Professor Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu’s address at the University of Dar es Salaam received front page coverage in the ‘Daily News’. He is reported to have said that capitalism can be applied towards attaining Tanzania’s socialist objectives and added that it was wrong to condemn capitalism wholesale. It was a dynamic force. To ignore it would amount to unrealistic emotionalism, he pointed out, stressing that ‘we should make the best out of it and avoid the worst.’ To quote the article, Ndugu Babu said infusion of positive capitalist practices into Tanzania’s economic system was essential for reconciling the country’s backward agriculture and infant industrialisation. ‘Let the people be rich- socialism is about plenty, not poverty, ‘ he emphasised, pointing out that the more economically well-off people become, the stronger the home market becomes and the more conducive situation you create for a budding industry.
He argued that the burning question was not capitalism versus the masses, but by 90% the masses versus nature. He thus advocated increased encouragement of private investment in socially oriented enterprises as well as individual initiative to create capital for sustained growth.
He called for emulation of the recent decision by Chinese authorities to allow for three per cent vigorous private economic participation in the continuing search for a rational balance between consumption and accumulation, a goal, he said, which transcended ideological affiliations.
The Professor decried the tendency of heavy expenditure on grandiose projects at the expense of those that touched the people more closely and which would ultimately be economically more viable. Ndugu Babu, who underscored the need for constant self-criticism, called for a scientific approach in mapping and implementing Tanzania’s socialist programmes, noting that the country’s stable government was a major foundation upon which to build a successful future.