraft: post-colonial Africa and analytic uncertainties, Ihanzu, Tanzania. T Sanders. American Anthropologist, 105 (2), 2003. 14 pages

Cultural interpretations of an emerging problem: blood pressure in Dar es Salaam. H Strahl. Anthropology and Medicine, 10 (2), 2003. 24 pages

Urban health in daily practice: livelihood, vulnerability and resilience in Dar es Salaam. Anthropology and Medicine, 10 (3).




IMPORTANT BIRD AREAS IN TANZANIA: A FIRST INVENTORY. Neil & Elizabeth Baker. Published by Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania, 2002. ISBN 9987-558-04-6. £30. Available from The RSPB, International Division, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG 19 2DL

Many years of desk and fieldwork have culminated in the publication of this monumental work -a milestone in the history of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania and for bird conservation in Tanzania. For many years, the spectacular mammal wealth of Tanzania has overshadowed the very rich bird fauna of 1000+ species including some notable ones found nowhere else in the world. Using a clear and concise set of internationally agreed criteria developed by World Conservation Union and BirdLife International, all the known information about birds in Tanzania has been analysed in a systematic way to come up with a set of 80 Important Bird Areas (IBAs). These sites are judged (on the basis of the information currently available) to be the most important places in Tanzania for globally threatened birds i.e. those species that are considered most at risk of extinction in the near future.

The book starts with some introductory sections summarising ornithology in Tanzania, the importance of the country for bird conservation, the IBA process, what conservation activities are currently take place; it describes different types of protected areas and lists the most important conservation issues.

The bulk of the book is of course, the IBA site accounts. A vast amount of information (up to 4 pages per site) is nicely presented. For each IBA, there is a sizeable map, a site description, bird information with key species highlighted in a table, a section on other threatened/endemic wildlife, conservation issues affecting the site, ideas for future action as well as a list references/further reading.

The authors have been helped in their work by many dozens of people both resident in Tanzania (these are acknowledged in the book) and from outside Tanzania who contributed a lot of information to the IBA project. Together, they represent a huge amount of knowledge about Tanzanian birds. This knowledge base is obvious to anyone reading many of the site accounts.

Many of the IBAs in Tanzania are already protected within the existing protected areas network but a few are totally unprotected. Amongst these, perhaps the most important are the Kitulo Plateau and Usangu Floodplain in Southern Tanzania and the Wembere Floodplain/Lake Kitangire/Lake Eyasi complex in the Eastern Rift Valley.

The book will have many uses. It will be used by local, national and international decision makers to guide planning and conservation work. It may be used by bird watching tourists to get information on some of the best sites for birds in Tanzania. It should be used by protected area managers to inform their management plans. It will form the basis of IBA site-protection groups as have already been started in neighbouring Kenya following publication of their own IBA book in 1999.

The authors have done an excellent job of bringing a mass of information together and presenting it to the world, but, as they say, this should be seen as a first step. Tanzania is a vast country and some areas are very poorly studied. The writing of the book (and the Tanzania Bird Atlas project, which the authors have been running for nearly 20 years), has highlighted the gaps. They are also at pains to highlight that if further conservation action does not follow from the publication of the book, their work will have been in vain. Much of the information given in the book is accessible via the BirdLife International website ( and following the links in the datazone tab.
Zul Bhatia

THE BATTLE OF TANGA 1914. Ross Anderson. Tempus Publishing ISBN 0752423495. Pp. 158. £16.99. p/b.

ARMIES IN EAST AFRICA 1914-18. Peter Abbott. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1 84176 4892. Pp 48. £8.99. Available from PO box 140, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 2FA, U.K.

The conflict in German East Africa in the First World War has become widely known from films like The Africa Queen and William Boyd’s novel The Ice Cream War. These two paperbacks will be of interest to those who would like to know the real facts behind the legends. Ross Anderson’s scholarly publication concentrates on the disastrous British expedition to capture Tanga in November 1914. The plan was not in itself unsound -a seaborne assault by an expeditionary force sent from India, while the King’s African Rifles (KAR) diverted the main German forces under the control of Col. Paul von Lettow Vorbeck. Unfortunately, the disembarkation of the inexperienced Indian Army troops at Tanga was a shambles, and morale was further lowered when they met unexpected resistance from a small force of Schutztruppe (the German equivalent of the KAR). Heavily outnumbered, the Germans withdrew from the town under cover of darkness, but the British Force Commander, General Arthur Aitken, failed to send out patrols and did not realise that the town was undefended. Von Lettow now acted swiftly and rushed the bulk of his forces from Moshi to Tanga by rail. The Royal North Lancashire Regiment suffered severe casualties and some of the Indian units panicked and fled to the rear. In the face of stiff German resistance and with unreliable troops, General Aitken decided that the situation was untenable and ordered the expedition’s withdrawal. Von Lettow could hardly believe his good fortune -his 1500 men had defeated an Anglo-Indian force of over 9000. Aitken left East Africa in disgrace and was given no further command.

Peter Abbot’s Armies in East Africa 1914-18 is primarily intended for those interested in regimental history, uniform and equipment. There are eight attractive full-page colour plates showing the British, Indian, South African, Belgian, Portuguese and German units involved in the fighting. The book has a useful potted history of the whole East Africa campaign, covering the allied offensives in 1915116 and the incredible trek by von Lettow through Tanganyika and Mozambique until his final surrender in Northern Rhodesia.
John Sankey


The author examines two different means of holding people to account, namely:
(1) The practice of ritual ‘breaking a pot’ which is a powerful form of curse in the Mount Meru area of northen Tanzania, and (2) Local government audit, a practice that is currently being reinforced as part of local government reform under foreign donor support of ‘good governance’, at both local and central government levels. Superficially, the two practices appear to have little similarity, but the author suggests that the two accounting systems have more in common than might be supposed. He asserts that both practices are forms of verification, aimed at disclosing truth and bringing retribution for misconduct in order to attain accountability on the part of those responsible.

The author attempts to compare the indigenous (pot breaking) and imported (rational) mechanisms for holding people to account, both of which are currently in use in Arumeru District, and concludes that the two systems neither fit neatly into an ‘irrational/rational’ scheme nor could they conceptually be seen to complement or substitute each other in local government audit. He has also cited several field cases based on interviews of informants’ testimonies of people who, after ritual breaking of pots, had suffered some calamity (usually death) as a result of being linked, by action or by kin, with some kind of social transgression. Further evidence is presented of people who had confessed to transgressions and paid compensation to plaintiffs for fear of the effects of the pot, which can be construed as empirical evidence that the procedure of breaking pots is successful in holding people to account for their actions. Whether it is successful solely because of its pyschological impact upon individuals who believe in its efficacy is difficult to say. However, the author has not been able to rationalise the mystical powers of the pot.

Before a pot is broken, a notice of intent must be posted some weeks prior to the actual ceremony. Clan elders will normally give their consent to break a pot only if they are satisfied that other channels of dispute resolution, e.g. normal clan fora, the police and the courts, have been exhausted. In other words, pot breaking is undertaken as a last resort. Given that the pot is believed to be so powerful, elders are reluctant to allow it to be used without good cause. To break a pot, it is also necessary to obtain a permit from ward or village government. When a threat is made to break a pot, there is an opportunity for reparations to be made. Fearing the pot’s lethal effects, which may affect an individual culprit or the culprit’s clan, many offenders either expose themselves or are exposed by kinsmen. Confession is followed by appropriate reparation as may be decided by the village authority, after which the dispute is resolved.

Then the author analyses the procedures of local government audit and suggests the idea behind audit is scientifically familiar in so far as it relies on sampling techniques to provide a picture of reality. However, accounting remains vulnerable to error, or subversion. At present, auditors are not highly trusted, not only because the methods they use are not understood by most Tanzanians but because it is rightly or wrongly assumed that auditors can be, and are frequently bribed. Arumeru people interviewed by the author showed more faith in the pot than they did in modem systems of financial accountability. They mistrusted accountants and auditors, just as they did the entire system of government. The second reason for mistrust relates to shortage of competent accountants. Until this situation changes, some audits are likely to lack thoroughness and credibility. Thirdly, more often than not, annual audit reports by the Government Comptroller and Auditor General in Tanzania point out serious irregularities which are the responsibility of others to investigate, e.g. police, anti-corruption bureau, and Parliament. Sadly no serious effort has been taken to find out the culprits and punish them. Observers of this indifference to deal with suspected cases of theft, embezzlement and corruption have cynically attributed such inaction to lack of will on the part of politicians, some of whom may be implicated in corruption. Some adverse audit reports resulted in court prosecutions (with few convictions), some transfers or retirements and some no action at all.

In view of this, the way in which modem audit technology, when combined with other institutions of government, leads to accountable outcomes is in some ways more mysterious than the ritual of pot breaking. Modern audit technology does not instil the same fear in suspected culprits, given that the consequent punishment is by far less severe than that associated with pot breaking. Whereas pot breaking is directed at specific individuals and their kin who believe in the mystical powers of the pot, modern audit technology is far less feared by culprits, given the relatively benign consequences of being found guilty. Besides, it is against Government of Tanzania Law to condone mystical powers/witchcraft as a means of extracting confession from suspected citizens. On the other hand, it is unlikely that many auditors and accountants outside of Arumeru District believe in the power of the pot even if they were subjected to it. In the final analysis modern accounting technology has to be adopted at all levels of government. Irrational folklore should have no place in accounting of public funds.
Augustine Macha

THE LANGUAGES OF TANZANIA: A BIBLIOGRAPHY (Orientalia et Africana Gothoburgenisa No.17). Jouni Filip Maho & Bonny Sands. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, G6teborg, 2002. ix & 428pp (paperback). ISBN 91-7346-454-6. Swedish Krona 300 (approx. £23.20: information on ordering can be found at

Tanzania is blessed with an abundance and variety of languages. It is the only country in Africa which can claim to host all four of the continent’s major language families -Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan and Khoisan. The Niger-Congo phylum is represented by more than 100 Bantu languages (as commonly defined), including the national language and lingua franca Swahili. Afroasiatic and Nilo-Saharan are represented by a small number of Cushitic and Nilotic languages respectively: the most widely spoken of these is Eastern Nilotic Maa, the language of the Maasai. One click language, Sandawe, is generally thought to be related to the Khoisan languages of southern Africa. Tanzania’s other click language, Hadza, is a fascinating isolate whose genetic affiliation remains undetermined.

For many years the best guide to the literature on Tanzania’s indigenous languages was the second edition of W. H. Whiteley and A. E. Gutkind’s A
Linguistic Bibliography of East Africa, published in 1958. This practical volume was produced with screws holding the cover boards in place, a loose­leaf format intended to facilitate the insertion of supplementary material. If this didn’t get across the message that there was still linguistic work to be done, then the many pages in the Tanganyika section with little more than a language name printed on them should have done so. It wasn’t until the 1970s that researchers began to make significant progress in filling in some of the gaps. Edgar Polome’s overview of ‘The Languages of Tanzania’ (1980) provided a bibliographic update and record of obscure manuscripts and other items that Whiteley and Gutkind had missed. And there matters largely stood still, though researchers continued to gather and (less frequently) publish material on Tanzania’s languages and dialects.

Maho and Sands’ book, has finally provided us with the rich bibliographic resource that Tanzanian languages deserve. An explanatory ‘Introduction’ is followed by a section listing ‘General Reference Works’. This is followed by sections headed ‘Asian Languages’, ‘Bantu Languages (Excluding Swahili)’, ‘(South) Cushitic Languages’, ‘Khoesan Languages’ (= Khoisan, including both Sandawe and Hadza for convenience), ‘Nilotic Languages’ and finally ‘Other Languages’, a residual category which includes English and Tanzanian Sign Language. Each language heading includes some general information (a map showing its location, the estimated number of speakers, and alternative language or dialect names), followed by the references themselves, which are split into two categories, primary descriptive works and other, assorted, materials. There are two indexes at the end of the book: one listing language names and the other listing authors. The volume as a whole is well produced, though many libraries will want to bind their copies with hard covers.

