by John Cooper-Poole
TANGA – TANZANIA’S SECRET IN BETWEEN THE OCEAN AND THE PARKS Tourism guide for the Tanga Region, Tanzania. 2nd Edition – January 2011. Produced by Tanga City Council.
This is an extremely useful and well-produced guide. Although normally a travel guide is more a book which is dipped into, this one, to a lover of Tanga at least, is a little book which cannot be put down.
Inside the front cover is a map showing the various districts of the Tanga region. To somebody who was hunting for years for a map – any map – of Tanga (ten years ago the most recent I could find was dated 1953) this is a treasure! The book is divided into sections, more or less according to district, but including the Tanga Marine Park, the Usambara Mountains and the two National Parks, Saadani and Mkomazi, as separate sections. Mkinga, Handeni and Kilindi, which between them occupy around two thirds of the region, account for very few pages. The whole booklet has colour photographs (except the black and white historical ones) throughout.
The first section, on the Tanga region, begins with History, and Natural,
Cultural and Built Heritage. In only four pages there is a limit to the amount which can be written. There is a summary of local trades and industry and of the natural environment. ‘History’ goes back to the origins of the name ‘Tanga’ and to 1631, when local people joined with the Mazruis to fight Portuguese rule in Mombasa. Then come the slaves and ivory trade, German East Africa and the Bushiri War, building the railway and the Lushoto road, World War I and the British administration, Mwalimu Nyerere and independence, and the problems besetting Tanzania in the latter part of the twentieth century – all are covered, if only by a sentence or two. One page is devoted to sisal, its history, cultivation and processing.
Under ‘Facts and Figures’ we have location, climate, population and area of districts and main towns. Finally there is information about TATONA (Tanga Tourism Network Association) and a list of other tourist associations. It is not perfect – for example, there are letters on the maps of Tanga city with no explanation, but it will be a great help to tourists and visitors.
There is also a website (www.tanga-guide.com) with links to tourist attractions and advice, including the gem: “time keeping is not at the top of the priority list for some people.”
Brenda Allan first visited Tanga in 2001 to run a short course in IT, and has been there every since. Her charity, “Tanga in Touch”, among other things manages the parish link between Whitbourne, her own village, and St. Francis, Mapinduzi, a suburb of Tanga.
BRITISH COLONIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICYAFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR. THE CASE OF SUKUMALAND, TANGANYIKA, by Rohland Schuknecht, Periplus Studien 14, Münster: LIT Verlag, 2010 978-3643-10515-8 € 34,90
Sukumaland before independence is one of the most studied areas of Tanzanian history, explored by the political historians Malcolm (1953), Austin (1968), Maguire (1969) and by the agricultural economists McLoughlin (1967), von Rotenhan (1968) and Collinson (1972), , and more recently by the demographer Sarah Walters (2008). This book makes passing use of the classical sources, but does not include any form of assessment, or an index. It does include meaty footnotes on almost every page, so that anyone wanting to trace the author’s footsteps in the archives in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, London and especially Rhodes House, Oxford, will have no problems.
The result is a mass of interesting detail, mostly told from the perspective of British colonial officials as they learnt hard lessons about agriculture and marketing in the 1930s and 1940s, until they discovered the virtues of good prices and African-run marketing co-operatives in the 1950s. It was not all plain sailing: co-operatives and marketing boards could be used to cream off income from African farmers (as Bates and others have told us). But this system stood Tanzania in good stead on into the first years of Independence. However, the discussion of the emergence of TANU in the final chapter, drawing heavily on Maguire and Iliffe, is not the strong point of this book.
It is much more interesting in the detail it provides of how the colonial administrators used rules and regulation, backed by law, in vain and often scientifically misguided efforts to impose agricultural changes, such as the growing of minimum areas of specified crops, planting on tied ridges or reducing the numbers of cattle.
The complaint of not drawing sufficiently on, or reevaluating the contributions of, previous scholarship can be made about much contemporary writing. It would also have been good to see more references to the work of African historians. But someone who is not familiar with the previous sources will find this a useful starting point for understanding the motivations of colonial policy – and almost worth the money for the footnotes alone.
AUSTEN, R. A. (1968) Northwestern Tanzania under German and British Rule. Yale University Press.
BATES, R. H. (1981) Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies. University of California Press.
COLLINSON, M. (1972) Farm Management in Peasant Agriculture. Praegar.
ILIFFE, J. (1979) A Modern History of Tanganyika. Cambridge Univ Press.
MAGUIRE, G. A. (1969) Towards ‘Uhuru’ in Tanzania. Cambridge Univ Press.
