BOOK REVIEWS

THE TANZANIAN PEASANTRY: ECONOMY IN CRISIS. Edited by P G Forster and S Maghimbi. Avebury. 1992. 287 pages. £39.95.

This book of sixteen papers is perhaps over-ambitious in endeavouring to cover the whole country through case studies in six regions; included are papers on: the historical dimension of the attempts by pre- and post-independence governments, with their different ideologies, to influence the peasantry; the cooperative movement (three papers); and, the relationship of academic disciplines (social anthropology and economics) to issues of rural development.

In their introduction, the editors ask whether there is an underlying message in the papers and then say yes, there is an underlying message in most, if not all of them. It is to the effect that there has been a general tendency to disregard peasant knowledge. In practice, if not in theory, ‘modernity’ and ‘science’ has been upheld in opposition to peasant ‘ignorance’ and ‘superstition’.

The editors state that this might have been pardonable if the result had been a major success in transforming the peasant economy so that peasants had clearly benefited. Anyone familiar with the country knew that this had not happened. The papers repeat many of the by now well-known causes – faulty advice from ‘experts I, misappropriation of funds, peasants I existing knowledge often treated with contempt, villagisation, failure to consult and so on. One contributor points out how successful ‘Sungusungu’ – a movement which responded directly to problems of social control – had been. Wisely the editors point out that the peasant is not necessarily always right and the expert always wrong. It would have been useful if this issue had been developed further.

For those not familiar with rural development in Tanzania the book is a mine of information. For others it makes a very good read but may add little to existing knowledge – DRB.

EXTERNAL AID: A LEVER FOR SOCIAL PROGRESS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES? A CASE STUDY OF SIDA SUPPORTED EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS IN TANZANIA, 1970-1990’s. A G M Ishumi. International Journal of Educational Development. Vol 12 No 4. 1992

EDUCATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN PRE- AND POST-INDEPENDENT TANZANIA: AN ANALYSIS THROUGH CASES. L Buchert. Part of a thesis presented for the award of the degree of PhD in the University of London. 1991.

Both of these articles are concerned with the impact of education in the broadest sense on social development. Ishumi’s article is very informative about the origins and development of SIDA, the Swedish International Development Agency and provides an admirable review of the agency I s work in Tanzania. The range of projects is wide, yet, as Ishumi points out, is based on consistent principle – ‘to strengthen the productivity of poor people in order to raise their standard of living’. Areas of assistance include adult/nonformal education; vocational training; primary education; teacher training; and, support for a girls secondary school.

Folk Development Colleges appear to have proved highly successful initially (1975-80) but by 1990 there were signs of a falling off in enrolment. The establishment of Vocational Training Centres during the 1980’s followed the failure of the attempt to set up successful secondary technical schools in the 1970s, and is justified from the work of Lauglo (1990) who suggests that ‘institutional vocational training works best when it occurs in specialised training institutions’ and that ‘the extension of training into industry does not work well’. These are conclusions that might well give us all pause for thought.

Buchert’s article needs to be read in its context as part of a thesis with wider political concern than education alone. However it is a very well documented and researched piece. In some ways, the focus on pre- and post-independence in the title is misleading. Saba Saba 1961 would seem to be less significant than grass-roots or bottom-up change in society as against expert/imposed or top-down change.

The cases chosen by Buchert are, first, the setting up of the Nyakato Agricultural Training Centre (1933-39) – top-down, encountering resistance/pressure for change and subsequently running out of steam; second, the Singida mass literacy/education campaign (1959-61) – bottom-up, utilising existing social structures and having a SUbstantial impact as evidenced by such things as the increased number of wells and latrines, the growing of new kinds of vegetables and the establishment of more community development groups. It might be significant that the first of these projects was undertaken in what might be called the ‘colonial’ period of British Trust Administration, while the second was just prior to independence when the concept of preparation for selfgovernment informed much of what was happening in Tanzania. This is a perspective which Burchet seems to have missed.

Buchert’s third case study is the Kwamsisi (1971-75) -topdown- and more particularly the Kwalukonge (1975- the present) bottom-up Community Schools. Kwalukonge has for more than ten years won the first prize as the most successful ‘ujamaa’ village in Tanzania; the school is seen as belonging to the villagers. The Kwamsisi school was established under the aegis of MTUU (MNE, 1973-89 and 1978) with the Principal of the Korogwe Teachers Training College in overall charge.

The fourth case study is the Dodoma Rural District Mass Literacy Programme (1975-86) top-down. This functional literacy programme combined pure literacy with practical work. It involved heavy inputs and was dramatically successful, with illiteracy rates falling from around 70% to less than 40%. By 1986 illiteracy was estimated at around 10% of the adult population. What is particularly interesting is the difference in literacy achievement between the more urbanised village and the two ‘rural’ villages. In the former relatively fewer people achieved literacy. It would be interesting to hear speculation on why this might be so.