The only major omission from the bibliography is Swahili: as the authors explain the literature on this language is so voluminous that it would require a volume of its own. No attempt has been made to include literature in local languages, for example vernacular religious and educational texts: to do this properly would require specialised research in libraries and institutions both within and outside of Tanzania. These omissions are well justified. To make up for them the bibliography provides a number of bonuses. As should be evident from the summary of its contents, The Languages of Tanzania includes both indigenous and introduced languages. It also includes many references which are non-linguistic, but provide general historical and ethnographic information.

This makes it an excellent resource for anyone interested in Tanzania’s different linguistic communities, as well as providing specialised linguists with the opportunity to gain a wider perspective on the peoples they are studying. And the references themselves are both thorough (including, for example, page counts where these are known) and in some cases helpfully annotated. The authors have also set up a web appendix to the bibliography, listing relevant web links (at

Specialists will find plenty to quibble about: language names misspelled, dialects omitted, references missing … But this is inevitable with an undertaking of this size and complexity, and the authors are to be congratulated on the work they have done. Research currently underway on Tanzanian languages -for example by SIL Tanzania teams in the field, and by the Goteborg-supported Languages of Tanzania (LOT) project in the University of Dar es Salaam ­means that the new bibliography will soon need updating anyway. Let’s hope then that this is only the first edition of many, and that Maho and Sands can be persuaded to periodically update and improve their bibliography. In 1958 Whiteley and Gutkind gave us loose leaves and detachable boards and plenty of blank spaces: now we have their electronic equivalents and better technology to process an admittedly greater volume of information. Meanwhile, the paper edition that is currently available can be highly recommended.
Martin Walsh

HIGHER EDUCATION IN TANZANIA: A Case Study. Daniel Mkude, Brian Cooksey & Lisbeth Levey. lames Currey: Oxford, Mkuki wa Nyota: Dar es Salaam 2003. 114pp. £9.95 (pb).

This book, part of a series on ‘The Partnership for Higher Education in Africa’, sponsored by four V.S. foundations, is designed to share information about higher education in Africa and promote supportive measures in research and collaboration. It offers historical background, extensive evidence about the goals and accomplishments of Institutional Transformation Programmes, the financial strategies, economic trends and legal policies that affect the system. In view of the broad generalizations -and minimal attention to the early influence of socialism and current political-economic realities –the goals it envisions seem quite ambitious.

Perhaps more realistic is a recent Oxfam report: Debt for Poverty Reduction: The case of education in Tanzania. which, among other things, explores the country’s Basic Education Master Plan (BEMP). An equally realistic account can be found in America, January 2003, vI88, Of Many Things, George M. Anderson’s interview with officials of the St. Augustine University near Mwanza. The clergy note the extent to which poverty and the H.I.V.-AIDS factor adversely affect access to education, and the minimal advantages produced by recent World Bank and IMF debt reduction policies.

Frances Katherine Vavrus, Desire and Decline: Schooling Amid Crisis in Tanzania. New York: P. Lang, 168 p., 2003. Claire Mercer, Performing Partnership: Civil Society and the Illusions of Good Governance in Tanzania, Political Geography, v. 22, no. 7 (September 2003), p. 741-63. Explores consequences of recent efforts by the IMF, World Bank, and international donors to promote “good governance” in the face of debt problems.

Jyotika Ramaprasad, The Private and Government Sides of Tanzanian Journalists. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, v. 8., no. 1 Winter 2003. p 8-26.

Poverty Alleviation in Tanzania. Milton Makongoro Mahanga. Dar es Salaam University Press. ISBN 9976603436. P/b. £18.95. Distributed by African Books Collective, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl IHU. A study based on research in unplanned and planned areas of Yombo Vituka, Dar es Salaam. It argues that adequate housing for the urban poor is a source of income generation and therefore a means of improving livelihoods. It emphasises that the urban poor are able and willing to contribute to better social services and housing, but that the land allocation system and lack of access to credit are major constraints. The author is Member of Parliament for Ukonga Constituency, Dar es Salaam.

African Music for Schools. Mbati-Katana. Fountain Publishers. ISBN 9970022946. ppl90. £20.95. Available from African Book Collective, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl IHU.

This songbook for children brings together East African songs from many heritages. It includes children’s play songs, dance and story songs and some patriotic party songs, from the ethnic or language groups of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and related groups in neighbouring countries. The songs bear witness to centuries of African life, and their transcription aims to make music accessible to children from their own cultural traditions. The book includes the musical scores and song texts, translations of the texts, notes on the structure of the music, and suggestions for story telling, poetry, drama, art or dance which teachers or other adults may introduce to bring the songs alive and use them creatively, allowing the children to participate fully in their performance.

. Horniman Museum Day Conference, 24 October 2003

This first Colloquium in the UK about visual culture in eastern Africa provided a platform for a wide range of scholarly presentations by ten researchers from museum anthropology and other relevant fields. The scholars introduced and explored the actuality and to a lesser extent the theory of the region’s Visual ‘Traditions’. The purview was inclusive, both in terms of the region’s geography and its myriad visual practices. The wide scope of these small scale, ongoing traditions –such as the use of sticks for communication, many kinds of personal adornment and portable sculpture, several systems of drawing and ‘ready-mades’ ranging from debes to cattle –reinforced the notion that the big question is not what is art, but rather “when is art”. Aesthetic values make the connexion between ideas and things.

Larger than the conventional East Africa of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the eastern herein is flexible in order to engage aspects of the shared cultures and histories of the peoples of the Nile and Rift Valleys, the Great Lakes, Indian Ocean and to a lesser extent eastern Congo and Zambezia. Most of the presentations offered some evidence of regional interaction: for sculpture and masquerade (Kingdon, Israel), concerning pastoralist aesthetics and artifacts (Arero, Ostberg, Oteyo), concerning styles of drawing (Court, Marner, Neiderstadt) and about the kanga (Spring, Clarke). For example, the ‘frame’ and slogan format of the kanga has been consistent along the eastern Africa littoral for nearly one hundred years, while its use and imagery differ somewhat in time and by place. Research has been carried out about the kanga’s social uses and slogans, but as yet there is scant systematic study of its visual content of motifs and imagery. Perhaps, this will be stimulated by the upcoming, 2005 kanga exhibition at the Sainsbury African Galleries of the British Museum. Indeed, the curator is seeking evidence of hand-printed kanga, which were still for sale in Zanzibar town in the late 1960′ s; it seems only the printing blocks are available nowadays.

The Horniman Colloquium was an opportunity to view Tanzania’s visual practices in a larger context. In fact, no effort was made to extract what is specifically Tanzanian, although nationality was considered in the presentations based upon evidence from Kenya and Ethiopia. One reason is that systematic scholarship by Tanzanians about their visual art practices is slight to the point of underdevelopment, apart from the early 1960’s efforts of Prof S J Ntiro and current undertakings of archaeologist Prof Felix Chami and Waiter Bgoya of Mkuki na Nyota Publishers. Critical research has yet to catch up with the plurality of art practices, apparent in the renewal of the Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar Museums, innovations in ‘Tinga Tinga’ and other kinds of modern practice including fashion, local patronage [cut Chami] -all are part of the visual arts discourse in Tanzania and all have regional resonance. Please note the term ‘tribe’ was not employed to discuss this unit of ethnic, local, community practice; consider that kabila whether in Swahili or Arabic does not have the colonial, historical connotation of its English translation.

One theoretical ‘tradition’ that requires fresh unpacking is the assertion that there is no art in eastern Africa. Belief that there is/was ‘no art’ was due to a basic assumption, inscribed in western art historical scholarship and commerce in the late 1930’s that focused solely upon the traditions of figurative sculpture in west and central Africa. This construction was/is grossly inaccurate, even for its exclusions of west Africa’s traditions (C Steiner, J Picton). In the past two decades, western scholarship in African archaeology and contemporary art have interrogated and extended the canon to include eastern Africa and its array of art forms (Coote, S Hassan, Mack, Visona et al).

The sessions were attended by forty-five people including the presenters. The Colloquium, hosted graciously by the Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, London, was co-convened by Hassan Arero the Horniman’s Keeper of Anthropology and Zachary Kingdon, Curator of the Africa Collections, Liverpool Museum, who intend to publish the proceedings. We are thankful for this first cultural harvest. Uushukuru.
Elsbeth Court

‘BWANA SHAMBA’ by Peter Wilson. Following the demise of the Pentland Press, Peter Wilson has acquired the remaining copies of his illustrated autobiography. His book contains a forward by Vice-President and Prime Minister of Tanganyika Rashidi Kawawa. Autographed copies may be ordered @£15 plus £2.50 p&p (double p&p for overseas) from Peter Wilson, PO Box 304, Horley, RH6 7NE. (cheques payable to P M Wilson please).



REVOLUTION IN ZANZIBAR: AN AMERICAN’S COLD WAR TALE. Don Petterson. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3949-9. £19.99

This memoir will instantly become required reading for every student of the Revolution. It is an incredible and fascinating first hand account of the Revolution in Zanzibar, a unique perspective on a unique period of history. Strangely though, the teller of
the tale does not seem to appreciate its drama. For those who know some of the history and debates surrounding the Revolution it will be hard to see this book as anything other than a classic and brilliant revisionist history. It is for this reason that the style disappoints, since without a sense of the context and the controversy that the book will undoubtedly provoke, the material is flat. The role of the Americans and the British in the foggy days of early 1964 has been the source of much speculation, even recrimination on the part of Babu and other leading opposition figures in the years since. Petterson’s detailed descriptions of his meetings with all the key players at the time provide a wealth of insights into the sequence of events and how the Great Powers at the time viewed this ‘Cuba of East Africa’. This is explosive history at its best, yet diplomatic showdowns and violent massacres are described in the same pedestrian style as trips to the beach.

In a sense, Petterson’s dispassionate style is the hallmark of classic diplomacy. Reportage allows the author to remain un-implicated in the story he is telling (not me guv, I’m just the messenger). The problem though, is that this is an illusion. At many points the story would benefit from a strong dose of opinion. Petterson is at his best when he is unafraid to contradict other sources. For example, in his telling of the formation of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Babu’s claim that the US engineered the Union and the British assertion that their influence on Nyerere prevailed are both shown to be false as he provides convincing eye-witness testimony of the cunning strategy of Kambona, Nyerere and Karume in doing it quietly themselves.

Similarly, the inside account of Nyerere’s expulsion of American diplomats from Zanzibar and Tanzania in 1965 is gripping historic stuff. Misinterpretation of a mundane US embassy telephone conversation, tapped by the Chinese and supplied to the Zanzibar government gave rise to the (now popular) fable that the US was planning a coup in Zanzibar a year after the Revolution. Nyerere mishandled the affair by going to the press before the mistake had been corrected, the consul was expelled and a myth was born. Nyerere appears an inexperienced and emotional figure and the early politics of the Union to have been especially fragile.

Petterson is literally rewriting history, but does not seem to be aware that he is doing so. Nevertheless, in the long run, and for anyone interested in the history of Zanzibar the facts should speak for themselves. Tales of Petterson’s family life at the time give a flavour of the social context of the diplomatic corps at the end of the colonial era and his loving descriptions of Zanzibar and its geography will surely strike chords with many.
Ben Rawlence

CONFLICTING MISSIONS: HAVANA, WASHINGTON AND AFRICA, 1959 -1976. Piero Gleijeses. University of North Carolina Press. 2002. $34.95, cloth.

This weighty volume of 550 pages uses CIA documents, diplomatic cables and other archival research (the notes on this stretch over 50 pages) much of which has not been seen before, to explain what Cuba was up to in its clandestine activities in Africa in the 1960’s and 70’s. It was Cold War time and anything to do with it was of intense interest to the USA. Cuba became involved in Algeria, Guinea Bissau and later, Angola, to which it sent 30,000 of its troops. All is described here. For readers of ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ however it is the chapters on Zanzibar and Zaire which will be of most interest. In order to reach Zaire the Cubans had to travel through Tanzania by road and then cross Lake Tanganyika by boat.

The author describes the panic which arose in Washington when Zanzibar exploded in the revolution of January 12, 1964. The US was worried that non-communist leaders of the new Zanzibar government would be manipulated by ‘subversive Communist elements.’ US President Lyndon Johnson urged the British to send troops to Zanzibar because Britain had the ‘primary responsibility for handling the problem.’ To the dismay of the Americans the British refused. In any case, the crisis subsided when President Nyerere and President Karume signed an agreement setting up the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and called it Tanzania.

