BOOK REVIEWS

GUIDE TO TANZANIA. Philip Briggs. Bradt Publications. 304 pages. £9.95.

This new guide is eminently practical. The first part tells how to deal with red tape, which airlines you can use, how to travel by road from all neighbouring countries, what to wear, how to avoid diarrhoea and also casual theft and so on. The constant reference to current costs (with the cheapest solution in each case) is particularly useful but the guide will need to be updated regularly. Tanzania’s history is dealt with perhaps too concisely in 14 pages.

Part two goes into more detail by city, town or region (including 17 pages on Zanzibar) under such headings as ‘Where to stay’, ‘Where to eat’ and ‘What to do’.

Invaluable to anyone visiting the country for the first time and wishing to keep expenses to the minimum – DRB

GUIDE TO ZANZIBAR. H.S.P. Publications (7 Highgate High st. London N6 5JR> £5.95.

The appearance of a guidebook devoted exclusively to Zanzibar is an unusual event. The Director of National Archives (Mr Hamad Omar) and his colleagues of the Zanzibar Task Force are to be congratulated on their achievement. The Guide is attractively produced, with a striking cover photograph of a dhow seen through an Arab archway, and very reasonably priced for a booklet of 114 pages, eight in full colour.

There has never been any doubt about Zanzibar’s potential as a tourist resort, with its pleasant beaches and fascinating history; but visitors have been deterred by difficulty of access, absence of good hotels and lack of practical information. The last official guide book was published as long ago as 1949. Long out of print, some of its useful historical facts have been incorporated in the new publication.

It is good to read once again the story of the gilded ring on the domed roof of the Law Courts, which is traditionally said to be there to enable the Archangel Gabriel to carry the building to heaven on the last day.

A visitor to Zanzibar in the 1990’s will be interested in more mundane matters such as where to stay. Fourteen hotels are listed and some idea of the in facilities can be gauged from the fact that six these opened in the last three years. The Zanzibar Tourist Board might consider the introduction of some form of grading system for the guidance of visitors, with an indication of facilities available e.g. swimming pool or rooms with private bathrooms. It would also be interesting to know how many of the 23 ‘guest houses’ listed are really up to international tourist standards.

The English text is excellent and includes amongst many other things a cheerful advertisement for Holiday Bungalows on the inside front cover; the reader is invited to ‘Come and fall apart in our back yard’ – as in the Jungle Book!.

One particularly welcome feature of the Guide is the Index; this compensates for the fact that the order of the various sections is rather haphazard. However, the two maps, of Zanzibar Island and stone Town, are a disaster. Although based on the excellent maps produced by the British Directorate of Overseas Surveys for the Zanzibar Tourist Bureau in 1983, they are illegible when printed in black and white in small type. Perhaps the publishers, who in other respects have done a good job, could work with DOS to produce better versions for the next addition – or even charge a little more for the Guide and include the DOS map in a pocket at the back.
John Sankey

A GENDER PERSPECTIVE ON ADULT LITERACY PROGRAMMES IN TANZANIA: SOME LESSONS FROM DODOMA REGION. L Buchert. African Adult Education and Literacy (AALAE). Vo1 7. No 1. 17 pages. 1993.

This paper attempts some measurement of the achievement of adult literacy programmes in the Dodoma region. In the late 50’s, with the aid of UNICEF, this was a core area for such programmes; and by 1961 the two regions of the then Central Province had more registered adult literacy learners than all the country’s other nine provinces combined.

From 1967 the Government sought to make education a major component in transforming Tanzania economically, politically and socially. Literacy programmes were linked with political, community and agricultural education. Officially, illiteracy rates nationally are said to have fallen from 90% to 10% during 1961-86. But illiteracy rates may have been increasing again since 1986, as dropouts from primary schools have increased and government has lessened its attention to adult literacy.

In Dodoma, education officials indicate that adult education has deteriorated since 1985, when responsibility for it was transferred to regions and districts. Less money is available, and, at village level, leadership support is patchy. The enthusiasm, efficiency and performance of the 1970’s has markedly declined. The author says that some of the statistics may have been constructed at lower level to ‘look good’.

The conclusion is that if adult education is to act as a ‘tool of transformation’ it must be given higher priority again at national level. For women, in particular, it needs to be tied to their being given control of the income from cash-crop production.
David Semers

STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT AS A POLICY PROCESS: THE CASE OF TANZANIA. Goran Hyden, University of Florida and Bo Karlstrom, Centre for Business and Policy Studies, Stockholm. World Development. Vol 21. No 9. 9 pages.

‘It may well be unique in economic history that an already poor country, without suffering from prolonged drought, war or climatic deterioration, experiences such a dramatic reduction in living standards’ write the authors in this graphic description of the recent economic history of Tanzania. They point out that between 1965 and 1985 Tanzania had an average annual decline in real GDP per capita of 0.5% and that analysis of household surveys suggests that real income might have fallen over the 15 year period to 1985 by as much as 50%.

