by Hugh Wenban-Smith
This compilation of articles, culled from journals in the LSE library, covers July to December 2016. The abstracts are abridged versions of those published by the author(s)
“Village land politics and the legacy of ujamaa” Greco E Review of African Political Economy 2016 (Supp. 1).
The paper explores the legacies of ujamaa for Tanzanian village land management through the analysis of ethnographic data. The first section considers the ujamaa legacies for Tanzanian village administrative and political institutions and the weight of past top-down politics. In the second section, village land politics are investigated in the light of the reform of the land laws in order then to underline the role of village authorities in collective land claims and to illustrate how village land allocations occur in practice. The third section analyses data from three villages to reflect on the salience of village land politics and Village Land Use Plans. Ujamaa leaves its legacy in the continuity of a potential for democratisation from below resisting the continuity of authoritarianism and centralised decision-making from above.
“Cotton and textiles industries in Tanzania: The failures of liberalisation” Coulson A Review of African Political Economy 2016 (Supp. 1).
The article uses the story of cotton cultivation in Tanzania to analyse critically the processes of liberalisation and expose the failure of markets to reward quality production. It starts by summarising the technological requirements to grow the crop. It then shows how cotton was central to industrialisation in Britain and elsewhere. In Tanzania, cotton is grown on small farms and so the article then summarises how small farmers make choices and minimise risks. This creates the context for outline histories, first of cotton growing, and then of textile industries in Tanzania, before turning to the impact of structural adjustment and liberalisation in the late 1980s and 1990s which led to increases in production but losses in quality and price. The article draws conclusions from this about the role of agriculture in processes of economic transformation and the need for institutions which represent the economic interest of small farmers.
“‘How come others are selling our land?’ Customary land rights and the complex process of land acquisition in Tanzania” Locher M Journal of Eastern African Studies 10(3).
The recent increase in transnational land acquisition of agrarian land raises concerns about rural people’s inadequate involvement in the decision-making process, and violations of their land rights. Tanzania’s statutory land laws are comparatively progressive in terms of recognising customary land rights. According to legislation, transferring ‘village land’ to an investor requires villagers’ approval. It is therefore revealing to focus on the acknowledgement of customary rights in land deals in Tanzania. This study analyses the land transfer process of a UK-based forestry company that has acquired land in seven villages in Kilolo district. In the case of the village presented here, the investor seems to have followed legal procedure regarding decision-making for the land deal in a formally correct way. Yet, interviews with various stakeholders revealed flaws at village and district government level that have led to a conflict-ridden situation, with numerous affected villagers having lost their land rights – thus the basis for their livelihoods – against their will. Among those affected are several households from a neighbouring village, whose customary rights date back to the period before the resettlements of the 1970s (‘villagisation’). Employing the concepts of property rights and legal pluralism and unbundling the role of different actors in the host country government, this article analyses the decision-making process that preceded this land transfer. It illustrates how unequal power relations lead to unequal recognition of customary and statutory law. The study concludes that even under comparatively favourable legal conditions, there is no guarantee that local land rights are fully protected in the global land rush.
“Food security in Tanzania: the challenge of rapid urbanisation” Wenban-Smith H, Fasse A & Grote U Food Security 8(5).
Urbanisation in Tanzania is proceeding apace. This article seeks to identify the challenge posed by rapid urbanisation for food security in Tanzania to 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals horizon. It is hypothesised that urban food security largely depends on the food supply systems and the rural food production potential. The analysis of these interlinkages is based on secondary macro data and own primary micro data. Tanzania has done well to achieve broad self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs to date, but rapid urbanisation will pose a severe future challenge as regards food security, particularly for the disadvantaged poorer people of the towns and cities in terms of food affordability, stability and food safety. Whether Tanzania can avoid future deterioration in urban food security will depend on how responsive and resilient the urban food supply systems prove to be in the face of continuing urban growth, changing consumption patterns, weak rural-urban food supply linkages and production constraints in the smallholder farming sector.
“Small price incentives increase women’s access to land titles in Tanzania” Ali DA, Collin M, Deininger K, Dercon S, Sandefur J & Zeitlin A Journal of Development Economics 123.
We randomize the price urban Tanzanian households faced to purchase a land title. Price discounts increase the rate at which households adopt titles. Some discounts are conditional on registering a woman as co-owner. These conditional discounts have roughly the same effect on adoption. Conditional discounts ensure very high co-titling rates without hurting take-up.
“‘You have hands, make use of them!’ Child labour in artisanal and small-scale mining in Tanzania” Potter C & Lupilya AC Journal of International Development 28(7).
This paper examines child labour in artisanal mining through ethnographic research in Tanzania. The poverty hypothesis argues that households send children to work to bolster household income. The socio-cultural approach suggests that child mining offers valuable vocational training. This paper builds on a growing literature that complicates these approaches straightforward claims by illustrating how household fragmentation is generated through the encounter of traditional cultural practices with mining’s culture of consumption. This encounter exacerbates household fragmentation, which in turn increases child poverty and labour. These findings suggest policy interventions should also address these mediating factors rather than poverty per se.
“Artisanal and small-scale mining as an informal safety net: Evidence from Tanzania” Aizawa Y Journal of International Development 28(7).
Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is an important means for diversifying economic activities to sustain people’s rural livelihoods in mineral-rich African countries. To pursue the economic benefits, ASM workers often take physical and legal risks in mining activities. However, a question arises as to whether the economic benefits are sufficient for explaining their engagement in risky mining activities. This article examines whether ASM functions as an informal safety net that brings social benefits to ASM workers and motivates their engagement in mining. To examine an informal safety net, the article analyses the case of artisanal mining in Geita, Tanzania. The result of the analysis states that social benefits are, in association economic benefits, motivating factors for continuing the ASM activities. The analysis implies that in ASM, the more impoverished the sites are, the more functional they are in regard to exerting an informal safety net.
“‘Ulinzi Shirikishi’: Popular experiences of hybrid security governance in Tanzania” Cross C Development and Change 47(5).
This article explores the implementation of community-based or participatory policing (ulinzi shirikishi) in Tanzania. Through ulinzi shirikishi citizens are encouraged to form local security committees, organise neighbourhood patrols and investigate reported crime. In contrast to earlier forms of state-sponsored sungu sungu vigilantism in Tanzania, community police are expected to cooperate with the Tanzania Police Force and to adhere to state law. Based on 11 months’ fieldwork in three sub-wards of the city of Mwanza, this article argues that community policing has been fairly effective in improving residents’ perceptions of local safety. However, two important concerns emerge that may compromise the sustainability and legitimacy of community policing in the future. First, organising local policing entails considerable costs for communities, which disproportionately disadvantage the relatively poor. Secondly, controlling local service provision can enable individuals to pursue private gains, at the expense of the production of public goods.
“Youth poverty, employment and livelihoods: Social and economic implications of living with insecurity in Arusha, Tanzania” Banks N. Environment and Urbanization 28(2).
The youth employment crisis in sub-Saharan Africa’s towns and cities is among the region’s top development priorities. High rates of youth under- and unemployment create significant obstacles to young people’s ability to become self-reliant, a crucial first step in the transition to adulthood. It is important to explore how local and global structures and processes create the hostile economic and social environment in which urban youth search for livelihoods. Only then can we identify the ways in which urban poverty brings insurmountable constraints on youth agency. We must understand the multitude of obstacles facing youth in their quest for decent work and secure livelihoods, how these differ by gender and educational status, and the implications of this for longer-term social and economic development. This paper attempts such an exploration in the context of Arusha, Tanzania.