MALCOLM, D.W. (1953) Sukumaland: An African People and their Country: A Study of Land Use in Tanganyika, Oxford University Press
McLOUGHLIN, P.F.M. (1967) Agricultural Development in Sukumaland, in De WILDE, J.C. (ed.) Experiences with Agricultural Development in Tropical Africa,Volume2: The Case Studies, Johns Hopkins University Press, pp.415450
Von ROTENHAN, D. (1968) Cotton Farming in Sukumaland: Cash Cropping and its Implications, in
RUTHENBERG, H. (ed.) Smallholder Farming and Smallholder Development in Tanzania. Springer-Weltforum, pp.51-86.
WALTERS, S.L. (2008) Fertility, Mortality and Marriage in Northwest Tanzania, 1920-1970: a Demographic Study Using Parish Registers, PhD thesis, Kings College Cambridge
Andrew Coulson is Vice-Chair of the Britain Tanzania Society and a regular contributor to Tanzanian Affairs. A second edition of his book “Tanzania: A Political Economy” is due in mid-2013.
AFTER 50 YEARS: THE PROMISED LAND IS STILL TOO FAR! 1961 – 2011. Ibrahim J. Werrema. 2012Mkuku na Nyota: Dar es Salaam. ISBN 9789987-08-170-7.
The author, an engineer, assesses the progress and problems of Tanzania’s development over the past fifty years. The book is composed of seven chapters: chapter 1 provides a general review of progress and problems; chapter 2 discusses the administration of the country by its former presidents; chapter 3 looks at the development of social services; chapter 4 at the economy; chapter 5 at culture and religion; and chapter 6 at the political situation. The book concludes with a plea to the current President to address the problems identified by the author. Each chapter represents something of a random dip into a vast literature.
The author laments what he feels should have been achieved by Tanzania in fifty years of independence. While it is important to assess the past, it is unclear what the author thinks should be the starting point for a better future. Furthermore, responsibility for problems is placed on politicians and government, but little is said about the responsibility of ordinary Tanzanians.
Mr. Werrema believes that a ‘war’ against HIV/Aids is required and that progress has been unnecessarily held back by respect for human rights (p. 46). He wants to adopt ‘laws that interrupt AIDs transmission’ which include changing traditional cultural practices and a crackdown on homosexuality. While HIV prevention needs to be a priority, policies must be informed by research, not moral outrage. Furthermore, the author neglects to say how HIV prevention (and the funding for it) should be prioritised in relation to preventing and controlling other diseases – or indeed in relation to education or the economy.
The author identifies many very real problems, but he fails to differentiate between cause and effect. Take the issue of poor economic development. At some point wealth needs to be created and made available, presumably through taxation, for the state to spend on social and health services, education etc. Where should the government begin? What should the priorities be for government expenditure? If the past is any guide, the state cannot, indeed should not, be expected to do everything.
Perhaps this book will help Tanzanians to rethink the role of the state as against the potential role and contribution of ordinary people to the development of their country. If Mr. Werrema’s book sparks this important debate, then it will have served a very useful purpose.
Dr John R Campbell
Dr John Campbell is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology of Development at the School of Oriental & African Studies, London. He taught at the University of Dar es Salaam 1980 – 84 and was a frequent visitor throughout the 1990s.
TANZAN TALES. published by David A Murray. ISBN; 978-0-9574452—8. It is unpriced – readers are asked to be “Tafadhali Kuwa Mwema Sana / Please Be Very Kind”. Any money or payment in kind is purely for the benefit of Malaika Kids.
Tanzan Tales, a collection of stories and fables told to the author, Edith Cory-King, as a child growing up in Tanzania, was reviewed in TA (86/88) in 2007. These oral stories were originally in Swahili and later written in German as Cory-King narrated them to her mother. Following a move to England, the author had the stories translated into English so that ‘a new generation of English children could enjoy these stories that have delighted African children for so many years.’
David Murray, Trustee of Mailaka Kids UK, has produced a bilingual version, titled Hadithi za Tanzania/Tanzan Tales (Swahili/English), which is the subject of this present review. Two Tanzanians, Catherine Shindika and Anthony Wandiba, translated the 10 tales that comprise Book One into Swahili. Colour photographs, and illustrations by children at the Independent School of Dar es Salaam, are included.
As Tanzan Tales has been reviewed previously, this present review looks more closely at the Swahili translation, bearing in mind that several translations— Swahili > German > English—had taken place before the tales were translated back into Swahili, the language in which the tales were originally told.
