Archive for January, 2016

EDUCATION

by Ben Taylor

Free basic education
Earlier in 2015, a new national education policy was launched, including a commitment that from January 2016, basic education from Standard 1 to Form 4 would become compulsory and would be provided free of charge. This became a major campaign promise in the presidential campaign of the CCM candidate, Dr John Magufuli.

With President Magufuli now in office and showing a new level of commitment to efficiency and good governance, fulfilling the promise of free basic education will be an early test for the new administration.

In particular, the pledge covers both school fees and the contributions (“michango”) demanded of pupils and parents towards building maintenance, desks, examinations, watchmen, and other school running costs. Typically, while school fees may be only TSh 20,000 per year, these other compulsory contributions could be as high as TSh 300,000. “When I say free education, I indeed mean free,” said President Magufuli at the official opening of parliament.

The Ministry of Education has issued a directive to all government schools forbidding them from asking for fees or contributions from pupils and their parents. Circular No.5 specified that “provision of free education means pupils or students will not pay any fee or other contributions that were being provided by parents or guardians before the release of new circular.”

President Magufuli spoke publicly to reassure parents and schools that funds would be available, saying the government had already been making savings elsewhere that would cover the cost.

“The funds for providing free education are being set aside, already we have TSh 131bn. We have planned to transfer these funds directly to all the relevant schools, with copies sent to the Regional and District Commissioners, and to the council Director. This is why we say they will study for free. All the money for capitation grants, money for chalk, money for examinations, money for everything, we are sending it. We will send it each month starting this December. Money for food. I am certain that those being sent the money will use it well, I warn them not to use it badly.”

There are currently just over 10 million children in government primary and secondary schools, according to Zuberi Samataba, the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Education) in the Ministry for Regional Administration and Local Government. Anecdotal reports in the media suggests there is likely to be a significant increase in this number in January, when parents see that fees and contributions have truly been abolished. (The Citizen, The Guardian, BBC)

Pressure on private schools over fees

The government has also been putting pressure on private schools over the fees they charge. A circular (no. 6) was issued requiring all private school operators to submit by December 16th their proposed fees for 2016 for review and approval by government. The schools have also been barred from any fee increases in 2016.

Private schools have warned that they will be forced to close if the government prevents them from setting fees that cover their costs. The Tanzania Association of Non-Government Schools and Colleges said that they would not accept any fee structure if they were not involved in its preparation.

However, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Prof Sifuni Mchome, said the government will not bar private schools from increasing fees if they have justifiable reasons. He noted that it has been a tradition of private schools to increase fees at the end of every year without justification. (The Citizen, The East African)

Primary School leaving exam results up
Publication of Primary School leaving exam results saw an increase in the pass rate, up from 57% in 2014 to 68% in 2015. A total of 518,034 pupils passed the exams, out of 763,602 who sat them. The pass rate among boys (72%) was a little higher than for girls (65%).(The Citizen)

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SPORT

by Philip Richards

At the risk of appearing to bring gloomy news in this issue on the sporting front, I would request readers to contribute any positive sporting stories to me for future publication (see back of issue for my email address). There must be some out there but I’m finding it difficult to dig them up! – Phil

Athletics
Tanzania athletes continue to disappoint on the global stage. At the World Athletics Championship in Beijing, the country’s contingent of marathon runners finished 12th, 27th and 42nd with one not finishing the course. The post-mortem in the Tanzanian media again points the finger of blame at inadequate preparation for global competition, rather than the quality of the athletes per se. Headlines like “Tanzania – Stop This Mess in Athletics Once and For All, Please” (Daily News, 28/8/15) sums up the frustration in the country, especially when neighbours such as Kenya and Uganda appear to be thriving or at least on the upward curve of improvement.

Football

Taifa stars in action against Algeria

Taifa stars in action against Algeria


Taifa Stars, the national mens’ team, are already out of the FIFA World Cup 2018, after a painful 9-2 aggregate defeat over 2 legs to the “Desert Foxes” of Algeria in the qualifying round. Slightly better news in terms of qualification towards the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations; the team currently hold third spot in Group G behind group leaders Eqypt, but interim coach Charles Boniface Mkwasa will be encouraged by his team’s performance against Nigeria who held the Super Eagles to a 0-0 draw in Dar in September. The next game is away against Chad in March 2016.