By June 1964 however the situation in the Congo (later Zaire) was attracting the attention ofthe Cold War adversaries. Midst much turmoil ‘rebels’ calling themselves the Simbas (lions) armed with vaguely Marxist jargon and led by the man who became, many years later President Kabila of Zaire, had started causing considerable worry. They had taken over a major part of the country and Fidel Castro saw in them the possible beginnings of an African revolution, Cuban style. He decided to send volunteers, under the leadership of the famous guerrilla leader Che Guevara, to help the Simbas. President Nyerere, who was then at loggerheads with the Congo government of President Tshombe, agreed to allow Tanzania to be used as a conduit and staging area for this Cuban intervention.

As the civil war in the Congo had escalated, the CIA had created a naval patrol on Lake Tanganyika consisting of eight heavily armed boats which were assembled piece by piece on the shores of the lake by CIA agents. The Simbas also had several motorboats supplied by the Soviet Union, but the author says that they did not know how to maintain them. When the boats arrived the Cubans helped them in this. The author claims that America was determined to crush the Simbas but did not want to do so itself and called upon Britain and other countries to send in troops. This call was rejected but, meanwhile, foreign mercenaries, mostly from South Africa, came to help government forces attack the Simbas.

Men from Cuba in groups of three to six on scheduled commercial flights, claiming to be athletes, agronomists, engineers and musicians, arrived in Dar es Salaam and were whisked quickly from the airport to a small farm on the outskirts of the city that the Cuban embassy had bought. The volunteers were almost all black because this was what the Simbas had requested. In order to explain the presence of two whites it was said that one was a doctor and the other an interpreter. Che decided that it would not be appropriate for him to inform Nyerere of his presence before he told Simba leader Kabila who was at a conference in Cairo. The Cubans were disappointed at the very cool reception they received in the Congo. The local Simba leaders seemed surprised to see them and did not know what to do with them. A message was sent to Kabila who was apparently stunned to learn that Che was in the Congo.

On 29th June 160 Simbas and 40 Cubans attacked the town of Bendera but, according to the book, the Simbas fled in panic and left the Cubans to face the enemy alone. Four Cubans and 20 Simbas lost their lives. It was their bodies that fmally alerted the CIA to the presence of the Cubans in the Congo. Eventually, under intense pressure from the ruthless and increasingly numerous mercenaries, the Simbas began falling apart on the battlefield. Nyerere, pre-occupied with other parts of the African liberation struggle, in particular in trying to persuade the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson to send troops to prevent UDI in Rhodesia, began restricting the flow of weapons, medicine and other suppliers to the Cubans. The Simbas soon wanted to abandon the struggle altogether and resented the Cubans for urging them to keep on fighting. On November 21st two boats arrived to take the Cubans back to Tanzania after seven months ofhardship and frustration. Che wrote to Castro “I believe more than ever in guerrilla warfare, but we have failed.” He returned to Dar wanting only to write. He lived in a small apartment in the embassy in Dar Salaam for more than three months but, because ofhis security concerns, he never went out. However, he was full of praise for the Tanzanians. They had been very helpful; everything was well organised and well structured. When Nyerere withdrew Tanzania from the war he had done so with dignity. Surprisingly the Cuban embassy only informed Nyerere about Che’s presence after he had left Tanzania in early 1966. It was explained that the silence had been due to security considerations. According to the author the Tanzanians were angry, but relations remained friendly.

The Washington Post has described this book as ‘rich and provocative and downright entertaining.’ The Los Angeles Times wrote: ‘The author brilliantly describes deceits, disguises with all the accompanying blood and guts and glory. Over the 10 years it took him to research this book the author tracked down every lead, every participant, every document on all sides of the conflicts. This is a fascinating account of Cuban involvement in Africa.’ This reviewer fully supports these comments.
David Brewin.

EAST AFRICAN DOCTORS: A HISTORY OF THE MODERN PROFESSION. John IllifIe. ISBN 9970023039. 350pp. Fountain Publishers. £20.95. Available from African Books Collective Ltd, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl IHD.

The book has 246 pages of text and 92 pages of Notes referring to each page of the text, 17 pages of bibliography and an index. The need to refer constantly to the notes for clarification made for laborious and difficult reading.

The purpose for writing the book was not made clear other than a note on page two stating “the idea for this book came partly from reading David K. Leonard’s “African successes: four public managers of Kenyan rural development”, (Berkeley 1991). The author states that the book is a collective biography of East African doctors, dealing only with black Africans. The title of the book is therefore confusing and will disappoint the many European, Asian and doctors of other nations who served in East Africa in a tradition which started from the late nineteenth century, in Government service, in specialised fields including research, in the missions, and in private practice.

In the first sentence of the book the author opines that “not since the origins of Mankind has East Africa been so important to the world as it is to-day. This special importance comes from the AIDS epidemic”. But surely the opening up of central Africa in the second half of the nineteenth century, culminating in the building of the Mombasa-Lake Victoria railway, had a greater impact on the development of medical care and the growth of the medical team in East Africa than the outbreak ofAIDS in the early 1980’s? The text gives scant recognition to the amazing basic research work carried out in several centres in the territories on the major tropical diseases, nor to the leadership ofW.H.O. in the worldwide Smallpox Eradication Programme in the 1970’s, the Global Immunisation Programme in the 1980’s and 90’s and later again in the 1990’s in collaborative programmes for research and control of AIDS. Nor is the disparity between Zanzibar and other East African territories in the role played by African doctors noted. By 1961 the posts of radiologist, ophthalmologist, the specialists in T.B. and dentistry, and the two M.O.H. posts for the two islands were all filled by local nationals who had been trained and taken post-graduate qualifications overseas.

To sum up in the words of the author, the book “is not a contemporary sociology of the East African Medical Profession, but a collective biography of East African Doctors dealing only with black Africans”. It would be impossible to include biographies of all the black African doctors, but the names of many who contributed greatly to the successful delivery of medical care and the development of the profession generally, are missing.
William Barton

PRIESTS, WITCHES AND POWER -POPULAR CHRISTIANITY AFTER MISSION IN SOUTHERN TANZANIA. Maia Green. Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp.xiii/180, maps, index. ISBN 0521 62189 5 (hardback). £40.00

Many in the secularized north imagine that global Christianity is dying and leaving the field open to Islam. The reality is different. Christianity in the south is enjoying a boom. Much of Africa, during the past century for example, became quietly and massively Christian. Northerners who are aware of this new Christianity may not like what they see. Instead of being democratic, liberal, activist or liberationist, it is an authoritarian, morally conservative Church which is concerned with personal salvation and is absorbing the habits and thoughts of cultures very different from the European. Maia Green’s book gives us a fascinating specimen, the Catholic Church among the Pogoro people of Tanzania. In spite of the persistence of missionary Church structures, of continued economic support from Europe, of a clerical elite locally engaged in controversial financial operations, the Pogoro of Ulanga District, though poor and unempowered, are predominantly, even fervently, Catholic. Moreover, they have developed a popular, post-mission Christianity with its own theological nuances. Green sees both tension and ambiguity in this situation, and believes the gap between formal Christianity and popular practice is growing. On the other hand, the Pogoro have a deep sense of being Christian. Green describes a fluid situation in which authority and practice are changing.

German Benedictine monks before World War I and Swiss Capuchin friars afterwards established what was to become the Diocese of Mahenge. Both German colonial rule and the Catholic mission were challenged in 1905 by German colonial rule and the Catholic mission were challenged in 1905 by the maji maji rebellion which engulfed half the ethnic groups of Tanzania, including the Pogoro. German retaliation took the form of a scorched earth policy which resulted in side lining Ulanga District in the development process. The Church moved into the vacuum, developing a system of patronage and synergy with govermnent that continued under the British and beyond political independence in 1961. With the contraction of the Tanzanian state, Church influence has grown even greater.

Christianity is a religion of the book and, to ensure enduring conversions, evangelization was linked, as elsewhere, to education and literacy. The adult catechumenate, prevalent in other parts of Tanzania, does not feature in Green’s account. However, she sees the community-based Christianity led by village catechists as a counterweight to the clerical structures of diocese and parish. Green is silent about the extent to which the Catholic pastoral policy of jumuiya ndogondogo (small Christian communities) has been implemented in Mahenge.

Popular Christianity sees priests as a source of blessing and power, but women also engender power through the management of fertility in puberty rituals (unyago) and the removal of death pollution at burials. These roles inspire a female religiosity, which is focused on Mary, the bereaved and compassionate mother of Jesus. One wonders to what extent Pogoro priests are aware of this popular theology, especially in view of Vatican II’s interest in initiation rituals, and the proposals for unyago wa kikristu (Christian initiation) in Tanzania. Women also feature prominently in the witchcraft cleansing movements, which Green credibly associates with political rivalry and the critique of clerical power.

Anthropological fieldwork in Africa has traditionally been conducted by the lone foreigner, whose valid criticisms may be resented by the local elite. The latter can only be co-opted by means of a self-study. Moreover, condensed, technical language, while it suits the professional anthropologist, runs the risk of being misunderstood by the ordinary reader in Africa.
Aylward Shorter

ONCE INTREPID WARRIORS: GENDER, ETHNICITY AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF MAASAI DEVELOPMENT. Hodgson, Dorothy L. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2001. -from a review for Africa Today, by Peg Snyder.

Dorothy Hodgson explores “continuities and changes between the ideas and experiences of development in the colonial period and those of the post colonial period” in the lives of the Maasai of Arusha Region, the “once intrepid warriors”, as they were called by Harry Johnston in 1886. She shows how both being a Maasai, and being a Maasai man or woman changed over time. Delightful “Maasai Portraits” appear between the chapters.

Finding that failure of planned development projects only served to inspire another try at a similar model, the author judged that it was the ways of “seeing Maasai” rather than “being Maasai” that underlay failures, so she observes development efforts through the lenses of gender, ethnicity and cultural politics, and associations between development and state power. During the British colonial period, projects were directed to men, leaving women marginalized; “taxation classified women as property to be paid for by men”. By the eve of independence, after a half century of water development projects, the Maasai experienced a drought whose effects were exacerbated by loss of most of their dry-season pastures and water points that government had closed off or ceded to settlers. The colonial government shifted blame for their condition onto the Maasai.

After independence, government representatives in Arusha Region had no better image of the Maasai, and soon sought to impose a “modern” dress code on them. Women got angry, cursed their elites whom they thought were complicit in the campaign, and were preparing to travel en masse to Dar es Salaam to express their views to the President when Government dropped the campaign.

The follies of the famous, failed groundnut scheme pale in comparison to the multi-million dollar, USAID sponsored Masai Livestock Development and Range Management Project of 1969. Like the Masai Development Plan of the colonial 1950s, its evaluations were consistently negative and the Masai were blamed for the failure of something they neither chose nor designed. Hodgson describes the whole fiasco scathingly, pointing out the “marvellous ambiguities” of the term development, as when “in the mid-1970s, USAID discovered that people were part of development”.

Donors and NGOs were expected to accept women’s lessened status as “tradition”; elite men were the authentic and indigenous representatives of the Maasai. Young women confronted change in gender relations through spirit possession (orpeko) then converted to Christianity to remove the curse and achieve moral superiority over men.

This excellent book reveals how the legacies of development projects are far, far broader than their technical goals. The author cautions that “neither the Maasai of the present nor the Maasai of the past bear much resemblance to the stereotypical images of them that pervade, and have always pervaded, Western and African media.”

INTO AFRICA -THE DRAMATIC RETELLING OF THE STANLEY-LIVINGSTONE STORY. Martin Dugard. Transworld Publishers/Bantam Press. 2003. 339 pages. £18.99.

Not another book about Livingstone surely! And about Stanley too! Yes, but this one, as is claimed in the title, is different. It will be found exceptionally entertaining by both those who already know the story and those who do not.

The author describes himself as an adventurer -one of his earlier books traced the ‘rise and fall’ of Captain James Cook -and the layout of the drama, as he narrates it, with alternating chapters on the two main characters, obliges the reader to keep on reading to see what happens next.