Apart from the occasional grammatical and typographical errors found in all publications, there are instances where it was decided to omit sections of the English version in the Swahili translation, or to change descriptions so that they would be more easily understood. For example, in Mashetani (Demons) “horrifying demons” becomes “demons with terrifying eyes” (mashetani yenye macho yanayotisha). At times the translation seems off the mark, as where “hail” is translated as “dew” (umande). Swahili speakers understand mvua ya mawe as hailstones, so there would have been no problem using the common term.
There are also instances where a totally different word is used rather than the one actually meant. For example, in the second tale, Tigeriru na Sitha Binti Mflame (Tigeriru and Princess Sitha), the Swahili translation literally means “it helped him to distinguish the food in his stomach” zilimsaidia kuainisha chakula tumboni, while the English says “it aided his digestion”. More accurately, this could have been translated as zilimsaidia kumeng’enya chakula tumboni (kumeng’enya = to digest).
Sometimes a much stronger word was used, perhaps in an attempt not to be too literal. However the true meaning of the original gets somehow lost when “To the annoyance of their ruler” is translated as Kwa kumchukiza mtawala wao, literally: “To be hateful to their ruler”. The verb kuudhi “to annoy” was not used, and, in my opinion, would have carried the meaning very well (Kwa kumwudhi mtawala wao).
To the credit of the translators, there were sections of the English text which proved difficult to translate, i.e. words or idiomatic expressions and phrases with no direct equivalent. Faced with such awkward situations, Shindika and Wandiba found words and phrases in Swahili that would accurately express the overall meaning of the source textr. For example, in Pendo la Sungura (Hare Love), “how Pendeza was to be won” is translated as namna ya Pendeza atakavyoolewa (literally, “the way Pendeza would be taken in marriage”). Another example in the same tale is: “The harder he tried, the less funny he usually was.” Not easy to translate into Swahili and accurately convey the meaning, this is translated as: alivyojitahidi kuchekesha ndivyo alivyozidi kumfanya Pendeza asijisikie kucheka (literally: “the more he tried to be funny, the more it made Pendeza feel not to laugh”), which offers a good comparison in meaning.
Differences in linguistics, culture, history and environment between languages make it difficult to translate the ideas of one language into another without losing or changing the meaning. In spite of this, the translators managed, in many instances, to find a good comparison between the source text and the translation, thereby maintaining a certain naturalness as they translated from English into Swahili. There is currently a dearth in Swahili children’s literature; and Hadithi za Tanzania/Tanzan Tales is a welcome addition.
Donovan Lee McGrath
Donovan McGrath is co-editor of Tanzanian Affairs and currently teaches Swahili at the SOAS Language Centre and Hackney Community College, London.
AN ENTERPRISE MAP OF TANZANIA. UK International Growth Centre 2012. ISBN 978 1907994074 p/b £19.99
This book has been prepared by two leading academics, John Sutton of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Donath Olomi of the Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Development in Dar es Salaam. Both have a wealth of experience and have many economic publications to their names. John Sutton is involved with the International Growth Centre (IGC) which was initiated and funded by the British Department for International Development (DFiD) partly to encourage British business to engage in investment in the developing world and improve the local economies. The book, which is also available for download on the internet, is divided into eighteen sections. The first thirteen sections deal with the agro-allied sectors from coffee and tea through to hides and skins. Employment in these sectors is reported to be approximately 7.0 million out of a total population of 46.2 million. The horticultural sector is said to have export potential in areas such as Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Iringa and Morogoro. Recent developments in the Mbeya area with its ideal climate, good soil and the opening of Songwe Airport (3,500m asphalt runway) are also ideal for horticultural production and exports.
The World Bank’s latest report quotes the GNI to be US$540 per capita. The accuracy of some figures in the book is problematic[ for example, on page 77 the company BIL is said to have a turnover of $4 million and 200 employees whilst on page 83 the turnover is given as $3 million, but this time with 300 employees. A more serious error occurs on page 66, where Mwanza airport runway is stated to be only 200m long and hence unsuitable for large planes, when actually the runway is 3,300m and of comparable length to that of Dar es Salaam!
Only one section (17) covers metals, engineering and assembly. This is an area oil industry service companies would have particular interest in. The potential in Tanzania for exploitation of its energy resources – oil, gas and coal- with the transfer of skills that will arise, is growing fast.
Industrial development since independence was hindered by the Ujaama- inspired nationalization polices of the late 1960s, leading to the departure of major international investors. In 1997 an investor-friendly Mining Act came into force and this sector has since seen significant foreign investment. Tanzania is now the fourth largest producer of gold in Africa. There are in addition significant reserves of diamonds, nickel, uranium, iron ore and coal. However coal is still being imported into Tanga for the cement industry. The lack of a chapter on the mining sector is an unfortunate omission.
