Edited by John Cooper-Poole (UK) and Marion Doro (USA)
BLUEPRINT 2050: SUSTAINING THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT IN MAINLAND TANZANIA AND ZANZIBAR. Edited by Jack Ruitenbeck, Indumathie Hewasam and Magnus Ngoile. Published by the World Bank, 1818 H Street NW Washington, DC. ISBN 0-8213-6213-6.
The special nature of Tanzanian marine life has most recently been brought to the attention of newspaper readers in the UK through the re-discovery of the coelacanth, a fish that was thought to have been extinct for at least the last 70 million years. In January 2006, The Observer ran an article on the regular appearance of these strange fish – which have no backbone, and sport four limb-like appendages- in nets in shallow waters off the Tanzanian coast. The implication of the article was that these rare and endangered fish are being driven into shallow water by deep water trawling in the coelacanth’s offshore habitat.
Like elsewhere in the world, Tanzania’s marine ecosystem is coming under increasing, and unprecedented risks. Threats include over-exploitation (of, for example, deep sea habitats like that of the coelacanth, but also of resources closer to shore: mangroves, lobster and coral); destructive fishing methods (dynamiting, poisoning), industrial and domestic pollution; potential unregulated tourism development and global climate change.
Tanzania has over 1,400 km of coastline and its territorial seas (extending up to 12 nautical miles from the coast) cover an area of 37,000 square kilometres. At present, only 1,380 square kilometres of these waters (less than 4%) enjoy some form of protection. Blueprint 2050 is a series of chapters on managing a sustainable and profitable marine environment for mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. Chapters include ecological protection, poverty alleviation, financial sustainability and institutional robustness. Each chapter draws on work by a number of authors.
It is called Blueprint 2050 because it sets out a vision for the next 50 years or so for development and conservation of the coastal and marine ecosystems of Tanzania and Zanzibar. This vision is set out in the context of the commitment of the Tanzanian Government to place 10% of coastal and marine waters in marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2012 and 20% by 2025. The book’s vision is for a network of managed marine areas that would be co-ordinated to form a national system. The priority areas include four along the mainland coast (Tanga region, Dar es Salaam – Bagamoyo, Rufiji-MafiaKliwa- Songo Songo complex and Mtara/Lindi districts), two comprising the marine areas of the Zanzibar Islands (Pemba, Unguja), and one oceanic island (Latham Island). The vision has the support of the Tanzanian Government and the World Bank.
A feature of the book is the sections called, for example, “an ecologist speaks” or “an economist speaks” which define technical terms. The book is nicely produced on glossy paper with colour illustrations. It concludes with a comprehensive list of sources, further reading and reference texts for each chapter.
THE IMPACT OF CIVIL WARS ON BASIC EDUCATION IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION. A CASE STUDY OF TANZANIA. William A.L. Sambo. ISBN 1904855458. One of a set of six OSSREA studies, £20.95 the set.
SERVING THE COMMON GOOD; A POST COLONIAL PERSPECTIVE ON HIGHER EDUCATION. Nkula Kiluba L. ISBN 0 8204 7626 9. Peter Lang 2005. £35.00.
I read these two books whilst attending a pre-G8 (Gleneagles) specialist conference on Higher Education in Africa. Amidst a fair amount of gloom there we had growing hopes that advocacy for higher education in the Commission for Africa Report and the expected additional resources could make a real difference. But there is much to be done. Higher education systems worldwide are undergoing massive change. The impetus that provided secondary education for many in the twentieth century is likely to have its equivalent in HE in the twenty first. However, as we know from the highly charged fees debate in England, growing systems represent formidable resource problems. Africa is no exception and the run-down of facilities and infrastructure in the most prestigious of institutions is an international scandal.
William Sambo’s study of the impact of civil wars on basic education does not address higher education directly. He is, however, concerned with teachers and the truly dreadful conditions of schooling among displaced persons. Within the development community educational provision for the millions of children who have become refugees is rarely mentioned. Sambo’s short study usefully describes the impact of civil war on educational opportunity, not just for those directly affected, but for neighbouring communities destabilized by the conflict.