Buchert concludes that none of the schemes had any deliberate exploitative function – even though many of them were imposed from above. On the contrary, all the schemes studied had a ‘liberating’ effect on at least some of the individuals who participated, though it is doubtful if this included the politicisation which was a strong element in the original community school idea and of the thinking behind adult functional literacy.
C. P. Hill

SECTOR AID AND STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT: THE CASE OF SUGAR IN TANZANIA. Netherlands Development Cooperation. Evaluation Report 1992. 183 pages.

This report provides an assessment of the impact and economic/social value of Netherlands development. assistance to the sugar sector in Tanzania. It also offers a readable and valuable account of the history of the sugar industry. At the time of independence in 1961 the only two sugar mills in Tanzania were at Arusha Chini (TPC) and at Bukoba (Kagera). Shortly thereafter two new estates and mills were developed at Kilombero and Mtibwa. An increase in sugar production from 40,000 to 80,000 tonnes per annum followed in the 1960’s.

In the 1970’s to the mid-1980’s the policies of the Government and its intervention (in the form of NAFCO and then SUDECO) through the fixing of consumer and ex-factory price levels plus the imposition of quotas for the distribution of sugar weakened the commercial drive of the existing estates and deflected foreign interest from further investment in the sugar industry. Nonetheless, in 1990 sugar production reached 110 million tonnes. However, this was less than 50% of the projected production and rated capacity of the four mills. The main causes of the disappointing performance related to the shortage of foreign exchange, the unfavourable internal pricing policy and deficiencies in management.

That the sugar industry progressed at all was largely as a result of the commitment of the Netherlands in supporting it. The total value of this support from the late 1960’s to 1991 was more than US$ 130 million. These funds were utilised for the expansion of production (1970’s), a period of consolidation (1980’s) and then of rehabilitation (1990’s). Support was also provided for the institutional development of the industry and for commodity imports, namely the purchase of machinery, transport, spare parts and agricultural inputs.

The report makes it clear that, over the period reviewed, both the production and financial performance of the sugar estates resulted in significant financial losses. The reasons for this are identified. The difficulties of making economic comparison with the import parity price of sugar are also discussed. In this section more emphasis could have been placed by the authors on the adverse impact of the highly protected and subsidised European beet sugar producers whose governments continue to ‘dump’ their surplus sugar onto the international markets.

In determining the efficiency of Netherlands aid the report focuses on three points – the choice of sector, the choice of technology and the quality of management. The conclusions support the choice of sector and technology but are critical of the focus on expansion in the 1970’s, a policy which was subsequently altered to one of consolidation.

The impact of the aid is also assessed on three policy issues economic self-reliance the aid is seen as successful in increasing Tanzania’s economic self-reliance; poverty alleviation – not stressed at project implementation and was not achieved as the outgrower programme was only fitfully implemented and sugar remains an expensive good in Tanzania; and, sustainability – while the industry is far from being self-reliant, recent changes have enhanced its sustainability.

As for the future the commercialisation of the estates and mills is seen by the authors as the only sensible way forward. The Netherlands’s position is that this can best be achieved by privatisation. At present the Tanzanian Government rejects the idea of privatising the entire sugar industry. Private management arrangements with incentives to reduce costs and raise productivity and the utilisation of existing capacity appears to be an attractive alternative.

The important role of Netherlands aid in successfully supporting the sugar industry has gone largely unrecognised. This report corrects this in a straightforward and undramatic manner. It also, with commendable honesty, identifies both the successes and shortcomings of the Netherlands aid policy in Tanzania a fact which contributes to the value of the document.
Keith Armstrong

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

REPRODUCTIVE KNOWLEDGE AND CONTRACEPTIVE AWARENESS AND PRACTICE AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN BAGAMOYO AND DAR ES SALAAM. S Kapiga, D J Hunter and G Nachtigal. Central African Journal of Medicine. Vol 38. No 9. 1992. 5 pages. Some 490 pupils from four schools were interviewed for this study which found that 61% were sexually active, 68% knew of at least one method of contraception (mostly the oral contraceptive pill) and the majority approved the use of contraception. However, only 17% knew the ‘safe period’ within the menstrual cycle and only 15% had ever used a contraceptive method.

WOULD AGROFORESTRY AND AFFORESTATION RISK TSETSE REINVASION ? R 0 Otsyina. Agroforestry Today. 3 pages. This paper explains how, between 1930 and 1970 about 20,000 square kilometres of Shinyanga district were cleared of existing vegetation in order to declare a tsetse fly free area. However, the result had been that Shinyanga, once a dense forest, is now a semidesert. The study found that some 84% of farmers felt however, that tsetse would return if conditions were made more favourable by planting forests. What was needed was agroforestry technologies including boundary planting of trees, windbreaks, woodlots, fodder banks and mixed intercropping.