The author’s racy writing style may not be to everyone’s taste and is probably best described as evocative. Dugard describes Stanley’s writing as ‘purple and intimate; the sentences meandering, sparsely punctuated, sometimes lazily crafted -yet always evocative.’ Livingstone is described as possessing ‘a very human mixture of hope, dreams, longing, depression, spirituality, sexuality and regret.’

In contrast to some other books on the same subject this one gives quite detailed character sketches of the other key participators in the saga. These include the explorers Speke and Burton, Royal Geographical Society Presidents Sir Roderick Murchison and Sir Henry Rawlinson, the ex-slave Sidi Mubarak Bombay, British Vice-Consul in Zanzibar John Kirk and his adversary, American Consul Francis Webb, Royal Navy Gunnery Officer E. D. Young, the celebrated African Chief Mirambo who vanquished the Arab military leader in Tabora, Khamis bin Abdullah, the New York Herald’s James Gordon Bennett Jr, Prime Minister William Gladstone, Sir Samuel White Baker, and others.

The final chapters, with their moving description of the famous meeting, bring the book to an abrupt end. The remarkable loyalty of Livingstone’s servants Chuma and Susi and events subsequent to Livingstone’s death are dealt with all too briefly. The reader is left wanting more.

Readers of ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ will be glad to know that the major part of the book describes events which took place in what is now Tanzania 135 years ago.
David Brewin

‘MR. MYOMBEKERE AND HIS WIFE BUGONOKA, THEIR SON NTULANALWO AND DAUGHTER BULIHWALI: the Story of an Ancient African Community’ by Aniceti Kitereza. Translated from Kikerewe by Gabriel Ruhumbika. Published 2002 by Mkuki na Nyota 687pp. available from African Books Collective, Oxford. £29.95.

This 700-page novel makes a compulsive read. I found myself reading it simultaneously on two levels: first, on the level of narrative plot, and second, as a piece of closely documented social history.

The novel was written during the early 1940s. The author, born in 1896, had been a lifelong writer -involved with early Kikerewe translations of the Bible and a Kikerewe dictionary, as well as being a prolific reteller of local stories. This, however, was the climax of his life’s writing. The work was written with the explicit aim of preserving the Kikerewe way of life, which the author saw as increasingly threatened by change; although multilingual in a range of possible lingua francas (in Latin and Greek, German, Kiswahili and English), the natural choice of language for this intimately personal work was Kikerewe. The fate of the manuscript reflects the complexity of the ‘language map’ of Tanzania: initially archived overseas in Montreal by the White Fathers, the novel reached a wider public only in 1980 when the author’s Kiswahili translation was published in Tanzania. While the original Kikerewe manuscript remains unpublished, the work has now at last found an international audience, translated in this full-length English version by the author’s nephew Gabriel Ruhumbika, now at the University of Georgia.

Set in pre-colonial Ukerewe, the main narrative plot is tellingly simple, depicting the lives of a husband and wife whose misfortune it was to find themselves childless. While on the narrative level the unhurried pace sustains the reader’s interest in the unfolding events of the story, the reader is at the same time drawn into understandings of the rich and complex world of pre-colonial Ukerewe. The author’s declared intention to provide a record of all aspects of pre-colonial Kikerewe life, ‘from birth to death’, is clearly evident and might well in other hands have become clumsily obtrusive. In fact, the descriptive matter is skilfully integrated to complement and amplify the plot, and the two levels work together to provide a richly rewarding text ­albeit a long one, which demands time, attention, and a deliberately leisurely reading.

The volume contains an excellent Introduction by the translator. Particularly intriguing is the account of the way in which this ‘novel’, in written prose form, relates to the conventions of epic oral literature. The Introduction also contains revealing comment on translation issues. A genealogical table is supplied (a map of Ukerewe would have usefully supplemented this), and a glossary of names and their meanings. A further glossary of Kikerewe words would have been useful as meanings are back-referenced in the chapter notes to their first occurrence: an editorial irritation. The translation may occasionally jar (‘gatecrash’, for example, for an unexpected arrival, or ‘barbecue’ as equivalent for traditional cooking over an open fire). There are a number of typos. An invaluable resource, which will be of interest to all social historians, are the chapter notes supplied by the translator, who -in the spirit of his Uncle’s original intentions -has added a wealth of explanatory matter drawn from written sources and from recent personal field-study among the elders of Ukerewe.
Ann Brumfit

“ALMOST AN OXFAM IN ITSELF”: OXFAM, UJAMAA AND DEVELOPMENT IN TANZANIA, by Michael Jennings. Journal of the Royal African Society, African Affairs voll01, 509-530. 2002.

This article by Michael Jennings, currently Research Officer at the Well come Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford, is based on work undertaken for his PhD at the University of London, 1998. It traces the rise and fall of the ‘Ujamaa’ policy of the Tanzania Government in the 1960s and early 1970s Jennings shows how Oxfam thinking, at least in its Tanzania programme, became committed to the policy -in particular its emphasis on voluntarism, self help and grass roots democracy -and continued to support it, and even to advocate it as a strategy for other developing countries, for several years after the Tanzania Government had effectively abandoned it, in its actions if lot its words, and had shifted to a more conventionally individualistic Jrogramme of social and economic development.

Jennings describes in some detail the growth of the Ruvuma Development Association, established in Songea Region in the early 1960s under the leadership of the charismatic local secretary of the Tanu Youth League, John Ntimbanjayo Millinga. The RDA linked the first and perhaps ‘purist’ of Tanzania’s ujamaa villages, and supplied much of the practical experience on which Julius Nyerere based his early thinking and writing on ujamaa. Jimmy Betts, Oxfam’s first Field Director for Tanzania, was understandably impressed by the achievements of the RDA, as were most visitors to the RDA villages in the 1960s, including myself: Betts described it as ‘a physical manifestation of what Oxfam wished to promote on a larger scale’.

Yet by 1969, following a visit to Ruvuma by TANU’s Central Committee, the Government had declared the RDA an illegal organisation and had forced its disbandment. Jennings is not explicit on the reasons underlying this action -he explains it as an indication of ‘regional fears combined with political factions at the centre’. But banning the RDA was surely the predictable response of an insecure political bureaucracy to a peasant movement which tried to take its future into its own hands. The very name RDA is provocative, suggesting that the Association, rather than the Government, was the driving force responsible for the development of Ruvuma Region! With Oxfam’s historic commitment to equality and grass roots democracy, it is not surprising that Betts and his successors were reluctant to recognise the shift in Tanzania Government policy in the late 1960s and early 1970s -from voluntary towards compulsory villagisation, and from collective towards individual action and decision-making -and the widening gulf between the rhetoric and the reality of what was happening on the ground. This was surely a classic if understandable case of wishful thinking writ large.

As an objective academic observer of political developments Jennings is careful not to pass judgement on the rights or wrongs of Tanzania’s early dalliance with socialist development, nor on Oxfam’s extended backing of the ujamaa policy. Many observers at the time, and since, have, however, compared Nyerere’s “utopian idealism”, usually unfavourably, with the more pragmatic individualistic development strategies adopted in neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Congo. In the light of the political and economic chaos now reigning in most of those countries, compared to the relative political stability and steady (albeit socially divisive) economic growth experienced in Tanzania in recent years, one might be excused for questioning whether the roots of Tanzania’s recent success may not lie in the democratic and communitarian foundation which Nyerere strove to lay down in Tanzanian society in the 1960s. One might even wonder whether, had the Tanzania Government, as well as Oxfam, maintained its faith in such policies for a little longer, this foundation might have become even more solid.
Antony Ellman

FROM RACE TO CITIZENSHIP: THE INDIGENIZATION DEBATE IN POST-SOCIALIST TANZANIA, Ronald Aminzade, Studies in Comparative International Development Vol. 38, No. 1. 2003. Pp43-63.

Aminzade’s study seems to serve several purposes. First, he focuses on how anti-Asian sentiment during Tanzania’s post-socialist era was politicized as an indigenization factor rather than the stealth racist issue it represented. And, second, he offers it as a tool to explain electoral behavior of political parties as they attempt to create as well as mediate policy differences, conflicts and competition with the major party. He outlines the colonial and socio-economic factors establishing the Asian community’s separate identity as both envied and resented and thus susceptible to political exploitation in Tanzania’s new era of capitalism. Tracing indigenous identities as a means of distinguishing between citizens and foreigners, Aminzade outlines the evolution of this policy when anti­Asian sentiment was used as a political weapon, mainly by Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s opposition, to seek electoral support especially after 1992 when multiparty competition was institutionalized. Political parties across the political spectrum utilized anti-Asian sentiment as a political weapon after Reverend Christopher Mtikila, leader of an unregistered party and a candidate in another opposition party, opportunistically raised the “indigenization” issue, and thus not only unleashed widespread violence against Asians, especially shopkeepers, but also legitimized usage of the issue for other opposition politicians. As the liberalization and privatization process evolved in the 1990s, Government responses to these political demands included various economic policies limiting activities of “non-indigenous” investors that aided the emergence of an influential black, and sometimes corrupt, African bourgeoisie which often sent its profits abroad rather than re-invest in the local economy. Aminzade fails to note that while the government excluded non-indigenous peoples from trade it also permitted them to engage in banking, finance, and technology, and the Asians used this to their advantage. Government policies led to an increase in foreign investments, especially from South Africa, and the “dumping” of foreign goods sold at cheaper prices than local goods. The historically authenticated anti-Asian sentiment became a convenient weapon for opposition groups reluctant to make charges of corruption against the major political party. The more things change the more they remain the same.

Much of the evidence is based on sources published during the 1990s, and its worth noting that the author draws on material published in six issues of Tanzanian Affairs.
Marion E Doro, College New London, CT 06320.



Editors: John Cooper-Poole and Marion E Doro

CHANGING ROLES IN NATURAL FOREST MANAGEMENT. Kerry A. Woodcock. Published by Ashgate. ISBN 07546 19354. £39.95

In this book version of her PhD Kerry Woodcock has produced a volume with a wealth of information. She draws on much primary and secondary material to discuss issues affecting the management of the forests of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. Woodcock argues that constructive negotiation on sustainable forest management in the Eastern Arc mountains will depend on a clearer definition of stakeholder roles. She refers to “the 4Rs” ­returns from the forest, rights and responsibilities and relationships to the forest -as the basis for judging the respective claims of groups with interests in the forests. Efforts to involve local communities to improve forest management have focused primarily on the economic benefits they derive from forests. Such a focus, Woodcock argues, has ignored the broader nature of local communities’ stake in the forests. The resulting “imbalances in attributes” accounts for unjust and injudicious forest management which has failed to achieve the results expected. Only when the full implications of their respective stakes are understood can there be constructive negotiation between all those with an interest in forest management. Most of the book, therefore, concentrates on what these “four Rs” are for stakeholders in Eastern Arc forest management, and how they have changed over time. The book concludes with recommendations on addressing these imbalances in order to achieve more effective negotiation, to benefit forests and communities alike.

The key weakness of the book, is its failure to develop a systematic approach to understanding the nature of power relations amongst those with a stake in forest management. Woodcock alludes to power relations with her reference to “imbalances in attributes” between stakeholders. But reference to rights, responsibilities, returns from the forest and relationships to the forest (the key stakeholder attributes) only provides an idealised picture of the stake social actors have in the forests of the Eastern Arc. Social actors’ roles are determined as much by their position in relations of power as in their stake in an issue. The relationship between the state and forest-local communities has historically been very unequal, and often struggles about forests are symptomatic of other power struggles. (Scott 1985, Neumann 1997). Only once the power inequalities of social roles are recognised and understood can the prospects for constructive negotiation be realistically assessed or longer-term sustainability be secured.

Woodcock roots her analysis in how changes in forest management approaches have affected the relative positions of social actors in management arrangements. However, she does not, in my opinion, provide a satisfactory explanation for connections between changes in forest management and the obstacles to successful forest management today. For instance, she notes that awareness of the “high biodiversity and ecological values” in the East Usambara coincided with logging in the area. Yet why was concern for biodiversity able to halt Finnish-supported logging in 1984 but not in the early 1970s, when it had first been expressed (Ahlback 1988)? For that matter, why was biodiversity loss not an issue in the 1940s when extensive swathes of forest were cleared for tea plantations, or in the early 1960s, when significant tracts of lowland forest were cleared for the Longuza Teak Plantation? If she had made connections between dominant environmental narratives and changes in the Tanzanian political economy, she could have explained why certain social actors were able to make certain environmental claims successfully at particular points III time.