Kilba Nkulu’s study focuses on the challenges facing African universities today. To what extent do they have to mimic European models in order to succeed on the world stage? Is there an African dimension or approach which can break with the colonial past? There are no neat solutions of course, but Nkulu very usefully charts the development of ideas, particularly in East Africa which hold out the hope of some new directions. He looks in particular detail at Nyerere’s contribution to re-thinking higher education and points to his reported linkage of freedom and development, a theme that has to-day been revisited so influentially by Amatyra Sen. For readers unfamiliar with the history of Tanzania, Nkulu’s book provides a welcome antidote to some contemporary but untutored perceptions of the early years of post independence. Whilst I could see some omissions (issues surrounding the privatization of higher education, for example), this is a stimulating analysis of a crucially important issue.
NYERERE ON EDUCATION – NYERERE KUHUSU ELIMU. Elieshi Lema, Marjorie Mbilinyi, Rakesh Rajani (eds). Dar es Salaam, Haki Elimu, 2005. ISBN 9987 8943 5 6. h/b 180pp. Not priced. African Books Collective.
As with any collection with Mwalimu Nyerere’s speeches, the most striking thing about this book is the sparkling quality of the prose itself. Nyerere’s optimism is a refreshing change from the parade of horrors that so often take the place of critical discourse about Africa. The non-governmental organisation Haki Elimu has partnered with the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation and E & D Ltd, Publishers to produce this collection of Nyerere’s thoughts on education that include several speeches not published in the standard collections of his speeches. The main shortcoming of the book is that it is only a collection and contains very little analysis that places Nyerere’s thoughts in a 21st century context.
Still, simply by excerpting the speeches in chronological order one can infer various trajectories in Nyerere’s thinking on this subject that was obviously a major priority. The collection contains both excerpts and full speeches by Nyerere from 1954 to 1998 printed in the language in which they were delivered, including both the English and Swahili texts of his key essay, “Education for Self Reliance”. Marjorie Mbilinyi, a long time Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, gives a short introduction which offers at least a minimal discussion of Nyerere’s ideas, their historical context and their relevance today. Her assertion that “many of the challenges raised…are even more relevant today” leaves the reader thirsting for a more in-depth discussion of just how these ideas could be practised today and to what extent they ever were successfully implemented. A commendable companion volume is Lene Buchert’s out of print “Education in the Development of Tanzania, 1919-1990” (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1994), which provides a well-researched historical context for Nyerere’s initiatives.
The lack of context, however, only serves to highlight the universality of these ideas which really are important in and of themselves. Evident throughout is the consistency of Nyerere’s basic priorities that education should be for service and not for self, that primary education is a fundamental right of citizenship, and that primary school graduates should feel a sense of accomplishment upon graduation and not a sense of failure if they should not go on to secondary school. Tanzania’s high literacy and high primary school enrolment rates are perhaps Nyerere’s greatest educational accomplishments. Typically, Nyerere urged caution rather than celebration. Indeed, this achievement took hardly less time than his 1954 prediction of how long it would take the colonial system to achieve the same goal. This raises many questions about the structural limits on educational development in Africa, and the enormous administrative challenge of simply keeping up with population growth. Nyerere is a critical thinker for modern Africa on many issues, and for him, education was central for them all. Nyerere on education is a key reference for scholars interested in Africa today.
CONFRONTING NEW REALITIES: REFLECTIONS ON TANZANIA’S RADICAL TRANSFORMATION. Juma V. Mwapachu
E&D Limited, PO Box 4460, Dar es Salaam, 2005.