The transport sector also goes unmapped, despite being key to enterprise development. There is an adequate road network that is being used extensively for the movement of freight and passengers. Is there an opportunity for investment in automotive (bus & tractor) manufacture? Air transport is expanding, as witnessed by the establishment of Fastjet, but this has to go hand in hand with airport development. The majority of cities only have airports with short gravel runways unsuitable for efficient low wing modern jet aircraft such as the A319 and Boeing 737.
The neglect of the railway network is most regrettable and its revival needs to exercise government. The 4,400 km railway system (TRC 2,600 km & TAZARA 1,800 km) presents numerous opportunities for concessioning as well as the development of overhaul workshops. The example of Gabon, whose 670 kilometre system carries 3 million tons of freight and 190,000 passengers annually, is worthy of emulation by Tanzania.
What the Enterprise Map of Tanzania fails to tell us is how the Tanzanian Government can improve the ease of doing business in the country from its present rating of 133 out of 185, so as to attract new ventures.
John Appleby has lived and worked in East and West Africa most of his life whilst also traveling extensively throughout Africa. He trained as an engineer, subsequently developing industrial and agricultural projects. He was co-founder of Engineering Consultancy APTEC now working mostly on power generation and energy projects.
REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICA: EAST AFRICAN EXPERIENCE by Msuya Waldi Mangachi. Foreword by Salim Ahmed Salim. Published by Safari Books Ltd Onireke, Ibadan 2011; pb 276pp. ISBN 978 978 8431 022
In this comprehensive survey of the chequered history of regional integration in East Africa, Dr Mangachi traces its origins from the 1920 award to Britain of the League of Nations mandate for German East Africa, which brought Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika under a single administration. He tells the familiar story of how the need for closer cooperation led to the establishment by the British authorities of a single currency, customs and income tax and a wide range of common services, including railways, posts, telecommunications and civil aviation. These integrated arrangements worked well and in 1960 Julius Nyerere even offered to defer Tanganyika’s independence until 1962 so that all three countries could achieve independence and unity together.
His proposal was not adopted and the emergence of three independent states increased the strains on what had now become the East African Community. The common currency was one of the first casualties and the final straws were the seizure of power by Idi Amin in Uganda in 1971 and the deterioration in relations between ‘capitalist’ Kenya and ‘socialist’ Tanzania, culminating in the closure of their common border. The East African Community effectively collapsed in mid-1977 and its assets (and liabilities) were divided up in 1984.
Fortunately this was not the end of the story. In 2001 a new East African Community was established and the second half of this book describes its objectives and examines its progress. Like its predecessor, the revived Community seeks closer economic union and eventual political federation. The author notes that the new organisation has tried to avoid such pitfalls as the over- centralization of assets in Kenya, and seeks to achieve the goal of integration step-by-step, starting with a customs union followed by a common market and a monetary union, before establishing a political federation.
In this connection, he highlights the different approaches to politics in the three countries; Tanzania with its multiparty system, Uganda’s single party ‘movement’ and Kenya’s problems with ethnic tensions. He might also have mentioned that the admission of Rwanda and Burundi to membership of the Community has added a further complication. He believes that the new East African Community ‘stands a good chance to succeed’; but his estimate (page 204) that political federation may be achieved in the timeframe 2015-2018 seems rather optimistic.
It is a pity that he weakens his thesis by asserting (page 239) that Britain’s motive for promoting closer cooperation was ‘consolidating colonial rule and economic exploitation’; and that one of the main purposes of the railways was to expedite ‘despatching troops to quell any resistance’; although he does acknowledge that, ‘apart from TAZARA, the countries of the region are still using the railway infrastructure left behind by the German and British colonialists’. With this one reservation, I commend this book as a useful study of an important topic, particularly for the period since 2000.
John Sankey was British High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam 1982-5.
AFRICA AFTER APARTHEID: SOUTH AFRICA, RACE, AND NATION IN TANZANIA. Richard A. Schroeder. ISBN-13 978-0-253-00600-4 (Paperback). 248pp. Indiana University Press, Inc 2012.
Richard Schroeder uses events in Tanzania as a case study to analyze the economic, political and social dynamics triggered across the Africa continent by the end of the apartheid era in South Africa in 1994. The study stems from the author’s visits to Tanzania over a span of fifteen years (1995-2011). Schroeder is Associate Professor of Geography at Rutgers University and founding director of the Rutgers University Centre of African Studies.