All this is important when assessing the current prospects for constructive negotiations. It will only be possible to formulate and support appropriate roles for social actor stakeholders if it is understood why power inequalities between them have persisted and how these inequalities have affected their “4Rs”. Analysing power relations amongst social actors with interests in the forest requires defining clearly who the actors are, what are their interests, and what sanctions and incentives they face in acting out their roles. Woodcock notes the complexity of social interests around the forest at the outset, but fails to integrate this complexity through her analysis (pp. 18-19; ef. pp 141-151).

These criticisms aside, this book ought to be consulted and its central argument debated. Woodcock has made a timely intervention on an issue of crucial importance to forest-local peoples and others concerned with the sustainable management of high biodiversity forests like those of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania.

Ahlback, Arnold J. 1988. Forestry for Development in Tanzania. Uppsala: International Rural Development Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Neumann, Roderick P. 1997. Forest Rights, Privileges and Prohibitions: Contextualising State Forestry Policy in Colonial Tanganyika. Environment and History 3 (1):45-68.
Scott, James C. 1985. Weapons of the Weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance. London: Yale University Press.
Sunseri, Thaddeus. 2003. Controlling people and forests in the Rufiji basin, Tanganyika, 1921-1961. Paper read at International Conference on the Forest and Environmental History of the British Empire and Commonwealth at Centre for World Environmental History, Univ. of Sussex.

KILIMANJARO ICE CORE RECORDS: Evidence of Holocene Climate Change to Tropical Africa. Lonnie G. Thompson et al. Science. Vol. 298 (October 2002) pp 589-593.

This scientific paper is of very serious interest to Northern Tanzania, and indeed to the economy of the whole country. The abstract of the paper is as follows:­

‘Six ice cores from Kilimanjaro provide an 11.7 thousand year record of holocene climate and environmental variability for eastern equatorial Africa, including three periods of abrupt climate change: 8.3, 5.2 and 4 thousand years ago. The latter is coincident with the “First dark Age”, the period of the greatest historically recorded drought in tropical Africa. Variable deposition of F -and Na+ during the African Humid Period suggests rapidly fluctuating lake levels between 11.5 and 4 ka. Over the 20th century, the real extent of Kilimanjaro’s ice fields has decreased 80%, and, if the current climatological conditions persist, the remaining ice fields are likely to disappear between 2015 and 2020.’

For several decades now, observations have been made regarding the shrinkage of the Kibo ice sheets on Kilimanjaro. I myself became very familiar with these ice sheets from close quarters in the 1950’s and 60’s, and comparing what I saw then with what is revealed by present day air and ground photos is really quite alarming. Now, exact scientific observation and measurement has revealed the precise nature of this decline. We now know that the ice cap of Kibo is likely to disappear within the next two decades, i.e. very soon indeed.

The scientists have revealed this situation in precise terms but do not of course comment on the economic and social consequences for Northern Tanzania of this natural development. The streams that flow from Kilimanjaro are the lifeblood of the Chagga people and this region is one of the most important parts of Tanzania economically. It also has to be remembered that the Pangani river depends on waters originating from the northern mountains of which Kilimanjaro is the chief, and its waters drive important hydro-electrical installations lower down the river.

It is to be hoped that these imperatives of nature will be taken into consideration as plans for future development are formulated.
John Cooke

S. Institute for Black Research, University of Natal, Durban 4001, South Africa. 2002.

Included in this book, which critically analyses Malaysian investment overseas, is a 30-page chapter by investigative journalist Brian Cooksey on the ‘Independent Power Tanzania Ltd’ (IPTL) saga which has featured frequently in the pages of Tanzanian Affairs during the last few years. The chapter is written in racy style, makes fascinating reading and seems almost like a good novel. It has a large international cast of respectable and allegedly unsavoury characters including three Tanzanian presidents, a Malaysian prime minister, a dynamic former president of the World Bank, an Irish businessman, a Tanzanian Minister of Finance who was sacked, staff of the Bankers Trust New York, a director on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Malaysian businessmen, an American ambassador, a Tanzanian Permanent Secretary, an IMF Representative, a CCM Secretary-General, a Swedish ambassador, a Tanzanian Attorney-General, a Director of Price-Waterhouse­Cooper and senior staff of ‘Transparency International.’

The chapter on IPTL clearly required a great deal of research and investigation and helps to clarify the confusing history of this major Malaysian investment in Tanzania. The first part of the chapter gives a useful two-page chronology of events, describing how negotiations began. It then endeavours to explain people’s motivations during the extraordinary saga which eventually involved local and international court proceedings. In 1994, because drought in Tanzania had led to power shortages and hydro-catchment areas had run dry, the country seemed to need additional electricity supplies. Various attempts were made to provide these. More detail on the attempts, especially the gas to electricity project -SOGAS -would have been helpful. However, an agreement was eventually signed in 1995 between the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) and a company called Independent Power Tanzania Ltd (IPTL) in which the Malaysian Mechmar Corporation held 70% of the shares and a Tanzanian firm -VIPEM -30%. IPTL proposed to build and run for 20 years a 100-megawatt slow-speed diesel powered plant in Dar es Salaam at a cost of$163 million with a ‘reference tariff of $4.2 million per month plus 3.25 US cents per kWh of electricity produced. The final tariff was to depend on actual costs involved.

In 1995-96 IPTL negotiated the purchase of a cheaper medium­speed plant, allegedly without consulting TANESCO. In 1998 TANESCO issued a ‘Notice of Default’ to IPTL for this reportedly unilateral substitution. T ANESCO then tried to negotiate a reduced tariff reflecting the actually incurred costs but, when this failed, it requested international arbitration through the Centre for Settlement of Disputes.

In November 1999 IPTL took TANESCO to court claiming interim payments of $3.6 million a month. In 2001 the International Centre found that IPTL was overpriced by $23.5 million but that the contract should still stand since TANESCO had been aware ofthe switch from the slow-speed to the medium-speed plant.

On January 13, 2002 IPTL started supplying power to the national grid at 13 cents per unit. The author insists that this makes Tanzanian electricity the most expensive in central and southern Africa and describes it as a long-term burden on the Tanzanian economy.

Finally in March 2002 the Tanzanian partners in IPTL -VIPEM were reported to have petitioned the High Court to wind up the company fearing that they might not get a fair share of the dividends. Implicit in this whole account are allegations of corruption. After the book was published, one newspaper reported, in March 2002, that the case was being referred to Tanzania’s Anti-Corruption Bureau. In the circumstances, this reviewer would prefer not to comment on the corruption charge and leaves it to the reader to decide for him/herself on the basis of the evidence provided. However, the author quotes a Dr Johann Lambsdorff of Gottingen University who has described Malaysia as one of the ‘cleanest’ countries as far as its overseas investment policies are concerned ­DRB.

(Mwananchi reported on April 11 that MPs had begun to query the I P T L contract and some were said to be suggesting that there may have been corruption and that government should form a committee of inquiry to re-assess the contract).

THE WATERS OF SANJAN. David Read. Published privately. ISBN 9987-8920-1-9. £8.99
This is an historical novel based on fact and woven around the life of a known Masai warrior, who lived in Tanzania at the turn of the 19th century. It is an accurate and admirable record of the Masai people, once the fiercest of the tribes of East Africa. The author describes a way of life that existed at another point of time.

Readers will find themselves transported to a time machine revealing glimpses into another world that was the lives and customs of a very proud people. Some may shudder at the horror of some of the more violent aspects with which their Masai forefathers had to cope. However they will emerge the wiser for knowing and understanding a little of what these people had to suffer, not only at the hands of encroaching colonialism, but at the hand of nature; climatic disasters; diseases of man and beast and the tribal wars that were the norm and with monotonous regularity claimed the lives of their kinsmen.

The author, is perhaps one of the last lifelong European Tanzanian settlers, who possesses an intimate knowledge of the Masai. He has since childhood mixed freely in friendship with both their children and the elders, and has had a unique opportunity to observe their way of life and customs. Being fluent in their language, he has through the years been able to listen to the tribal elders recounting their age-old stories that depicted their history and customs. These stories are told again in this unique novel.

David Read, who lives in Tanzania, still maintains regular contact with his Masai friends and has translated his lifelong contact into words not only for the benefit of those whose lives lead them to East Africa, but also to those who dream and romance, about what was once known as the “Dark Continent”.

The author has written two autobiographies “Barefoot over the Serengeti” (£8.99) and “Beating about the Bush” (£10.99). Postage £1.50 for one book, £3.00 for two and £4.00 for three. Obtainable from: Crime in Store, 32 Store Street, London WclE 7BS, Tel: 0207436 7636. Also at The Slipway, P.O. Box 76513, Dar es Salaam. Tel 2601088, books@anovelidea­
Geoffrey Cotterell

LOCAL PERSPECTIVES ON GLOBALISATION: THE AFRICAN CASE, edited by Joseph Semboja, Jumu Mwapachu and Eduard Jansen. Mkuki na Nyota Publishers 2002. Distributed by African Books Collective Ltd, Oxford. 154 pp. ISBN 9976973896. £12.95.

This collection of essays looks at the impact of globalisation on Africa and the ways in which Africa can respond to it. Three of the contributions discuss Africa in general, and the other four are specifically on Tanzania.

The current plight of Africa is brought out clearly. Economic trends range from decline to disintegration, indigenous culture is battered by permissive values from one side and Christian fundamentalism from the other; natural resources are being plundered, and governments are failing to reverse these processes. Whether all this IS the result of ‘globalisation’ depends on how one defines the term, and the editors almost equate it with any form of external exploitation from the slave trade and colonial rule to the Cold War. What is Africa to do? Four of the contributions put their faith in greater regional integration, and at least three argue for an enabling, rather than an intervening, state which would develop the relevant skills, harness private enterprise for the common good, revive indigenous culture and negotiate a better deal with the developed world. Optimism sometimes triumphs over realism in believing that existing elites have the necessary will or capacity to pursue these objectives. There is clear unanimity that Africa cannot escape globalisation. Issa Shivji attacks the “if you can’t beat them join them” school, but even he falls back on a call for “restructuring our state and civil society institutions” rather than opting out. The ideological choices seem to be narrower than ever. Everyone wants more competent, honest and accountable government, but the prospects of achieving this would require a separate volume.
Robert Pinkney

WE ALL WENT ON SAFARI. Laurie Krebs. Barefoot Books, March 2003. ISBN 1841 484571. £9.99.

Profusely illustrated in colour, this is a counting book for children. It is based around a safari by a group of Maasai children who see different animals in ascending numbers up to ten. The numbers are given both in English and Swahili. The review copy of the book was given to a playgroup in north east Wales to get their reaction. The play group leader writes as follows: ‘I introduced the book to the children on World Book Day 2003 (March 6th). I read the story to a group of about 20 children aged 2-3 years during our routine story time. Firstly we talked about the story being from a different part of the world, called Africa. (I used the word Africa because I felt it may be a word they were more familiar with). The children participated with the story from page one, eagerly pointing out all the animals they knew and counting them. The illustrations captured their imaginations, and after reading the story we made animal masks and shields. I often find a child using the book in our book area with the same interest and enjoyment’.
Rossett Pre-School Playgroup

OUT OF THE BOX. TRIBAL COMMUNITIES OF MODERN TANZANIA. An exhibition of photographs by Colin Hastings, Kijiji Vision Fair Trade Photography. The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London, Feb 10 to March 21, 2003.

This delightful exhibition showed over seventy colourful photographs of a high standard and in various sizes. Many were neatly framed in cut-up cardboard boxes -hence the title of the exhibition. It reflects Tanzania’s need to make the most of what is readily and cheaply available.