Juma V. Mwapachu’s book provides an account of the macro-economic and political changes that have occurred since Nyerere left office in 1985. Mwapachu is Tanzania’s ambassador to France and founder member of the Confederation of Tanzania Industries, and was a member of a number of influential Presidential Committees, including the Mtei and Nyalali Commissions, and so he speaks with authority on Tanzania’s reforms. He argues that the market economy is the efficient, prudent and necessary means for providing economic prosperity for Tanzania in the context of the current global economic order. But he believes it is also necessary to have a strong state, to provide not only effective regulation, but also a strong and visionary leadership to promote the reforms. He cites Nyerere’s leadership here, urging that the present leaders of Tanzania enliven the population to follow the Development Vision 2025, adopted in 1999, with the same vigour with which they followed the Arusha Declaration over thirty years earlier.
Julius Nyerere is a key figure throughout the book, and the opening section is entitled “Homage to Mwalimu Julius Nyerere”. Yet Mwapachu admits he disagrees with Nyerere on many key issues, most notably on the role of the market, especially in agriculture. However, he argues that the objective of building a society based upon human dignity, respect and social justice remains the same from the Arusha Declaration; it is only the means of achieving this society that have changed. As Nyerere’s socialism was primarily distributive rather than productive, the market economy is merely a different means to achieve the same ends as Nyerere did through state ownership. Quite how macroeconomic stability, that Mwapachu admits does not necessarily lead to poverty reduction, fits with Nyerere’s idea “the purpose is man”, remains a contentious question.
Mwapachu deals directly with many of the important current issues of debate in Tanzania. For example, he strongly argues against the current suspicion of investment by foreign companies. He also tackles the union question. The author provides many practical measures and suggests many new policy initiatives, from methods of engaging with civil society to the introduction of a proportionally representative electoral system.
While Mwapachu is clearly well read in the current literature on globalisation from Europe and the US, he admits that he does not seek to challenge the Tanzanian critics of globalisation, such as Shivji and Chachage. Rather, he seeks only to address how Tanzania should react to the new globalised economic “reality”. Given that Mwapachu praises Nyerere’s challenging of conventional wisdom and Western liberal orthodoxy, the acceptance of this “reality” without argument strikes as an omission. It would have been interesting to see more of an engagement with the local critics of globalisation, not least because Mwapachu is a thoughtful and engaging writer.
The book covers a wide territory, and is comprehensive in analysing the major policy shifts, especially in the period since 1997. There are also many interesting asides that provide food for thought, on issues as diverse as the branding of Tanzania, the role of the University, and the Nobel Peace Prize. However, the book is over long, there is much repetition of argument, and so a tighter structure would have been welcomed.
POLITICS IN LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT: STUDY IN KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA. Fred Simon Lerise. Mkuki wa Nyota, 2005. ISBN 997 417 29 9. TShs. 5000.00. Distributed by African Books Collective Ltd. email@example.com £24.95
This is a well written and clear book which anyone involved in international development should find stimulating and students of Tanzanian history should find a critical account of the Ujamaa period. Land development issues are analysed for the 35 years since the Ujamaa concept of rural resettlement began in the late 1960s. The location is Chekereni village which lies 15 km south of Moshi town where the Moshi to Kahe road crosses the railway. It became known as “Chekereni” in Swahili from an English road sign to “check the train”. Chekereni became a famous Ujamaa village in the 1970s.
Lerise concludes that water disputes still occur in Chekereni and agricultural productivity remains much the same as at independence in 1962, despite large investments of time and effort by government agencies and international donors. The book addresses why planning policy has not led to sustained improvements in agricultural productivity despite Tanzania being regarded as famous for rural development planning.
Lerise has made a thorough analysis of development in Chekereni and has not hesitated to be critical of where and why the various attempts to introduce land use systems and water allocation and distribution methods, have been unsuccessful in the long term. The pre-independence situation is briefly analysed to set the scene of land use and ownership before Ujamaa was imposed and migrants arrived to settle on what was then considered to be plenty of land.