The paper traces the long conflict between the World Bank and IMF on the one hand and Julius Nyerere on the other. Many missions were sent from Washington to press the case for adjustment of economic policies – adjustment of the exchange rate, adjustment of interest rates, adjustment of agricultural producer prices. But Nyerere resisted – he insisted that the conditions attached to IMF prescriptions were an infringement on Tanzania’s national sovereignty, devaluation would mean political suicide, and that a major devaluation would lead to riots in the streets. The Government called upon academic advisors who were ready to take a position contrary to that of the IMF. The authors state that Reginald Green from Sussex University and Prof. Ajit Singh from Cambridge argued sternly for not giving in to the Fund’s pressures for devaluation and the Scandinavian countries and ILO took Tanzania’s side. For Nyerere, structural adjustment was entirely a question of policy and ideology.

As the debate continued the economic decline worsened and, as the authors point out, those people Nyerere wished to protect from a fall in living standards – the urban population – became the prime victims of his policies.

‘Beginning in 1983 and following the ill-conceived campaign to lock up “economic saboteurs” – literally anybody with above average private capital – opposition to Nyerere emerged first in Zanzibar and later on the mainland’. The paper then goes on to describe how the Economic Recovery Programme began under President Mwinyi and how this brought encouraging results.

The main message of the paper is the importance of grounding structural reform on political reality – ‘the policy context as an explicit and independent variable … the notions of “ambiguity” and “conflict” in policy situations help us better to understand the opportunities and constraints for action on structural adjustment issues’ – DRB.

SIGNAL ON THE MOUNTAIN. Elizabeth Knox. Obtainable from M E Punt, 11 Wolsey Court, London Road, Bromley I Kent BRl 3ST. £8.50. 276 pages.

In this book the author records the courage and devotion of missionaries and Tanzanians who first took Christianity to the Uplands of Central Tanzania. She covers in meticulous detail the forty years from 1876 to the outbreak of the First World War, obtaining her material from careful research in England and Africa. She shows how the church took root in spite of limited missionary personnel and limited finance, situations which often meant that the early Christians themselves became evangelists. She has given us a valuable history of the roots of the church in central Tanzania and insight into the methods and people used by God to plant this church which even today continues to grow vigorously.
Mary E Punt


OTHER PUBLICATIONS

INNOVATION IN ADULT EDUCATION: THE CHANGING PERSPECTIVES OF POST-LITERACY CURRICULUM IN TANZANIA. Philemon A K Mushi.
AALAE Vol 7 No 1. 1993. 4 pages. This paper describes the efforts made to develop a post-literacy curriculum designed to empower people and to create the conditions for life-long education. The author criticises the ‘top-down’ approach used.

A FANFARE OF TRUMPETS. John Lewis-Barned. Obtainable from The Rectory Farmhouse, Church Hanborough, Wi tney ,Oxon OX8 8AB. 1993. 120 pages. This is another in the increasing flow of memoirs of administrative officers who served in Tanganyika in the 1950’s and 60’s. It has been described as ‘full of people and all about people’.

A MEDIUM TERM FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSING THE REAL EXCHANGE RATE, WITH APPLICATIONS TO THE PHILIPPINES AND TANZANIA. Kathie L Krum. The World Bank Economic Review. vol 7 No 2. 36 pages. May 1993. This presents a methodology for estimating the appropriate real rate and helps to work out the extent to which the prevailing rate is misaligned.

INTELLECTUALS AT THE HILL: ESSAYS AND TALKS 1969-1993. Issa Shivji. Dar es Salaam University Press. Professor Shivji describes his ideas during the 25 years from his early days as a student of law. The book covers such areas as economics, education, sociology, politics and history.

FUELLING CHANGE. Clive Sowden. Geographical. September 1993. 3 pages. In this review of energy resources in sub-Saharan Africa using Tanzania as an example the author states that the most striking feature of energy demand in Tanzania is that 90% of the demand is met from biomass – fuelwood and charcoal.
This is above the average figure of 66% for the sub-Saharan Africa region as a whole. The country is fortunate in that 66% is covered by forest and woodland. The author indicates the unsustainablity of consumption in the long term and mentions measures being taken to alleviate the problem.

