by Hugh Wenban-Smith
This compilation of articles, culled from journals in the LSE library, covers January to June 2016. The abstracts are based on those published by the author(s), although sometimes shortened a bit.
“Development and progress as historical phenomena in Tanzania – Maendeleo? We had that in the past” Ahearne RM. African Studies Review 59(1).
Academic discussions of development continue to grow, yet critical engagement with communities affected by development interventions remain limited. Drawing from life history interviews conducted in Southern Tanzania, this article details the varied experiences of development interventions among older people and how these affect broader understandings of progress. Many juxtapose their negative views of ujamaa villagisation with more positive recollections of previous interventions (esp. the Groundnut Scheme), which are infused with what is described here as ‘development nostalgia’. Perceptions of the past clearly inform the social, political and economic aspirations of today, with the richness of the constructed narratives adding further nuance to existing depictions of Tanzanian historiography.
“Artisanal frontier mining of gold in Africa: Labour transformation Tanzania and the DRC” Bryceson DF & S Geenen. African Affairs Vol 115(459). This article studies the transformative nature of ‘artisanal frontier mining’ in view of SSA’s mining history. Artisanal gold production has generated livelihood earnings for millions of people in SSA. Yet we must go beyond a study of artisanal mining as an individual livelihood choice and considers the sector’s internal dynamics. In this sense, the concept of ‘labour transformation’ is helpful. It refers to a process in which individuals’ skill acquisition, economic exchange, psychological reorientation, and social positioning evolve towards a shared occupational identity, and collective professional norms, leaving considerable scope for self-governance amongst artisanal miners.
“The scramble for textbooks in Tanzania” Languille S. African Affairs Vol 115(458). In 2014, the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) government in Tanzania decided to discontinue the market-based systems for textbook provision that was established in the early 1990s and revert to full state control. Drawing on the theory of political settlements and the literature on Tanzania’s industrial politics, the article examines the political economy of textbook provision in this country in order to generate new insights into the relations between the educational, political and economic spheres. It shows how donor ideology and practices, while subjecting textbooks to generic market principles, also promoted the interests of western publishing corporations. It then argues that the distribution of power within the state, and the ambiguous relations between the CCM ruling elites, bureaucrats and the capitalist class, prevented the consolidation of a textbook industrial policy geared towards supporting the local publishing industry. Finally, the article explains the elite’s diverse corrupt practices to capture public funding for textbooks at the national and local levels.
“We are not farmers: Dilemmas and prospects of residential suburban cultivators in contemporary Dar es Salaam, Tanzania” Owens GR. Journal of Modern African Studies Vol 54(3).
Today a majority of citizens of Dar es Salaam participate in suburban and ex-urban growth and development much like urbanites throughout the world. Unlike the garden suburbs of North America or Europe, Dar es Salaam’s suburban residents often engage in multiple income-generating activities, the most common and conspicuous of which are cultivation and animal husbandry. The presence of urban farming has suggested that Dar es Salaam’s residents represent peasants incrementally transitioning to urban life. This article however contends that everything from the varieties of cultivation, access to land and work, to the definition of what it means to be a farmer is shaped by decentralised private interests controlling access to land and resources in suburban neighbourhoods. The varieties of cultivation and animal husbandry instead reflect socio-economic class distinctions emerging from a new suburban political economy, enabling a clearer perspective on the prospects of cultivators as these suburban districts transform.
“Turbulent times: Fighting history today in Tanzania’s trophy hunting spaces” Wright VC. Journal of Contemporary African Studies Vol 34(1).
The paper discusses the turbulent times facing trophy hunting in Tanzania. It reviews the industry’s contentious history, and illustrates the ominous politics that are emerging out of the country’s recent neo-liberal schemes, Wildlife Management Areas. Through the decentralisation that accompanies WMAs, the rural communities who co-inhabit trophy hunting spaces are finding new ways to limit, resist and, sometimes, eliminate it.
“The formal divide: Customary rights and the allocation of credit to agriculture in Tanzania” Stein H et al. Journal of Development Studies Vol 52(9).
It is generally held that one mechanism to enable inclusive growth in Tanzania is enabling farmers to access credit to raise productivity and incomes. The formalisation of property rights in Tanzania is being undertaken by a multiplicity of actors at great expense to donors, individuals and the government. While there have been a variety of different justifications for allocating Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) to farmers in Tanzania, perhaps the most prominent argument is that it will enable farmers to finally overcome the divide between ‘informal’ customary rights and the banking sector. CCROs would provide the collateral that would induce banks to lend money to small scale farmers. As part of a 6 year investigation in Manyara, Mbeya and Dodoma regions, our research team evaluated the impact of formalisation on farmers’ access to credit. The paper will present the results while pointing to the continuing institutional and market imperfections that perpetuate the formal divide.
“Water availability and reliability in Dar es Salaam” Smiley SL. Journal of Development Studies Vol 52(9).
Dar es Salaam’s water landscape is unjust, inequitable and uneven. Water rationing and electricity outages affect water availability alongside an overall shortfall in water supply. Using household surveys and interviews, this paper shows that a majority of respondents lack a consistently reliable source of water. To cope with poor access, households alter their daily routines, consume less water, and identify and use back-up sources of water. It is crucial to understand the problems of water availability in the city in order to make more informed policy decisions and more justly provide water access.
“Weather shocks, agricultural production and migration: Evidence from Tanzania” Kubik Z & M Maurel. Journal of Development Studies Vol 52(5).
We analyse whether Tanzanian rural households engage in migration as a response to weather-related shocks. We hypothesize that, when exposed to such shocks and a consecutive crop yield reduction, rural households use migration as a risk management strategy. Our findings confirm that for an average household, a 1 per cent reduction in agricultural income induced by weather shock increases the probability of migration by 13 percentage points on average within the year. Hoever the effect is significant only for households in the middle of the wealth distribution, suggesting that the choice of migration as an adaptation strategy depends on initial endowment. What is more, the proposed mechanism applies to households whose income is highly dependent on agriculture, but is not important for diversified livelihoods.
“Food culture and child-feeding practices in Njombe and Mvomero districts, Tanzania” Mwaseba DJB, R Kaarhus & ZS Mvena. Journal of Eastern African Studies Vol 10(2).
This article explores food culture and child-feeding practices, focusing on children below five years, among the Bena and Luguru ethnic groups located in Njombe and Mvomero rural districts in Tanzania. This article is part of a larger research project whose overall purpose was to investigate the outcome of milk-based nutrition interventions involving dairy goat and cattle-keeping with the aim among others to improve health and nutritional status of family members. Methods used included participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. Findings show that early pre-lacteal feeds are commonly introduced in both societies and the most common complementary food includes plain maize porridge. On the other hand, milk consumption among children was rather limited. Existing food habits and feeding practices do not always meet the current international recommendations on child feeding. Besides, recommendations and nutritional information on child feeding have largely not been used as suggested and this paper argues that, for the successful introduction and implementation of nutrition-based interventions targeting children, it is important to identify and improve upon the indigenous child-feeding practices, reflecting existing food habits, food-related beliefs, and their meanings.