Land reform and the introduction of modern irrigation methods in Chekereni was a main component of the integrated development plan for Kilimanjaro Region and the book devotes several chapters to describe how water use was planned by expert teams and to what extent the villagers became involved in decision making. These chapters provide a valuable insight into what went on but the most fascinating part is the last quarter of the book. Here the author gives his opinions on how top-down planning dominated development despite long standing attempts, going back to the 1950s, to have smallholder villagers take part in planning.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CONTRACT LAW IN EAST AFRICA. Nicholas Ngondo Nditi. Dar es Salaam University Press Ltd, PO Box 35182. 2004. 170 pp. ISBN 9976 60 362 2.
Under British Rule the law of contract, fundamental to commercial life and economic development, was applied in East Africa in the form of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, based on English law. Dr Nditi offers a compact outline of the main principles of contract law and its inevitably technical rules, focussing on the (mainland) Tanzanian Law of Contract Act enacted in 1961, before independence. He states that “this follows very closely” the Indian act, without noting that it harmonised laws within the United Republic by borrowing directly the Contract Decree of Zanzibar, which replaced the Indian act there as early as 1917. Both laws omit the numerous “explanations” and “illustrations” which helped the Indian courts to interpret the original provisions. In a divergent approach, Kenya, from 1961 and Uganda from 1963 replaced the Indian Act with the uncodified, contemporary “common law” of England, its principles enshrined in judgements, some dating from previous centuries, with some English statutes.
The book is clearly based on lectures to first year law students. Some, but unhelpfully not all, of the statutory provisions discussed are quoted. English and Indian law is invoked to interpret some sections, occasionally at excessive length, but with few specific references to Kenya or Uganda. Local customary laws of contracts remain significant, especially in the rural economies, but receive only a cursory introduction (pp 4-10).
The book appears to have been long in the press: a 1980 judgement is cited as “a recent case” and only four later cases are cited in a footnote without discussion. Law reporting in East Africa has certainly had a chequered recent history, but by 1999 annual volumes of leading Tanzanian judgements up to 1997 had been published, including a few contract cases. The omission of later cases means that the book is no more up to date than Hodgin’s much more comprehensive “Law of Contract in East Africa” (1975 reprinted 1982), which also included the full texts of the Contract Acts.
THE CHURCH OF WOMEN: GENDERED ENCOUNTERS BETWEEN MAASAI AND MISSIONARIES. Dorothy L. Hodgson. Indiana University Press. 2005. 330 pp. Cloth ISBN: 0-253-34568-5 $65, P/b 0-253-21762-8 $24.95.
Readers familiar with the Maasai will be intrigued by this fascinating analysis based on the evolving spiritual development of Maasai women in their extended relationship with missionaries of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (the Spiritans) in three Monduli Catholic missions in northern Tanzania. A key factor was the extent to which the missionaries utilized inculturation as a method of conversion, i.e., allowed converts to practice traditional rituals as long as they did not compromise Church practices. This melding of Maasai customs and Catholic ceremonies re-enforced the women’s traditional beliefs; apparently this had little influence on men who were not prepared to give up any aspect of their Maasai identity. Nevertheless, there were male catechists with whom the women coped and retained their gendered influence.
The author also explores the Spiritan missionaries methods over several decades as they moved through three evangelization strategies, i.e., a “school” approach of teaching and converting children, the “boma” approach of a direct communication with adults, and in the 1970s the “individual” approach of creating meeting places near homestead for individuals. Ultimately through the inculturation process these methods incorporated a variety of customary as well as religious practices resulting in substantial spiritual development and cultural space for the women. What this means for Maasai culture and Maasai women in the future remains to be seen.
Based on Hodgson’s extensive evidence – primary sources as well as over 300 secondary sources – as well as intermittent field research in the Monduli area over a twenty- year period. Readers may recall her earlier work, Once Intrepid Warriors: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai Development (Indiana University Press, 2001) reviewed in T.A. No. 76.