REFLECTIONS ON DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA. Richard Dowden. African Affairs. Vol 92. No 369. October 1993. 4 pages. In pointing out that in Britain only the Financial Times and the Independent have full-time Africa correspondents for the 40 sub-Saharan countries excluding South Africa the author rightly suggests that academics could produce a much needed guide to the constitutional theory and practice of democracy in Africa. It should describe not what Marx or Lenin, who had never been to Africa, thought about the place but what such people as Mandela and Savimbi think about it. Writing about democracy in Tanzania the author refers to the rogues amongst the leaders of Africa Shaka Zulu, Kabaka Mutesa, Kwame Nkrumah, Hastings Banda, Bokassa, Idi Amin, but notes that Nyerere, one of the serious leaders , argued that Africa could not afford multi-party democracy. It needed unity above all else. But his one-party model failed. The people did not ‘own’ the concept. ‘Nyerere could still summon thousands of cheering people to national day rallies but there is little evidence that the people ever understood Ujamaa or picked up the idea of self-help. The system was imposed from above …. ‘

SHORT-TERM RESOURCE MOBILIZATION FOR RECURRENT FINANCING OF RURAL LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN TANZANIA. Ole Therkildsen and Joseph Semboja. World Development. Vol 20 No 8. August 1992. 12 pages.

MARKET REFORMS AND PARASTATAL RESTRUCTURING IN TANZANIA. M S D Bagachwa and others. 7th National Economic Policy Workshop. University of Dar es Salaam. December 1992.

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF LITERACY IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY: ACTORS’ VIEWS FROM ONE VILLAGE IN TANZANIA. V Mlekwa. AALAE. Vol 7. No 1. 1993. 16 pages.

THE TANZANIAN ECONOMY. INCOME DISTRIBUTION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. E S Bukuku. univ. of Dar es Salaam. Praeger Publishers. 240 pages. 1992. The author shows how changes in industry, agriculture, income, taxation and education impacted growth and distribution from 1967 to 1990. State policies disrupted markets, destroyed incentives and hurt growth and distribution. Bukuku recommends growth oriented policies favouring small farmers.

TRANSFORMING SOUTHERN AFRICAN AGRICULTURE. Editors: A Seidman, Kamima Wa Chimika, N Simelane and D Weiner. Trenton NJ: Africa World Press. 266 pages. 1992. Highlights structural changes needed and includes a case study from Tanzania.

MODELLING THE MACROECONOMIC EFFECTS OF AIDS, WITH AN APPLICATION TO TANZANIA. John T Cuddington. World Bank Economic Review. Vol 7. No 2. May 1993. 16 pages.

USE BY THE CHAGGA ON KILIMANJARO. Alison Grove. African Affairs. Vol 92. No 368. July 1993. 17 pages. A lot has been written on what the author describes as one of the most impressive systems of water management in Africa. This paper describes the original system and brings us up-to-date on the effects on it of population growth, the arrival of piped water supplies and the continued importance of the furrows especially in the lower regions.

ANGELS IN AFRICA. A MEMOIR OF NURSING WITH THE COLONIAL SERVICE. Bridget M Robertson. Radcliffe Press. £17.95. Describes the life and work of a nursing sister in Queen Elizabeth’s Overseas Nursing Service between 1947 and 1964. Part of the author’s service was in Zanzibar.

BEING MAASAI: ETHNICITY AND IDENTITY IN EAST AFRICA. James Currey. 336 pages. £35 (cloth) and £12.95.

AFRICA MISUNDERSTOOD OR WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE RURAL-URBAN GAP? V Jamal and J Weeks. Macmillan Series of ILO Studies. 1993. 180 pages. The book looks at ten African countries including Tanzania and asks whether a ‘labour aristocracy’ has ever existed in Africa.

NKRUMAH’S GHANA AND EAST AFRICA. 0 Agyeman. Associated University Presses. 1992. 234 pages. £32.00. This book describes in considerable detail the great influence brought to bear on East African, including Tanzanian, political development by Kwame Nkrumah and his frequent disagreements with Julius Nyerere.

PRIMARY TECHNICAL DICTIONARY ENGLISH-SWAHILI. R Ohly. Institute of Production Innovation, University of Dar es Salaam and GTZ. 246 pages. This unique dictionary contains some 10,000 English technical terms and phrases which translate, because they are based on various technical publications I into some 30,000 Swahili technical terms. The book is particularly useful for scientists, technical personnel and students.

PARTNERS AND COMPETITORS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CRIME: THE CASE OF SUNGUSUNGU, THE VIGILANTE GROUPS, AMONG THE SUKUMA AND NYAMWEZI OF TANZANIA. Sufian Bukururua. Paper presented at the Symposium on Youth and Authority, SOAS, December 11, 1993. Sungusungu groups came into existence in the early 1980’s at the initiative of male elders and they rely on rituals and divination for the performance of most of their acti vi ties. The rural community gives them credit for the restoration of borderland security. The youths do the work – tracking stolen cattle, arresting cattle rustlers, transmitting messages but they have recently expressed concern over the basis for election to leadership and the safety of the funds collected through fines.

THE POLITICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL IN NORTHEASTERN TANZANIA, 1840-1940. J L Giblin. 232 pages. 1993.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.