ACTION-BASED LEARNING TO IMPROVE DISTRICT MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY FROM TANZANIA. Elizabeth Barnett and S Ndeki. International Journal of Health Planning and Management. Vol 7 1992. 9 pages. The paper describes this increasingly fashionable approach to management training as it was applied in the health sector in Same District. The strategy involved a process of problem analysis, action-research, problem solving and review. Among the achievements was the development of good team spirit but, when the methodology was spread to eight other neighbouring districts, although there was enthusiasm for the initial workshops, the follow-up work failed to take place on time and effective monitoring was not done.

THE ADMINISTRATION OF BONDE 1920-60. A STUDY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INDIRECT RULE IN TANGANYIKA. J willis. African Affairs. Vol 92. No 366. 1993. 14 pages. This paper explains how for a number of years the administration avoided not only the invention of a Chief in Bonde but also any meaningful degree of indirect rule. In the 1940’s and 50’s however, the sisal industry interfered in local politics and, for a time, things changed

THE CONSERVATION OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO. IUCN Switzerland.1991. 148 pages. £10.

PEASANT RESPONSE TO PRICE INCENTIVES IN TANZANIA: A THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL INVESTIGA’I’ION. G Eriksson. Scandinavian Institute of African Studies. 1993. 85 pages.

TANZANIA RESTORES ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SPEEDS STRUCTURAL CHANGE WITH IMF SUPPORT. R Nord and M Saal. IMF Survey. Vol 22. No 4. 4 pages.

OBSTACLES TO DEVELOPING INDIGENOUS SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES: AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT. B Levy. World Bank Economic Review. Vol 7. No 1. 1993. 18 pages. Field surveys in Sri Lanka I s leather industry and Tanzania I s furni ture industry.

AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES’ PERFORMANCE IN TANZANIA’S MANUFACTURING SECTOR. L Rustayisire. East African Economic Review. Vol 7. No 1. 1991. 17 pages.

PRODUCTION OF EDIBLE OILS FOR THE MASSES AND BY ‘I’HE MASSES: THE IMPACT OF THE RAM PRESS IN TANZANIA. E L Hyman. World Development. Vol 21. No 3. 1993. 14 pages. The ram press is a low-cost, manual technology for extracting edible oil and animal feed from oilseeds.

TRADE AND EMPIRE IN MUSCAT AND ZANZIBAR: THE ROOTS OF THE BRITISH DIMENSION. M R Bhacker. Routledge. 1992. 224pages. £40

DANCING WITH THE DEAD: A JOURNEY TO ZANZIBAR AND MADAGASCAR. Helena Drysdale. Hamish Hamilton. 1991. 273 pages. £16.99.

ZANZIBAR: HISTORY OF THE RUINS AT MBWENI. Flo Liebst. Publisher: CUT of Africa. 63 pages. The author, a Tanzaniaborn British artist, was helped by Anglican church workers in writing this book which traces the history of Mbweni since it was established in 1874 as a village for freed slaves.

STATE AND INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO PARASTATAL GROWTH IN TANZANIA. J W Makoba. Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives. Vol 11. Nos 3-4. 1992. 21 pages.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE 1976-77 COFFEE BOOM ON THE TANZANIAN ECONOMY: A TEST OF THE DUTCH DISEASE MODEL. F M Musonda and E Luvanda. East Africa Economic Review. 16 pages. This study tests (and finds not proven by the data) the Dutch Diseases Hypothesis that a boom in a single export commodity may affect adversely other export commodities. However, the Government was a major beneficiary from the boom and this was translated into ambitious development. expenditure programmes.

MAINTAINING HANDPUMPED WELLS IN TANZANIA. M Mtunzi and N Lombardy. Waterlines. April 1993. Vol 11. No 4. 3 pages. This paper describes a successful initiative in putting maintenance into the hands of the community.

ALWAYS SERVING. A PORTRAIT OF THECLA GRACE MCHAURU. A Nkya and A Anduru. Publishers Association of Tanzania. 1993. 65 pages. Now in her old age, Thecla Mchauru was the first Tanzanian woman to qualify as a teacher, nurse and social worker and rose to be the first Secretary General of the Tanzanian Womens Organisation (UWT).

YEARBOOK OF COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISES 1993. Plunket Foundation. 130 pages. This book contains a short concise summary of Tanzanian cooperative history.

TANZANIA IMPROVES LIVES
Tanzania has been mentioned as one of the few countries which have done well in translating their incomes into improving peoples’ lives. The UN Human Development Report 1993 has noted that, while Tanzania ranked 172nd in GNP its position in the World Human Development Index was 138.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.