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TANZANIA IN THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

by Donovan McGrath

Climate Change
The December issue of New African magazine featured a climate change special report. The following is a summary of the part Tanzania is playing in the harnessing of wind power. Extract: Tanzania’s Singida Wind Farm, set to produce some 100MW, received a major boost from IFC Infradventures in December 2012 after the signing of a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Six Telecoms Ltd and Aldwych International to develop the $285 million wind farm. It will be owned and operated by Wind East Africa Ltd… Singida Wind Farm is expected to be Tanzania’s first-ever wind power project and when operational it will be a major complex producing 300MW-600MW of power… (New African, December 2015)

The Ruaha Carnivore Project: Oxford helps to save one of the world’s most significant lion populations

>>Dr Amy Dickman with Barabaig tribesmen. Photo Ruaha Carnivore Project http://ruahacarnivoreproject.com/

Dr Amy Dickman with Barabaig tribesmen. Photo Ruaha Carnivore Project http://ruahacarnivoreproject.com/


Research into the ecology of big cats helps resolve human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania. Extract continues: Southern Tanzania’s Ruaha landscape has at its heart Ruaha National Park, which at 20,000km is the largest in East Africa.. . In the dry season, wildlife – both predators and prey – congregate around the river. When it rains, however, prey move to safer water sources elsewhere, so predators – lions in particular – are drawn onto village lands, seeking food. To the Barabaig, therefore, lions have long been very bad news. For Dr Amy Dickman … this historic tension between humans and wildlife was the greatest obstacle to the work of her Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP)… ‘According to our data, about 18% of villagers’ cash income was being lost because of carnivore attack [on their cattle, explains Dr Dickman] … Young Barabaig men have traditionally tracked and killed lions… This has resulted in an extremely high rate of lion killings around Ruaha, so addressing it was a top conservation priority. It quickly became clear to Dr Dickman that, if the alarming rate of destruction was to be stopped, winning over the Barabaig would be vital. Reluctant to interact at first, the villagers proved suddenly amenable when Dr Dickman’s group put up a solar panel for electricity … Eventually the two sides were able to meet and discuss how preserving lions could become more materially worthwhile to locals than killing them… Attacks were countered by reinforcing bomas (livestock enclosures), and placing guarding dogs to alert herders when predators approach … (Campaign Report 2014/15) Thank you Roger Searle for this item – Editor


Jane Goodall’s ongoing campaign

At 81, travelling 360 days a year to champion the cause of chimps, Dr Jane Goodall is still lithe of limb and incredibly fresh-faced in her trademark ponytail. She was visiting Kenya recently on the 55th anniversary of her chimpanzee research in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. Her ground breaking discoveries -including the use of tools by chimpanzees and their social and cultural bonds – revolutionised wildlife research … Dr Goodall is currently promoting her latest book, Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall… Although the 50-year study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park remains central to her mission, she now speaks on issues such as illegal trade in wildlife, climate change and food security… “It’s ironic that humans are the most intelligent creatures that ever lived on earth are destroying it,” she said. She spoke … of how chimpanzees in the wild have disappeared from four African countries in recent times. Even Gombe, which half a century ago was a vast forest around Lake Victoria, is diminishing as it is being cleared for subsistence farming. These are the reasons why Dr Goodall has turned activist… She is happy though that through the Roots & Shoots programme started in 1991, there is now three times more forest in Gombe today, meaning there’s three times more forest for chimpanzees… (East African 25-31 July 2015)

Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)
The following is an extract of a recent advertisement in The East African newspaper: The Government of United Republic of Tanzania has set aside funds for the operation of the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) during the Financial year 2015/2016 … The objective of this assignment is to prepare a Detailed Master/ Development Plan of the Technology Park that among other things will provide a state of-the-art facilities and infrastructures to meet the needs of high-tech companies (e.g. ICT, Life Sciences, Physical Science, etc) and investors… (East African 3-9 October 2015)