Dr Colin Hastings took the photographs last year while he was working for the Tanzanian Cultural Tourism Programme to make postcards for villagers to sell to tourists. In conversation with a Tanzanian school teacher who was planning a book on tribal cultures of Northern Tanzania, Colin realised that photography in developing countries was expensive and there was scope for a scheme to assist individuals, small businesses and NGO’s. So ‘Kijiji Vision Fair Trade Photography’ was born, and will be registered as a charity in due course.

The scheme is already linked to twelve UK charities, and in Tanzania to AMKA (the local Traidcraft organisation), the Village Museum in Dar es Salaam, the Mayor of Dar es Salaam and People to People Safaris.

The exhibition was a way of introducing Kijiji Vision to this country. For myself, immersed in congested London life and unsettling talk of war, I felt another way of life taking me over. The photographs are of villagers in the north of Tanzania -the Sambaa, Chagga, Waarusha, Maasai, Barabaig, Pare and Swahili coast, going about their daily lives. Tribal culture is most apparent in images of the Maasai which has a special appeal to tourists. In modern Tanzania therefore, some tribal culture (but not all) is valued as a source of income. Some colourful dress and a lot of smiling faces make us believe all is well, but we know that by our standards, life is hard. In spite of this, a love of life shines through. I returned to the streets of London with these lives looking over my shoulder, and not to be forgotten. I hope tourists to Tanzania would feel the same.

If anyone would like to host the exhibition please e-mail Colin Hastings: Postcards are available at £7.50 for 15, £5 of which goes into the project. Cheques to Colin Hastings, 83 Hampstead Way, London NW11 7LG.
Christine Lawrence


Anders Danielson. Agricultural Supply Response in Tanzania: has adjustment really worked? African Development Review. Vol. 13, No. 1, June 2002, pp. 98-112. Based on 1986-1998 reform process. Concerned with impact of market-oriented reforms on crop production and farmers’ response to predicted price incentives.

Sohail Agha and Ronan Van Rossem. Impact of Mass Media Campaigns on Intentions to Use the Female Condom in Tanzania. International Family Planning Perspectives. Vol. 28, No 3 Summer 2002, pp. 151-8. Based on data from a survey of 2,712 men and women, designed to evaluate a mass media campaign promoting the use of female condoms; concerned with the extent to which the campaign influenced the intentions of both men and women to use them.

Hodgson. Precarious Alliances – Indigenous Anthropologist Vol.

Ulrike Wanitzek. The Power of Language in the Discourse on Women’s Rights: Some Examples from Tanzania. Africa Today. Vol.49, No. 1, 2002, pp. 3-19. The author explores three approaches to language and its uses, implications of language for feminist discourse, especially as it is used in Tanzanian courts, and the relevance of language to work of living-law scholars. The three approaches include the formalists, the instrumentalists, and the integrationists. When applied to gender-related issues apparently language reveals a male dominance position and the exclusion of women, particularly at the legal level. Utilizing examples from Tanzanian courts in matters such as settlement of estates, the author notes how a widow’s linguistic inability to press her claim results in deprivation. Efforts to overcome this disadvantage require, among other things, revising customary law to make it consistent with the realities of societal changes and eliminate barriers to women’s rights.
Marion Doro

Cameron, Greg, 2002. Zanzibar’s Turbulent Transition. Review of African Political Economy. No. 92, 2002, pp 313-330. ‘Zanzibar’s Turbulent Transition’ recalls the 2000 elections that provoked unrest and police killings of over 30 people and prompting more than 2000 mostly Pembans -to flee to Kenya. Greg Cameron sees the Zanzibar democracy movement as a challenge both to the coalition that followed the bloody 1964 revolution and to the Dodoma government itself. He reviews events before, during and after the elections enlivening his story with first hand observations and conversations with citizens of all political and economic stripes, and with human rights reports and articles from local newspapers and journals -including TA. The article offers an excellent history and analysis that will be valuable background as the future of the Tanzanian republic unfolds.
Peg Snyder




THE NYERERE LEGACY AND ECONOMIC POLICY MAKING IN TANZANIA. Edited by Ammon Mbelle, G D Mjema and A A L Kilindo. Dar es Salaam University Press, 2002. pp.362. ISBN 9976 60 3657. Available from African Books Collective, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford. Price £23.95.

Julius Nyerere was a towering figure -whose personal philosophy had a unique influence on Tanzania. So it was fitting that the National Economic Policy Workshop in March 2000, a few months after his death, should be devoted to an assessment of his legacy.

The 17 papers by Tanzanian economists, geographers and social scientists cover a wide range of public policy in Tanzania. The first paper concludes that targets to reduce poverty will not be met unless the economy grows -and unless specific steps are taken to favour the poor. The second argues for a strategy to promote entrepreneurship. There are three papers on agriculture, showing that government support for agriculture has declined, a lack of initiative from the community level, and a need to improve the infrastructure, especially feeder roads, if agriculture is to prosper. The paper on industry argues for more local investment in small-scale production. The paper on social services shows that it is all but impossible for Tanzania to meet its objectives with the present level of external debt. The papers on education and health show how the disparities between urban and rural children got worse during the years of structural adjustment.

Two papers argue for better communications with Tanzania’s neighbours, and economic co-operation, and above all for peace and stability. A paper on tax argues that fiscal discipline, lost after Nyerere stood down, is gradually being restored. A paper on settlement patterns argues that Nyerere was fundamentally correct to persuade people to live in villages -while being clear about what went wrong and can still go wrong today. The final study is a very frank discussion of corruption.

All the papers reference Nyerere’s writing, of more than 30 years ago. The frontiers of debate have changed, and thinking is more complex ­for example there is no simple choice between industry or agriculture, but there are choices about what sort of industry and how best to support agriculture. But the legacy of Nyerere’s policy papers still influences discourse today.

Tanzanians have much to be proud of. Their country broadly manages to feed itself with three times the population at Independence, and a capital city now exceeding three million people. Some form of structural adjustment (not necessarily the IMF’s version) was inevitable when the oil price rose and the seemingly limitless aid flows came to an end. But out of the hard years has come the possibility to develop local resources and skills, using competition within the private sector to keep the excesses of monopoly in check, and the state to provide the infrastructure and to clamp down hard on corruption. Socialism and Self Reliance -reinterpreted for the new millennium -still have much to offer as the economists, geographers and politicians develop new strategies for today.
Andrew Coulson

WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN THE PANGANI RIVER BASIN: Challenges and Opportunities. Ed. J.O.Ngana, Dar es Salaam University Press, 2001, 150 pp. ISBN 997660356 8.

The Pangani is one of Tanzania’s largest rivers. Headwaters from Meru and Kilimanjaro are collected by the Kikuletwa and Ruvu and from their confluence in Nyumba Ya Mungu Reservoir south of Moshi, the Pangani flows south-eastwards to the Indian Ocean with additions from the Pare and Usumbara Mountains. The basin occupies over 40,000 km 2 and ranges from alpine heathland and forests to wooded grassland and thicket. Fertile uplands are densely populated and cultivated, whilst on lower slopes large estates for sisal were developed with diversification into sugar and paddy rice in the north. The agricultural, domestic and commercial demand for water is heavy but must leave sufficient for hydropower generation given a present installed capacity in excess of 100 MW.

This volume introduces a collaborative project involving the University of Dar es Salaam and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which aims to access and analyse the data bases needed to promote guidelines for sustainable water management and to enhance the research capacity of staff and postgraduates. Twelve project papers are then presented which use archival and new information for investigations centred in the northern sub-basin where water demand is greatest. They vary in length and depth and several would have benefited from a more rigorous editorial scrutiny. Under ‘Water Resources’, descriptions are given of a modest rainfall shift, patterns of low stream flows, and the formation and discharge variations in mountainside springs. The end point of data acquisition is the construction of hydrological models since, given simulations of the past and present, it should be possible to predict future impacts of changes in land use and water management. Modelling needs reliable data; early results from modem gauging stations in three sub catchments are described, as are approaches to model construction.

Irrigation has a long history in the Pangani basin and in a section on ‘Land Use’, farmers considered increased demand, greed and prolonged droughts as principal causes of the water shortages which had brought about changes in the crops grown and lifestyles. Little evidence was found of negative effects from irrigation on soil fertility and salinity. Recognising the importance of land cover to water budgets, a comparison of albeit rather old Kilimanjaro land use maps (1952 & 1982), revealed significant losses of forests and dense bush with increases in cultivated areas -trends which presumably continue into the present. The value of vegetation conservation in water management is touched upon again in a final section on “Social­Economic Aspects”, which also includes a concise overview of water availability and water use conflicts and unexpectedly, an account of the high population growth potential in rural areas. Many authors comment on a shortfall both in the quality and quantity of relevant up­to-date data sets such that the reader is left in no doubt as to the challenges and opportunities which confront those responsible for managing the increasing and competing demands for the water resources of the Pangani.
Roland Bailey

Janet Bujra. ISBN 0 7486 1484 2. Edinburgh University Press Ltd, Edinburgh. £18.00

European authors who choose to write on African affairs sometimes give themselves problems. The great danger is that they borrow western ideas, and so present incomplete reality about Africa. In this book, the author forces comparisons between working classes in Europe and Africa, domestic service in Tanzania in particular. Domestic service in Tanzania does not fit into a western serving class model.

A study of the nature of domestic service in Tanzania needs to contain some account of its historical status. It would have been interesting to have the author’s views on whether modem domestic service is a continuation of indigenous practice, or a product of foreign attitudes inherited through slavery and colonialism.

Traditional life, before foreigners arrived, was responsible for the establishment of domestic services and the feminisation of domestic work. In traditional society, grandparents requested their grandchildren to stay with them in order to help in domestic work, girls in particular. In some circles in Tanzania, the use of grandchildren to perform domestic chores (unpaid) had become common among traditional leaders.

Nor does the author discuss early visitors to the African continent. There is a school of thought that claims that missionaries, especially priests, preferred to employ men in order to distance themselves from women in a bid to avoid temptation, or allegations of sexual misconduct, from female servants. Hence missionaries employed men and trained them to perform domestic work, even though in some tribes, men did not do household work (including cooking), except in pastoral and agricultural societies where men learnt to cook (but not wash up pots and plates), especially when women of the family were out doing farm work.

The author makes no critique of the common practice of using child domestic servants to sell ice cream, bread or cake for the household they work in; nor of those made pregnant by their employer or by relatives in the employer’s family. We don’t see much about how the parents ofthese girls reacted, nor how much this possibility influenced or changed their decision to send males to work rather than girls. The author should be commended for her use of Swahili, which contrasts favourably with many other European authors who do not integrate African languages into their writings. However, while the author expands some descriptions of things unfamiliar to readers of English writings, she drops from the English version some details which appear in Swahili, losing certain areas of meaning in the process. As there is no parallel Swahili version, we cannot gauge the reactions of post and current domestic servants in Tanzania who cannot speak English.

This book has its good points, but the picture of domestic services in Tanzania is incomplete. The author needs to reassess and recommend what should be done in the light of her research ideas.
Frederick Longino.

FARMERS AND MARKETS IN AFRICA: POLICY REFORMS AND CHANGING RURAL LIVELIHOODS. Stefano Ponte. Oxford, James Currey, 2002. ISBN 0-85255-169-X £40 (cloth). 0­85255-169-X £17.95 (paper).

It is very clear from the outset of this book that the author aspires to more than a detailed case study. He has used the Tanzanian case studies to illustrate a general argument about continental policy reform and marketing structures. Ponte’s empirical evidence clearly shows that International Financial Institutions’ (IFI) policy goals to enhance smallholder export agriculture through economic liberalisation have backfired, largely undermining rather than bolstering the sector. Instead, ‘fast crops’, like tomatoes that generate much needed quick cash, and non-agricultural diversification have proliferated ­developments that were never foreseen, let alone intended in the original IFI policies.

Ponte’s argument is empirically well-supported. My main criticism is that in trying to broaden his audience he sometimes juggles with an eclectic hotch-potch of political economy and post-modernist-inspired theories as well as sliding between levels of analysis to bridge the global-local gap. This ambitious all-encompassing approach makes the book somewhat uneven in places and occasionally detracts from the strength of the research findings. Very briefly I will make a few observations about each chapter.