Schroeder begins his account by a historic perspective of the two countries with particular focus on the lead role played by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere through the Frontline States alliance during the struggle to liberate the Southern African countries. It is suggested that Tanzania expected a preferential relationship with post-apartheid South Africa. However, Schroeder develops a very clear message regarding the domination of ‘white’ South Africans over Tanzanians during their post-apartheid migration (labelled as ‘invasion’) throughout the continent.
Schroeder uses carefully selected interviews, newspapers and other references to build an argument of inconceivable economic, political, cultural and racial distress to Tanzania as a result of ‘white’ South African financial and human resources ‘invasion’ and the associated state relations. South African investments are declared to have infiltrated every sector of Tanzania’s economy -manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunications, mining, banking, energy, construction, health, insurance, tourism, transportation, retail – possibly with education the only exception. The country is looted of its natural resources and deprived of its taxes, with apparently high economic profits earned by the South African corporations.
‘White’ South Africans in Tanzania are reportedly leading high-lives in upper echelon suburbs of Tanzanian cities, consuming South African-sourced imports, socialising in de facto all-white spaces, and with some embarking on daily air commutes from their city homes to their remote mining site offices. The scenario is of modern apartheid in Tanzania as the native African Tanzanians are described as still suffering from the complexes of being at the lowest-rung of the racial ladder established during the colonial era. They are racially abused, desolate and deciding to succumb to lamentation. They are the nice lot, at times lazy and lacking business acumen. They are not the ‘aggressive, angry, chipon-the-shoulder type of people’ like their South African ‘black’ counterparts.
Being an African Tanzanian who has lived in the country through this post-apartheid period, the themes that Schroeder raises are without a doubt highly relevant for discussion. However, I find his narrative the least useful contribution to my country moving forward. Generally, de facto all–white spaces in Tanzania, if any, do not deserve mention in a piece of literature whose alternative interpretation could have been far more beneficial to Tanzania.
As I read the book, I kept referring to a set of objective questions. First, why did things play-out the way they did, supposedly so unfairly, to Tanzania? Second, did Tanzania do anything right during all this? On the first, Schroeder raises the relative conditions of the two countries during the period in fragments in various parts of the book and without due emphasis, probably to maintain his strand of ‘South Africa–over–Africa’ argument. Trying to find the second was a disappointment.
During the period studied, Tanzania has implemented a series of socio-economic and political liberalisation policies which started from the second phase government of President Ali Mwinyi (1985–1995) through to the third phase government of President Benjamin Mkapa. Arguably economic liberalisation and privatisation took a centre stage in the latter phase. As a matter of fact, it had to. To make it investable Tanzania opted for total compliance to international community directives, whether willingly or under pressure. It also laid out an array of incentives for investment, which included long tax holidays and a low share of proceeds for the state.
With the end of apartheid being coincidental with onset of these economic reforms, Tanzania’s first diplomatic mission to South Africa had a clear assignment, arguably with the blessing of Mwalimu, to market the country and beckon investment. Evidently that happened, and the Tanzanian government fully embraced the ‘invading’ South African investment. Expectedly the capital had to be either ‘white’ native South African or western, routed through South Africa; a blend of ‘black’ emerged with time as a result of South African Black Economic Empowerment.
It may be concluded that three important omissions by the Tanzanian government did result to the outcomes drawn out by Schroeder’s story (i) there wasn’t the necessary preparation of its own people for the business and economic liberalisation policy changes that were in process; (ii) a lack of close monitoring of the benefits to the country that resulted from the foreign investments; and
(iii) a very low sense of urgency, unexpected in fast–moving free market economies. Whether this is due to lack of recognition by the government, or simply not doing the needful, is uncertain. Without clear mechanisms to address these issues, we may have to get used to reading similar accounts of other investment ‘invasions’ in Tanzania- and potentially other African states.
It should be clear that the South African capital migration has not been an entirely miserable case for Tanzania. Several initially entirely state-owned companies have been turned around in a beneficial manner to the Tanzanian people in the process, and to which Schroeder gives some brief recognition. The Tanzanian government has been able to part ways in time with South African aviation and energy utility ‘investments’ which clearly failed. The ‘visa debacle’ highlighted by Schroeder is seemingly easing as South African entry requirements for Tanzanians are being relaxed. Finally, the Tanzanian government has shown intent to avert from prevailing non-beneficial foreign investments contracts.
Siya Paul Riomoy
Siya Paul Rimoy is a civil engineer serving the Tanzania community on multiple fronts of academia, research and advisory through affiliation to the University of Dar es Salaam and Industry.