Tanzania’s shame: The country’s elephant population has plummeted under the watch of its outgoing President
[S]tatistics showing what a success [President Jakaya Kikwete] has been—2.7m jobs created, 5,000 more schools, households with electricity rising from 10 to 36 per cent, malaria cases down 60 per cent. The one figure they hardly ever mention, however, is the shocking and shameful number of elephants slaughtered on his watch—nearly 100,000. Under Julius Nyerere, the father and first President of postcolonial Tanzania, the country championed elephant conservation … Under Kikwete it has become an elephant slaughterhouse. Since he took office in 2005 … nearly 10,000 of those magnificent creatures shot, speared or poisoned for each year he has been in office. A third of all the elephants killed in Africa are in Tanzania. More than a third of all ivory seized in Asia emanates from Tanzania… Kikwete has no excuses… Tanzania’s problem is a deep, pervasive, endemic corruption that makes it not a victim of China’s lust for ivory but a willing and active accomplice… “Collusion between corrupt officials and criminal enterprises explains the unprecedented scale of poaching and ivory smuggling in the country…” Britain’s Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reported last year… Kikwete’s administration has responded with words rather than actions—not least to keep the donor dollars flowing… (Prospects July 2015)

Nine-year-old is youngest Briton to climb Kilimanjaro
Zain Ackrim … hiked to the top of Africa’s tallest peak in just over six days … His brother Rehan, 12, and ten other people including his father, Raheel, 49, joined him on the 5,895m climb to raise money for schools in Africa. The previous record for a British junior was held by Jack Rea, from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, who was ten when he reached the top in July last year… (Times 26 August 2015)

Shock cancellation of music festival
Sauti za Busara, which means “Sounds of Wisdom” in Kiswahili, is held every year in February in Stone Town, Zanzibar… “Due to a shortage of funding, Busara Promotions has reluctantly announced their decision to cancel the 2016 edition of Sauti za Busara,” said Busara Promotions in a press statement, adding that it is the first time in 13 years that the international music festival will not be held… “… We set ourselves a target of raising $200,000 before July, which is when we hoped to announce dates for Sauti za Busara 2016. We extended our deadline to August 19 but we were only able to raise $42,000,” said Yusuf Mahmoud, the chief executive officer of Busara promotions, adding, “Selling tickets for Sauti za Busara was never a problem, but these only cover 30 per cent of the festival costs.” … Since 2004, we have not had any financial support from the government of Zanzibar, Tanzania or from the East African Community and support from donors, embassies and commercial sponsors has reached an all-time low,” said Mr Mahmoud. “The Busara Board and management will work hard to ensure the festival resumes in 2017. This could mean moving its location or making it a biennial event.” (East African 29 August-4 September 2015)

Behind the scenes challenges of the Swahili Fashion Week
This article written by Caroline Uliwa featured as the “Cover Story”. The Swahili Fashion Week (SFW) has built a reputation as the prime event on the region’s fashion calendar… At last year’s SWF, I realised I was not doing justice to the fashion story by reporting the obvious – the runway, the models, the fabrics and the organisation of the day’s event while overlooking the fact that key suppliers hardly featured or even got a mention… I’ve taken the time to dig for more information on the background players… There are no leatherworks machine manufacturers or even distributors that I know of in Tanzania. And to import one, a company has to pay three times – for buying the machine, for shipping it here and to the ‘powers that be,’ lamented Jared Jessup, the director of KAULI, a Moshi-based handbag manufacturer… Jessup made this observation: “As far as I can tell, there is excessive export of leather in its bluest [rawest] and cheapest form. I suppose it’s because there really isn’t anywhere else for it to go. A shame too, as some of the tanneries here really can do fantastic work at finishing. So, it would be nice if there was some types of institutional mechanism within the higher tax structure to support the growth of inter-linked industries such a leather production and end products of leather either through VAT relief or by welcoming international distributors of sewing and leatherwork equipment.” … What this tells me is that the government has not been doing its job in co-ordinating this industry, which can be a massive employer and also an export income earner for the country … (East African 31 October-6 November 2015)

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OBITUARIES

by Ben Taylor

The late Deo Filikunjombe MP speaking at Ludewa in Feb 2015 http://www. hakingowi.com/.

The late Deo Filikunjombe MP speaking at Ludewa in Feb 2015 http://www. hakingowi.com/.