Chapter 1 is efficient in setting out the scope of the book and the research methodology. The macro-level bias of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) impact literature is criticised with emphasis placed on the need for more local analysis and more attention to non-economic phenomena of the ‘local context’. The promise is made to observe farmers’ agency within larger systems and to “‘fill” the macro-level dynamics with a basic level of generalisation coming from specific local-level experiences in their diversity, without, at the same time, losing important shades of contextualisation’. Contextual analysis, therefore, is used in terms of collecting local interpretations, divergent accounts, and constructions from below.

Chapter 2 is a good overview of trends in international and continental agricultural marketing systems. The author has managed a very lucid account that will be of interest to economists and non-economists alike.

Chapter 3 and the first part of Chapter 4 provide basic background on Tanzanian post-independence policies and the switch from African socialism to World Bank-led structural adjustment. Covering material that is already well-known to many readers, the author nonetheless has provided a succinct historical background needed for understanding the analysis which follows. The latter part of Chapter 4 is an exceptionally insightful account of the tenuous statistical base upon which the World Bank has proclaimed Tanzania an economic success story.

Chapter 5 is probably the most important empirical chapter of the book, clearly documenting the author’s field findings regarding the declining input supply availed farmers by private traders in the wake of liberalisation.

Chapter 6 is a middle-level institutional analysis of the objectives and effectiveness of public vs. private-leaning marketing systems. Interestingly, all four case studies seem to be largely over-determined by the impact of IFI policies, world market forces and physical locations vis-a-vis markets. The reported findings suggest that local­level agents’ manoeuvrings were hemmed in by these factors, and that on balance, agricultural marketing services of whatever institutional nature, were generally declining and acting as a deterrent to farming.

Chapters 7 and 8 are both very empirically strong chapters with a more relevant analytical focus, that of livelihoods. Chapter 7 concentrates on the significance of fast crops and significance of the increasing incidence of hired labour. Chapter 8 turns to rural households which resort to non-agricultural activities and the impact this has on wealth differentiation, and incidence of poverty. Chapter 9 summarizes the author’s argument very forcefully and convincingly, and helpfully points to the policy implications.

This book provides an engrossing read. Clearly written, well-structured and empirically strong, the author provides a careful review of the impact of structural adjustment and economic liberalization policies on rural smallholder farming villages. His two Tanzanian case study districts offer interesting contrasts as regards transport/market accessibility and crop mixes, demonstrating some of the variation, as well as many of the striking commonalities that have surfaced in rural Africa in the wake of the continental-wide implementation of SAP by international financial institutions. This is a book for those interested in the politics and economics of Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa more generally.
Deborah Bryceson

DAR DAYS: THE EARLY YEARS IN TANZANIA. Charles R. Swift. University Press of America. ISBN 0-7618-2331-X paperback). 211 pp. Two maps. $38.

Readers familiar with Tanzania during 1966-1974 will easily identify with the environment, attitudes, and assumptions that Swift records in this edited version of his daily diary during his years of service as a psychiatric consultant with the Ministry of Health. His recollections are based on an annual, episodic rather than thematic basis, reflecting his medical schedule and availability of facilities, his daily routine and life style, and family responses. Central to these memories are his connections with medical professionals in Tanzania and Zanzibar, some of which record personal as well as professional differences. These experiences reflect the politics (petty and otherwise) played out by Tanzania’s medical administrators as they vied for positions of control over their bailiwicks, or alternatively co-operated with one another, either for their own benefit or that of their patients. With few exceptions Swift makes minimal reference to major political events; clearly he was deeply affected by the assassination of Eduardo Mondlane and very impressed with the leadership of Julius Nyerere. While he took note of major events, e.g., Idi Amin’s coup in Uganda, or his occasional association with notables such as Jane Goodall and Nathan Shamuyarira, these are descriptive rather than analytical accounts. The use of parenthetical remarks to explain local circumstances interrupts the literary flow; the two maps are somewhat confusing, even to those familiar with the area. But, these minor failings detract only minimally from the overall value of this book which will likely set readers to reminiscing about their own experiences.
Marion Doro

Zachary Kingdon. ISBN 0-415-27727-2. Routledge, 2002, £55.00

Makonde Blackwood carving is rarely included in serious reviews of African arts and is routinely derided as of interest only as Tourist art. In this book Kingdon, in elegant and accessible prose, provides the corrective. He supplies an in-depth examination of the art making, and insight into the relationship between expressive form and social relations within Makonde society.

In the main the book is concerned with the form of carving known as Shetani. For most spectators these carvings are anomalous anthropomorphic forms that within primitivising discourses on African art have even been ascribed a surrealist root. This book, through careful documentation and through research, debunks such ideas and demonstrates the history of how this particular form emerged into the Makonde carver’s corpus. The insights provided are key to an art history of Makonde carving and the development of the shetani form. Without denying the constant tension between tradition and modernity Kingdon places carving within the social history of the Makonde in Tanzania. The book carefully documents the relations between carvers and patrons in Tanzania, the life histories of predominant carvers and, in a passage rich in detail that draws upon the author’s own apprenticeship, the process of carving.

Valuable as this work is to a general history of art in Africa; its aims are more ambitious. The interpretative strategy used here depends upon the location of the artefact (the shetani carving) within the social context of Makonde culture to the extent that the work carries with it agency akin to a Makonde sense of being (if that is what is meant by ontology). In this investigation a loosely phenomenological analysis is presented in which concepts such as embodiment, personhood, play, insecurity and mediation are used alongside ethnographic details of women’s affliction, spirit possession, masquerade performances, tattooing and body art. From time to time there is a tendency to work from the highly particular to the theoretically general that then appears overstated, but the theoretical nexus works well and is convincing, backed up with comparative material from other East African ethnographies.

In an intriguing passage in the introduction Kingdon writes of learning the embodied dispositions of the Makonde carver during his apprenticeship, a metaphor for describing anthropological fieldwork, yet also reminiscent of passages in Merleau Ponty. Talking of the analysis of understanding through perception Ponty criticises the reading of artworks for their visual resemblance as disembodied reading. Rather he writes;

“Things have an internal equivalence in me; they arouse in me a carnal formula of presence. These correspondences in turn give rise to some tracing rendered visible again in which the eyes of others could find an underlying motif to sustain their inspection of the world.” In embodying Makonde carving the author of this book has clearly found a motif, a practice, allowing this rich and worthy inspection of a Makonde world.
(Maurice Merlau Ponty (1961) Eye and Mind (L’oeil et l’esprit) Art de France
(1) p125-126)
William Rea


Urban development waterfront revitalisation in developing countries: The example of Zanzibar’s Stonetown. B. Hoyle, Geographical Journal, Vo1168, No. 2, June 2002. (141-162)

This paper includes a good deal of background history, and a map of the coastal strip showing interesting buildings and open spaces between the present day port and State House. It discusses their successive changes of use, the characters involved, Stone Town Conservation Plan, and the contributions of several research projects and aid-funded activities.
Dick Waller

Placing the Shameless: approaching poetry and the politics of Pemban-ness in Zanzibar, 1995-2001, Nathalie Arnold. Research in African Literatures. Fall, 2002. v.33, i3, 140-68.
An analysis of the political implications of the song: “The Shameless Have a Town of their Own”, especially as the lyrics reflect political interpretations of Pemba responses in Zanzibar following the 1995 Tanzanian elections. The emphasis is on the concept of “belonging” and the variations of appropriate behaviour as well as modes of action that reveal violence, especially at the local level of ethnically-based political activity.

International Discourse and Local Politics: anti-female-genital­ cutting laws in Egypt, Tanzania, and the United States.” Elizabeth­Heger Boyle, Fortunata Songora, and Gail Foss.” Social Problems, 48, 4 November 2001. pp 524-544.
A comparative analysis of anti-FGC policies that explores how different local political situations interact with international aid policies.

Medical Syncretism with Reference to Malaria in a Tanzanian Community
.” Susanna Hausmann Muela, Joan Muela Riberia, Adiel K. Mushi, and Marcel Tanner. Social Science and Medicine. 55, 3, August 2002 pp 403-413.
Explores local responses to new health information in a semi-rural community of south eastern Tanzania, with specific reference to malaria. Emphasis is on how recipients receive and respond to new approaches to this health problem.

‘Kunyenga’, ‘Real Sex,’ and Survival: Assessing the Risk of HIV Infection among Urban Street Boys in Tanzania. Chris Lockhart. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 16,3, September 2002. pp294-311.
Examines sexual networks and practices of “street boys” as they move from homosexual to heterosexual behaviour and the ultimate consequences for HIV IAIDS infection for the general population.

Networks, Trust, and Innovation in Tanzania’s Manufacturing Sector. James T. Murphy. World Development, 30, 4, April 2002, pp 591-619. Assesses the extent to which “trust” affects exchange of information and promotes innovation as revealed in study of a group of manufacturers in Mwanza. Indicates, among other things, that “openness to social relations enhances innovation”.

Comments (2)



FROM RITUAL TO MODERN ART: TRADITION AND MODERNITY IN TANZANIAN SCULPTURE. Edited by Manfred Ewel and Anne Outwater, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Dar es Salaam. £34.95 h/b, £20.95 p/b. Available from African Books Collective Ltd, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl IHU

East Africa is often neglected in books about African art. Masks and sculpted human figures, which are generally the main focus of interest for historians of African art, are generally considered rarer and of lesser quality when compared with the rich and accomplished traditions of the Zaire basin and West Africa. It is therefore heartening to find a well illustrated and well produced book, published in Tanzania, that aims to redress this neglect. However, despite its ambitious title this book presents very little new material based on recent research. Although the contributing authors, who include Tanzanians as well as Europeans, display a scholarly familiarity with the literature on Tanzanian sculptural traditions this literature is itself outdated and in need of critical review. The book remains, essentially, a series of general surveys of different aspects of Tanzanian sculptural traditions.

A broadly critical perspective is adopted by Wembah-Rashid in his short opening chapter, but in attempting to discuss the broad sweep of Tanzanian sculpture and sculptors his observations are generalised almost to the point of meaninglessness. Hahner-Herzog’s chapter admits to being a preliminary survey of the history of Tanzanian art and achieves this aim to the extent that the literature allows. She attempts to trace formal and stylistic influences along trade routes and along paths traced for other reasons by the peoples of the region. But while Hahner-Herzog keeps to historically documented movements of peoples in her discussion, Felix, in his chapter, does not limit himself to such sources. His almost obsessive concern for the objects in themselves leads him to dispense with the need to explain how the ‘style’ of an artefact relates to a sculptor’s intentions or to its meaning and function in a particular social context. He uses long discredited ‘diffusionist’ arguments to trace the spread of loosely defined ‘types’ and ‘styles’ of artefact throughout eastern Africa.

Mulokozi’s over ambitious chapter attempts to cover the aesthetic principles and religious and philosophical ideas underlying Tanzanian (and in some cases even African) sculptural forms. Although he often relates his categories and principles to specific ethnic traditions he succeeds, like a number of the other contributors, mainly in reducing a fascinating and complex cultural diversity to a set of rather suspect generalities.

Katoke’s brief chapter is useful in that it focuses specifically on the Karagwe royal collection. This modest approach allows us to gain insights into the political significance of a unique collection of artefacts and into the transformations of meaning implied in their creation and acquisition. Castelli’s chapter, although fleshed out with snippets of Makonde ethnography, is theoretically very weak. His central, spurious thesis is that African sculpture preserved in European museums represents a tool for reconstructing African collective memories. This approach is again one of obsession with the objects in themselves. It lacks a critical perspective with regard to the European colonial projects that provided the historical contexts in which museum artefacts were collected.

Nooter’s analysis of high-backed stools has been well rehearsed in other publications and Mshana’s inquiry into Makonde shetani sculpture has now been superseded by my book, ‘A Host of Devils: the history and context of the making of Makonde spirit sculpture’ (Routledge 2002). Despite its shortcomings, which often reflect the shortcomings of the existing literature on East African material culture, this publication would be worth having merely as a visual record of Tanzanian sculpture. Ironically, however, most of the artefacts illustrated in it are no longer in Tanzania.
Zachary Kingdon

KONIGSBERG-A GERMAN EAST AFRICAN RAIDER Kevin Patience. Available from the author at 257 Sandbanks Road, Poole, BH14 8EY, Dorset. Tel 01 202 707450. Email Hardback, 216 pp. £16 incl.p&p.