RONSHOLT, Frans E; ANDREWS Matthew. “Getting it together”… or not. An analysis of the early period of Tanzania’s move towards adopting performance management systems. International Journal of Public Administration 28(3-4), 2005: 313-336. IS: 0190-0692
Budget reform fits into a broad context of public-sector improvement in Tanzania. This article discusses the progress in reforms up to the end of 2002. Despite many steps forward, overall reform progress has been slow. The Tanzanian case is a prime example of a reform “work in progress”, with reformers choosing a measured, gradual approach that accommodates necessary improvements in capacity and the development of reform structures and coalitions along the way. Reform implementation has not been quite so purposeful, and its slow pace is due to problems experienced and not sufficiently dealt with, including capacity limitations, varying reform support and will, and problematic reform coordination.
BRENTS,-Barbara-G.-; MSHIGENI,-Deo-S. Terrorism in context: race, religion, party, and violent conflict in Zanzibar. American Sociologist 35 (2), Summer 2004: 60-74. IS: 0003-1232
This paper draws on a case study of violent political conflict labeled “terrorist” in Zanzibar. We examine the political opportunities and social movement organizations as they have framed and mobilized racial and religious conflicts on the island. This case illustrates three points relevant to the study of terrorism that have been argued in the sociological literature on social movements and violent conflict. (1) “Terrorists” are rational actors; (2), terrorism is one of many tactics potentially used by any social movement to achieve political ends; and (3), terrorism is relational; that is, its rise and trajectory must be understood in relation to other groups, and in response to perceptions of threat.
AFRICAN UNDERCLASS: URBANISATION, CRIME AND COLONIAL ORDER IN DAR ES SALAAM. Andrew Burton. James Currey 2005. 320 pp. p/b 0 85255 975 5. £16.95. H/b 0 85255 976 3 £50.
This important book is a study of the problems of rapid urbanisation experienced by Dar es Salaam throughout the colonial period, and how the response of colonial legislation to this phenomenon came to target and criminalize young rural-urban migrants (wahuni).
Divided into three themes of urbanisation and policy, crime, and colonial order post-WWII, it begins with a background chapter on how Tanganyika policy was influenced by earlier Western responses to mass urbanisation and policy in South Africa and Kenya. The first section delves into the formation of policy condoning racial segregation, crude official definitions of who was and was not the ideal urban dweller, the ‘unwelcome’ drift to town by curious youth, their subsequent categorisation as ‘undesirable’ and the repressive legislation enacted to remove them. Though unsaid, this section touches on the fallacy of inter-war indirect rule: that the African was considered ‘a simple agriculturalist’ unsuited for urban life where only demoralisation awaited.
The second part looks at crime in the city. It argues that policy came to be responsible for actually producing much of the crime that occurred in Dar, by criminalizing young migrants who came to represent a focus for popular fears of delinquency among officials, settlers and African elites. It is here that what has since become known as the ‘informal economy’ becomes associated with crime.
In the final section these overlapping themes are pulled together, presented against the background of a dramatic increase in urbanisation rates over and post-WWII and the shift to a more ‘development’ orientated colonial policy. The intensification of ‘repatriation campaigns’ of the 1940s-50s and the wahuni raids (daily occurrences by the late 1950s) are detailed and linked into the denial of urban residence for unemployed (or informally employed) Africans.
Accessible and informative, some excellent maps and photographs adorn its pages and the thematic approach works. However, I would question the book’s periodisation – a large leap is made in the conclusion to link colonial legacy with the present-day. Further, the top-heavy archival analysis weakens the defence for neglecting the social, particularly as the few examples of ‘some undesirables’ illuminate the experiences of victims. More interviews would not have gone amiss.
Quibbles aside, the book is an important text for contemporary policy planners and analysts to remind them of this striking fact: urban policies have been founded ‘upon a marked antipathy towards urbanisation’. I recommend it be read in conjunction with the author’s edited volume on the Urban Experience of Eastern Africa published three years ago.