Deo Filikunjombe MP, was killed in a helicopter crash in the Selous a week before election day, when he was due to seek re-election as MP for Ludewa, representing CCM. Though aged just 43 and having served only one 5-year term as an MP, his impact on Tanzanian politics was substantial.
As deputy chair of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, he formed a close friendship and highly effective partnership with the committee’s chairman, the firebrand opposition MP, Zitto Kabwe. Though a few years younger and representing a different party, Zitto became a mentor to Filikunjombe, and there were rumours earlier in 2015 that Filikunjombe might defect from CCM and run for re-election on the ticket of Zitto’s new party, ACT Wazalendo.
Together with a third young MP, from another different party – David Kafulila of NCCR Mageuzi – Filikunjombe and Kabwe were instrumental in demanding accountability from senior politicians and public servants for the Tanesco / IPTL scandal, popularly known as the “Escrow” case. (See TA110 for a full report of the case.) It was the Public Accounts Committee’s report, read in parliament jointly by the chair and deputy chair, that prompted the resignations or sackings of the Attorney General, Frederick Werema, the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Professor Muhongo and the Minister of Lands and Housing, Anna Tibaijuka, as well as several others losing senior positions within the party machinery and/or within parliament.
This was Filikunjombe’s most prominent political role to date, reading out damning details of the scandal and calling for the resignation of a Prime Minister from his own party, Mizengo Pinda, seated just a few yards away. It cemented his reputation as an anti-corruption campaigner, and as a brave and principled politician who was prepared to take on senior figures in his own party in the cause of accountability.
Following his untimely death, tributes flowed from across the political spectrum. “Apart from being the best man during my wedding and close friend, Filikunjombe was one of very few MPs from the ruling party who stood firm against corruption. He played a great role to ensure that all culprits of the escrow scandal were held accountable,” said Kafulila.
January Makamba of CCM said this was a loss not only to the ruling party but to the nation as a whole. He said Filikunjombe had always put the national interests first.
Zitto Kabwe acclaimed Filikunjombe as a fighter against corruption. “We have been robbed of a great leader,” he said. Following his own election as MP for Kigoma Urban, he added “I dedicate this to my friend Deo Haule Filikunjombe. It is his victory and I won’t celebrate this as to me the election became meaningless.”

Rev Christopher Mtikila, the pro-Tanganyika campaigner and serially litigious opposition politician, died in a car crash near Chalinze in early October, aged 65. He was travelling to Dar es Salaam from Njombe, where he had attended election campaign rallies for candidates representing the Democratic Party (DP), of which Rev Mtikila was chairman.
Coast Regional Police Commander Jaffari Mohamed said their initial investigations had found that Rev Mtikila had not fastened his seat belt when their speeding Toyota Corolla overturned after swerving off the road to avoid an oncoming lorry. Three other occupants escaped with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Rev Mtikila, a preacher of the Full Salvation Church who hailed from the Anglican mission of Milo in Ludewa district, had played a prominent role in shaping multiparty democracy in Tanzania. He had fought controversial campaigns, often through the courts, taking on the Anglican church, prominent politicians and the political establishment to argue in favour of private (independent) candidates, constitutional reform, and for a greater recognition of Tanganyika as a separate entity in the new constitution. His voice was often a lonely one, though he undoubtedly had many supporters who preferred a less public profile. His campaigns for indigenisation of the economy and for empowerment of the poorest in society won him some public popularity, but his determination to take on the government meant he remained always an outsider.
His biggest victory was the ruling of the African Court of Human and People’s Rights in 2013, that provisions of the Tanzanian constitution that required electoral candidates to be members of and sponsored by political parties – thus disallowing independent candidates – contravened various international laws. This was the culmination of a battle started by Rev Mtikila as far back as 1993, which the government of Tanzania had fought against at every turn. Unfortunately for Mtikila, the failure to conclude the constitutional review process meant that he never came to see independent candidates allowed, though it now seems probable that his victory on this issue will soon become formally respected in law.
On other issues, Mtikila was more successful at raising the public profile of the issues he championed than at winning office or changing law or policy. His campaign for constitutional reform gained momentum when first the CHADEMA leadership and then President Kikwete saw opportunities in making the issue their own. His campaign for an independent Tanganyika only gained strength when met with a similar (and much stronger) movement for independence for Zanzibar.
He will be remembered as a divisive figure. Admirers will credit his militancy for energising multi-party politics in Tanzania. Others will see him as a racist, populist loose canon, whose pronouncements and campaigns represented a very real danger to peace and stability.
His coffin was draped with the old Tanganyika flag.