This is a revised and enlarged edition of a book first published in 1997. On the outbreak of war the light cruiser Konigsberg sailed north from Dar es Salaam in search of British merchant shipping. During her absence H.M.S. Astraea of the Cape squadron destroyed the wireless station at Dar es Salaam and frightened the German Harbour Master into scuttling the floating dock in the harbour entrance to deny entry to the Royal Navy. In so doing he also denied the Konigsberg her best harbour in the area, so that being short of fuel and in need of repairs she anchored in the Rufiji river. While there she learnt that the old light cruiser Pegasus was at Zanzibar undergoing repairs to her engines, so she sallied forth and quickly put her out of action before returning to the Rufiji.

Two shallow draught monitors each armed with two six inch guns were sent from England and eventually worked their way up the river to a position from which they could destroy the Konigsberg in July 1915. They were assisted in this by aircraft of the new fleet air arm to spot the fall of shot and radio corrections to the monitors.

The author tells the story around the surviving relics of the ships, and personal records of those involved which he has tracked down with remarkable thoroughness. He has himself dived to examine the wreck of the Pegasus and has traced relics of the action from Pretoria to London. In particular he has obtained much information from the grandson of Captain Looff of the Konigsberg. There are many eye witness accounts of heroism and plain hardship from both sides and the book is profusely illustrated. Of particular interest is the account of the subsequent role of the guns of both Pegasus and Konigsberg in the land fighting.

The author is at pains to demolish the story of the heroism of the marines of H.M.S. Pegasus who were said to have held up the ship’s ensign after it had been shot away. As Geoffrey Bennett pointed out in 1968 in his “Naval Battles of the First World War”, the truth was that Commander Ingles surrendered his ship in the face of hopeless odds.

There is a wealth of fascinating detail not found in the standard histories. On the other hand the reader will not find a discussion of the wider strategic and tactical issues involved, or of the technical problems of controlling indirect fire by the novel use of spotter planes -it’s not that sort of book. For such things, the best account is still that of Arthur Pollen in his “The Navy in Battle”, 1918, which unsurprisingly, is not included in the short bibliography.

At times the story is in danger of becoming confused by the need to cram so much interesting information into a relatively small space, and an index would have helped the reader with the cross referencing involved. Nevertheless it is a lively story told by someone who has devoted much time to tracing the remaining vestiges of an important part of the war in East Africa, presented in an attractive format which represents very good value at the price -J. C-P.

FOOD PRESERVATION AT HOME. Paul Vincent Mroso: Benedictine Publications, Ndanda -Peramiho. ISBN 9976 63 639 3. Pp 191. Price £8.50.
Available from Ndanda Mission Press, P.O. Box 4, Ndanda, via Mtwara, Tanzania.

Dr Mroso’s book is a response to the food insecurity affecting many low and middle income countries in the world to-day. The book has interesting sections on alternative food sources that have the potential to meet the needs of a hungry planet and on improved means of providing families living in isolated areas with safe water, for example by harvesting rain water or making sand filters. Dr Mroso provides a particularly useful account of traditional methods of food preservation. These range from the better known techniques of smoking, roasting, drying, curing, salting, pickling and fermentation to less familiar ways of preserving eggs, blood, fats and oils. The account is a valuable store of traditional wisdom.

FORTRESS CONSERVATION. The Preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania. Dan Brockington. The International Institute in co-operation with James Currey: Mkuki wa Nyota; and Indiana University Press. 2002. 196 pages. ISBN 0-85255-418-4 (hardback). £40.00, 0-85255-417-6 (paper), £11.95

This book represents several years work including two in the field. It is a worthwhile and challenging read, and deals with an intractable problem common throughout modem Africa. This concerns the attempt, which is in present conditions well nigh impossible of achievement, to reconcile the needs of a hugely expanded population and its urgent need for more land and grazing, with the need to conserve wilderness and wildlife resources which are under threat worldwide. The author leans towards the needs of the people, and with this I can sympathise, but I abhor the picture on the front of the book which shows an epitome of an ostentatious western life-style. This is modem sleazy spin at its worst, is out of place in an academic text, and will I am sure offend many thinking people. Mkomazi is in many ways a unique environment, and not just a playground for rich western tourists.

I am fully aware of the problems posed by the author, and I know the area with which he deals. In the 1950’s as District Officer in Musoma and later in Lushoto, I was closely involved with illegal Maasai grazing on the Serengeti, and with Sambaa-Maasai problems on the Umba steppe. Much later, from 1971 to 1991 I was Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana, and deeply involved in the active debate about the relative merits of increased cattle grazing and the preservation of the Kalahari environment, and with the varying demands on finite resources by San peoples, Tswana cattlemen, tourists, and diamond prospecting and mining.

After forty years in Africa then, I have no doubt whatsoever that traditional pastoralism cannot at the present day co-exist with a natural highly diversified environment, and its attendant wildlife. Everywhere it is in terminal retreat. One cannot square the circle, no matter how sympathetic one is to people such as the Maasai, and very difficult and unpalatable decisions have to be made, which cannot please all interests.

A hard decision has been made by the Tanzanian Government to cut the gordian knot, and this decision to confirm the Mkomazi Game Reserve must be adhered to. The real need now is to provide organisation and funds on a large scale to provide help to the burgeoning population of the Upare/Mkomazi area and indeed of all Africa. The people need to be taught better alternatives to traditional agricultural and cattle-keeping methods, which simply do not work under modem population pressures. They must also be offered new sources of work and livelihood, so that they do not continue to ruin the land which is their and their children’s’ home now and in the future. Sadly however, the rich countries of the world do not seem prepared to help on the scale required. They have in many places dreadfully damaged their own environments and squandered the earth’s resources, but seem impervious to the needs of Africa and its exploding population.
John Cooke

FROM BLANTYRE TO CHITAMBO – A Brief Life of David Livingstone. Peter Snelson. Published by The Round House Vestry, Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1 DB. ISBN 0 9541762 0 O. 50 pages, including four of illustrations. PIb. £3.50

David Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Scotland, in 1813, and died in Chitambo Village in the country now known as Zambia, in 1873. The author graduated in history at Cambridge. He served for 17 years as an Education Officer in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, and later worked in the Commonwealth Secretariat. In his own foreword to his book the author writes -“this little book sketches the life of David Livingstone and summarises his achievements and failures in a few brief chapters. It breaks little new ground. The reader who has time to read more will find no shortage of full length biographies”.

Some of the full length biographies mentioned by Peter Snelson are too lavish in the way that they praise a hero whose adventures as an explorer, missionary, and opponent of the slave trade gripped the imaginations of Britain. Other biographers, for example Lytton Strachey, are too negative in their approach to “eminent Victorians”, and debunk a very great man with a cynicism which I find unpleasant. Peter Snelson avoids both these faults, and has written a lively, accurate, lucid and enthralling little book which succeeds quite admirably in its stated objective of “making a balanced assessment of Livingstone’s successes and failures”.

Livingstone’s explorations covered a vast area of Africa, and took him to many different countries. Readers of “Tanzanian Affairs” will be particularly interested in the parts of the book which deal with Zanzibar, Bagamoyo, and Stanley’s search for Livingstone and their meeting at Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, and in the months they spent together at Unyanyembe near Tabora. “From Blantyre to Chitambo” is an excellent account of an extraordinary life.
Michael Longford

Denis Roth Allen, “Learning the Facts ofLife: Past and Present Experiences in a Rural Tanzanian Community”, Africa Today, 47, 3/4, 2000, 3-27.

29,3,2001, pp 307-338.

Studies, 35,1,2001. Pp 67-97.

Rasch. Social Science and Medicine, 52, 12, June 2001, 1815-1826.

The widening range of gender-focused research was particularly apparent in recent academic journals as illustrated in this selection that reflect concern for traditional sex education, urban teen-age pregnancy, rural economic status, and the political empowerment of urban women. While each of these articles is concerned with different aspects of Tanzanian womens’ experiences they share several common denominators. Perhaps the most important one is that the potential for resolving socio-economic issues arising out of gender depends on womens’ access to adequate economic opportunities, acquiring political credibility and achieving effective degrees of independence. These factors indicate that both the struggle between tradition and modernity, and the inequities between urban and rural opportunities for development continue.

The Allen article explores how young women in Tanzania’s Shinyanga Region learned about “sexuality and reproduction” and asks whether it would be useful to revive traditional forms of sex education. Through interview and informal conversations the author discovered several traditional forms were rarely used either because one of them -unyago-was apparently limited to Muslim girls and used infrequently, or another -maji -was essentially an informal mode of communal living. In the absence of traditional or established methods of sex education the evidence indicated that these rural women effectively shared their experiences about sexuality and reproduction through informal networking. Clearly, the results of this research suggest that future methods of sex education and health education would benefit from using this pragmatic method rather than re-inventing “traditional rites” which appear to be more myth than reality.

In contrast to the mores of traditional sex education in rural areas, Silberschmidt’s analysis of the sexual activities of adolescent girls in Dar es Salaam examines modes of urban sexual behaviour that are becoming major concerns throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Based on a qualitative analysis of 51 girls who had recently experienced illegal abortions this study reveals that many adolescents in the current generation often willingly engage in high-risk sexual behaviour that exposes them to HIV infections, early pregnancy and induced abortions. Not surprisingly their motives are to secure material benefits, and they are either not aware of the availability of family planning services or do not utilise them. Rather than using earlier findings that suggest that the girls are prey to lecherous old men, the author concludes that these adolescent girls have failed to recognise that sex education and contraceptives are intended to promote responsible behaviour rather than licence to engage in illicit sex.

Brockington, who has researched Tanzanian pastoralists extensively, focused on the impoverishment Maasai and Parkuyo women suffered following the eviction oftheir communities from the Mkomazi Game Reserve. The move caused serious losses of the stock on which women depended for their basic food and income, with the result that they were compelled to sell their milk supplies as well as well as to resort to selling firewood and traditional medicine. This led to other adverse effects, such as a decline in their socio-economic independence, dietary deficiencies for the poorer families who continued to live in remote rural areas, and difficult intra-household negotiations with their husbands over the use of their diminished income. Women among the relatively wealthy pastoralists living near a village endured less loss of income and enjoyed the advantages of nearby school, church and clinic, as well as income generating activities. The author acknowledges that more research is needed to ascertain the long-term effects of eviction on women pastoralists. However, the reader is apprised of how major changes in the lifestyles of pastoralists affect gendered socio­economic life.

Tracing recent political empowerment of urban Tanzanian women Andraea M Brown explores their extensive participation in civil society as well as governmental institutions. Her research is based on extensive interviews conducted primarily with middle class women, as well as previous similar studies.

While female representation in local, regional and national government has increased, women must still cope with male dominated hierarchies, negative cultural attitudes, and their own culturally induced strictures. Their achievements are a mixed bag, balanced on the one hand by legislation that punishes sexual assaults, and the easing of restrictions on civil society associations, while issues relating to inheritance, property rights, sexual harassment, female education and health remain unresolved. Nevertheless, Tanzanian women fare better than their contemporaries in Kenya, Zimbabwe or Zambia. This is particularly true in the realm of civil society where professional and middle class women pressure government for change and challenge patronage politics. Much of their strength stems from their unity and ability to minimise ethnic and socio-economic differences in favour of gender related political issues. On the other hand, poor women who are most adversely affected by structural adjustment, focus on economic issues, using passive resistance and non-compliance to cope with issues such as taxation and licensing -M.E.D.

Stephen Spawls et al. Natural world 2002. 543 pp. bibliography and index. ISBN 0-12-656470-1. $49.95

A product of expert east African herpetologists this guide includes nearly 500 reptile fauna in the area, complete with colour photographs, keys and introductory essays, distribution maps and a special section on dangerous snake bites and first aid -M.E.D.

FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF EAST AFRICA: KENYA, TANZANIA, UGANDA, RWANDA AND BURUNDI. Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe.T & A Poyser, 2002. 602 pp. bibliography, index. ISBN 0-85661-079-8. $40

Enthusiastically reviewed and recommended by specialists, this guide discusses 1,388 species, with 287 illustrations, numerous maps and useful indexes ­