The outgoing Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Abdallah Kigoda MP, has died in India where he had been receiving treatment for liver problems, at age of 62.
Having been elected to parliament on the CCM ticket in 1995, representing Handeni, Dr Kigoda served as Minister in several different ministries. Under President Mkapa, he was Minister for Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1997, Minister for Energy and Minerals from 1997 to 2000, and Minister of State in the President’s Office for Planning and Privatisation from 2000 to 2005. Throughout this time, Kigoda was seen as a key player in pushing the privatisation agenda forward across industry, mining and parastatals.
Through a combination of his ministerial roles, his significant positions within the CCM party machinery and his close friendship with President Mkapa, Dr Kigoda was seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2005. He put his name forward for nomination, but was overlooked in favour of Jakaya Kikwete.
In 2005, the newly elected President Kikwete declined to give Dr Kigoda a ministerial role in his new cabinet. It wasn’t until 2012 that he turned to Dr Kigoda and re-appointed him to his previous role as Minister of Trade and Industry, a position he held until his death.

Celina Kombani MP, the outgoing Minister of State in the President’s Office for Public Service Management, has died in India, aged 56, where she had been receiving treatment for cancer.
Ms Kombani had represented Ulanga East since 2005. Immediately she was given a ministerial role, as Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government, under Prime Minister Lowassa. Following Lowassa’s resignation in 2008, she was promoted to Minister of State in the same department.
In President Kikwete’s second term, Ms Kombani served first as Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, then as Minister of State in the President’s Office for Public Service Management.
Residents in Ulanga said they would miss her greatly, as she had been known as a very good constituency MP, supporting students and entrepreneurs and catalysing development in the area – including improving local roads.

A noted Danish lichenologist, Vagn Alstrup, was shot and killed during a robbery at his home in Dar es Salaam. He was 71 years old.
Alstrup, who worked for the University of Copenhagen, lived in Tanzania and considered the country his second home. He has published a number of book on the subject of lichenology, the study of fungi.
He was a highly respected figure within his field, most particularly on the subject of lichenicolous fungi, parasitic fungi that live only on lichen as a host. He was a keen educator who arranged many field camps and courses and would always make time to patiently explain the fine differences between different lichens to anyone who was interested.

The chairman of the opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD), Dr Emmanuel Makaidi, has died in Lindi, aged 74, during the election campaign in October. He had fallen sick a few days earlier, while campaigning.
Dr Makaidi held a PhD in political science from Harvard University, though he struggled to translate this into political success on the ground. Though he ran for the Presidency in 2005 on the NLD ticket, placing seventh of ten candidates with 0.19% of the vote, he came to greater prominence in 2014, when he took his party into the opposition coalition, UKAWA, alongside three much bigger parties: CHADEMA, CUF and NCCR Mageuzi. He became the coalition’s co-chair, and was chosen as the coalition’s sole candidate for the Masasi parliamentary seat. Nevertheless, he faced a tough battle within the constituency from supporters of other UKAWA parties who felt they were better placed to take on CCM.
CHADEMA chairman, Freeman Mbowe, expressed his sadness at the loss. “Dr Makaidi was with us since the inception of UKAWA during the Constituent Assembly sitting and was an important member of the alliance whose aim is to oust CCM. … He will be sorely missed,” he said.

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REVIEWS

by Martin Walsh

WOMEN, LAND AND JUSTICE IN TANZANIA. Helen Dancer. James Currey, Woodbridge, 2015. xxiv + 192 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-1-84701­113-8. £45.

Having seen the author of this book present her work, I had high expectations, and they were not disappointed. This is a well-grounded and carefully thought through study of the difficulty women experience establishing and defending their rights to land in present-day Tanzania. Focused on material from Mount Kilimanjaro, it provides useful reviews of the literature on a number of urgent current issues, relevant far beyond Tanzania: the evolution of land rights in Africa in the context of increasing demand and ‘land grabs’; the rhetoric of human rights and women’s rights in the NGO sector, the internal diversity of that sector, and (more country-specific) the functioning of the court system from local dispute settlement mechanisms upward.

Dancer demonstrates the dearth of easy answers to the many difficult issues raised, such as how to mediate between plural understandings of law and how to ensure equitable outcomes from under-resourced legal institutions. She notes, for instance, that while empirical studies indicate that land titling campaigns often work to the detriment of women’s land claims by vesting land formally in male family heads and marginalising women’s ‘customary’ entitlements, feminist lawyers in Africa are among those who continue to lobby for the use of formal legal mechanisms, such as titling, to assert women’s rights. At the same time, the conclusion makes clear that there are ways of legislating constructively and of working with flawed institutions.

Following a sample of cases through the courts, the book makes clear that the Tanzanian government’s commitment to furthering gender justice is not purely rhetorical; that legislation has over the years succeeded in providing certain legal means for women to assert their rights, and that legal disputes concerning land may well be decided in favour of women claimants. At the same time, it also emerges clearly that it takes guts and perseverance on the part of a woman plaintiff for her case even to reach court. Formal judicial proceedings are typically a late stage in a dispute that has probably already been through several rounds of mediation, formal or informal. The pressure exerted on women to settle, quite possibly to their detriment, within these forums can be great, extending all the way to physical violence. The book brought to mind the Swahili saying kikulacho kiko nguoni mwako; what bites you is in your clothes. The people most likely to imperil a woman’s claim to land are typically close relatives, of her own or of a deceased husband.

The historian may take particular interest in Dancer’s exploration of the interaction between successive layers of legislation. The colonial ethnographer Hans Cory’s summary of patrilineal customary law, for example, remains the official interpretation of customary law for areas considered to be patrilineal, and women have to mobilise the more recent constitutional commitment against gender injustice against it, with varying success. One point that it would have been nice to see pursued further is the connection between land claims and economic stratification, or class. But one book cannot do everything, and this one does quite a lot as it is.
Felicitas Becker
Felicitas Becker is Lecturer in African History at the University of Cambridge, and author of Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania, 1890-2000 (Oxford, 2008), as well as articles in African Affairs, the Journal of African History, African Studies Review, and the Canadian Journal of Development Studies.

IN SEARCH OF PROTECTION: OLDER PEOPLE AND THEIR FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL IN TANZANIA. Helmut Spitzer and Zena Mnasi Mabeyo. Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam, 2011. 141 pp (paperback). ISBN 978-998708-080-9. Available from African Books Collective, £17.95.

Older people in Tanzania tend to be invisible – and the poorer and more rural they are, the less of a voice they have. Not only is it clear that many older people are marginalised by their own communities, but also their plight has been neglected by NGOs and international agencies, who may prefer to concentrate on more immediately appealing areas such as children, women, water, health, forests, and so on.

This book lifts a corner of this invisibility, providing an informative summary of the situation of older people in Tanzania, against a backdrop of the largely ineffective global, regional and national policy environment. It contains a detailed account of fieldwork done in two locations in Tanzania which usefully highlights rural-urban differences and brings out the considerable gender-based disparities. While older people are generally marginalised, discriminated against and socially excluded in their communities and further afield, older women face even greater discrimination and difficulties. Older people are vulnerable to chronic poverty and in recent years this has been exacerbated by the additional burden thrust upon them by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, that of looking after sick family members and in particular taking on orphaned children.

Spitzer and Mabeyo’s account resonates with the research I did in Tanzania with older people over a decade ago, depressingly showing that not much has changed. However, I was disappointed not to see greater coverage of more nuanced social aspects of old age for women, such as widowhood, polygyny (when the older wife is pushed aside in favour of a younger one), and the significant issue of witchcraft, with its links to inheritance of property rights, and HIV/AIDS, and where older women (as witches) may be blamed for untimely and apparently unexplained deaths.

The book ends with a range of recommendations. Older people in Tanzania lack adequate formal social protection, and are experiencing diminishing family and community support, but the authors argue convincingly that the introduction of a universal non-contributory pension is both fiscally affordable and sustainable, and could play an important role in poverty reduction, if there were ever the political will to implement it.
Kate Kibuga Forrester
Kate Kibuga Forrester lived in Tanzania for 15 years, working as a freelance consultant chiefly in social development. She carried out several research assignments for HelpAge International, focusing on the situation of older people in different locations in the country. She now lives in Dorchester, where she is active in community and environmental affairs.

BUILDING A PEACEFUL NATION: JULIUS NYERERE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SOVEREIGNTY IN TANZANIA, 1960-1964. Paul Bjerk. University of Rochester Press, Rochester NY, 2015. xvii + 374 pp (hardback). ISBN 978-1-58046-505-2. £75.00.

The immediate tasks facing those African governments which took power of newly independent states during the 1960s were to establish political control and limit neo-colonial interference; in other words to establish sovereignty. This was not easy. Economic and administrative capacity was limited, and creating a stable political consensus was difficult in the absence of unpopular colonial rule. To complicate matters, external threats were posed by instability in neighbouring countries and by increasingly interventionist superpower policy in the context of the Cold War. The way in which the TANU government under the leadership of Julius Nyerere was able to negotiate these challenges and create a foundational sovereignty during the period 1960-64 is the subject of this new book by Paul Bjerk, an assistant professor of history at Texas Tech University.

One major limitation facing any researcher investigating post-independence Tanganyikan government policy is that many of the official records from this period remain confidential. In addition to interviewing dozens of key protagonists, Bjerk has attempted to bridge this gap by presenting the contents of a wide range of diplomatic correspondence in which key issues are often discussed frankly. Indeed, the fact that the references and bibliography in this book run to almost 100 pages is testament to his substantial archival research across several countries.

In the introduction, Bjerk states that his book is not intended to be a biography or evaluation of Nyerere. However, sections on Nyerere’s education and his development of Ujamaa ideology – and indeed the book’s subtitle – at times create a contrary impression. Although other figures such as Oscar Kambona and Rashidi Kawawa receive plenty of attention, Nyerere is firmly situated as the book’s key figure, perhaps inevitably given the central role he played in policy formation during this period.

Bjerk’s work is structured thematically, starting with a focus on domestic sovereignty. He evaluates, in turn, measures to limit the threat posed to Nyerere’s government by opposition parties and labour unions, the origins of Ujamaa ideology, early attempts at villagisation, the 1964 mutiny and, finally, the creation of the national youth service. Throughout this section, Bjerk skilfully shows that sovereignty is not simply imposed from above but rather it is the product of social mediation in which both elite and non-elite discourses play important roles.

Bjerk then turns attention to the projection of external sovereignty through foreign policy. He discusses the way in which the Tanganyikan government sought a balance between its principled positions, for example its support for independence movements in Southern Africa and its desire to maintain a non-aligned position in the Cold War. This section also contains a chapter on the Zanzibar Revolution which shows that an American intervention had been imminent before Union with Tanganyika was finally agreed.

Casual readers may find the more academically complex parts of this book off-putting, for example the theoretical sections contained in the introduction and conclusion. However, Bjerk’s work will provide an invaluable resource for those engaged in the academic study of the immediate post-independence period in both Tanzania (Tanganyika) and Africa more broadly.
Robert Macdonald
Robert Macdonald is a PhD student at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. He is currently in the final stages of writing up his thesis on voter behaviour in Tanzania.

Also noticed:

THE STORY OF SWAHILI. John M. Mugane. Ohio University Press, Athens,
OH, 2015. xiv + 324 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-0-89680-293-3. £20.99. This vibrant overview by the Director of the African Language Program in Harvard University has something for everyone interested in the development of Swahili language and literature, including sections on kanga sayings, Swahili soap operas, and the use of Swahili in African American life.

ALISI NDANI YA NCHI YA AJABU. Lewis Carroll. Translated by Ida Hadjivayanis. Evertype, Portlaoise, 2015. xv + 135 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-1-78201-122-4. £10.95.
Undaunted by the linguistic inventiveness and sheer Englishness of Lewis Carroll’s classic, Ida Hadjivayanis has produced the first Swahili version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to appear in 75 years. This is a must for all lovers of Swahili translation, and with any luck it will find a good market in Tanzania too.

POCKET GUIDE: INSECTS OF EAST AFRICA. Dino J. Martins. Struik Nature, Cape Town, 2014. 152 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-1-77007-894-9. £7.50.
Dino Martin’s pocket guide is the first of its kind, illustrated with superb colour photographs of the insect groups and species that it describes. So little is known about insects in the five East African countries it covers that readers are encouraged to send in their own observations, photographs and records.

THE KINGDON FIELD GUIDE TO AFRICAN MAMMALS (Second edition). Jonathan Kingdon. Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2015. 640 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-1-47291-236-7. £27.00.
Kingdon’s handsomely illustrated field guide, first published in 1997, has now been revised and updated to take account of new information, including developments in the classification of African mammals. Both despite and because of its various idiosyncracies, it is perhaps the best guide to carry around Tanzania.

EAST AFRICAN PLANT COLLECTORS. Diana and Roger Polhill. Kew
Publishing, Kew, 2015. 520 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978-1-84246-371-0. £80.00. Described as “a record of some 2,700 people who have collected herbarium specimens in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, […] a supplement to the now complete Flora of Tropical East Africa.” This comprehensive survey of East Africa’s plant collectors is accompanied by line drawings and more than 250 black and white photographs.

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