by Hugh Wenban-Smith

This is a further summary report of development research in Tanzania, culled from journals in the library of the London School of Economics. It covers the period January to June 2012. The format is: Journal title; Volume and issue number; Author(s); Article title; Short abstract (in square brackets, sometimes abbreviated but otherwise as published).

Environment and Urbanization, Vol 24(1) – Hooper M & Ortolano L
“Motivation for slum dweller social movement participation in urban Africa: A study of mobilization in Kurasini, Dar es Salaam”. This paper examines what motivates the participation of African slum dwell­ers in urban social movement.. This issue is analyzed through a case study of grassroots mobilization around evictions in Kurasini ward, Dar es Salaam. The paper uses an analytic narrative approach to account for patterns in participatory behaviour, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative data gathered through interviews with 81 slum dwellers. The study shows that, contrary to the expectation of movement leaders, property owners were significantly more likely than renters to participate in a risky and time-consuming mobilization effort. The study identifies three factors that favoured owner participation: the nature of expected pay-offs from participation; greater belief in the efficacy of action; and greater connection to place.

Journal of Development Economics, Vol 98(1) – Beegle K, de Weerdt J, Friedman J & Gibson J “Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania”. A field experiment in Tanzania tests eight alternative methods of measuring household consumption, finding significant differences between consumption reported by the benchmark personal diary and other diary and recall formats.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(2) – Pederson R H “Decoupled implementation of New Wave land reforms: Decentralisation and local governance of land in Tanzania”. Decentralisation is a key element in the new wave of land reforms that have been introduced in sub-Saharan Africa. However, not much research has been carried out into their implementation at the local level. Consequently, reforms are described in old-fashioned terms. Through comparative case studies in Tanzania, this article examines implementation as a process consisting of multiple administrative layers and potential actors. It concludes that implementation is slow and uneven due to the decoupling of layers within the formal land administration. Greater attention should be directed towards the local level as a part of the land administrative structure.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(3) – Hermes N, Kihanga E, Lensink R & Lutz C “The impact of trade credit on customer switching behaviour: Evidence from the Tanzanian rice market”. Primary survey data is used to analyze the relationship between trade credit and customer switching in the context of trade transactions between wholesalers and retailers in the Tanzanian rice market. Results reveal a negative relation of trade credit and customer switching, that is, trade credit acts as a switching barrier; retailers are reluctant to move to another supplier if they depend on trade as a source of external finance.

Journal of Development Studies, Vol 48(4) – D’Exelle B, van Campenhout B & Lecoutere E “Modernisation and time preferences in Tanzania: Evidence from a large-scale elicitation exercise”. Assumptions about individual time preferences are important for explanations of poverty and development. Data from a large-scale elicitation exercise in Tanzania show significantly higher levels of impatience in urban areas than rural areas. This result remains robust to adding controls for socio-economic differences between rural and urban areas, which possibly correlate with time preferences due to differences in modernization between urban and rural areas, leading to increased impatience. This is corroborated by the observed positive correlation between impatience and education; the latter being an important vehicle of modernization for traditional societies in Tanzania.

Journal of International Development, Vol 24(2) – Robbins G &Perkins D “Mining FDI and infrastructure development on Africa’s East Coast: Examining the recent experience of Tanzania and Mozambique”. Since the turn of the century, Tanzania and Mozambique have emerged as leading performers in Africa’s foreign direct investment stakes. In both countries, the demands placed on infrastructure to enable these investments have presented some significant challenges. Caught amid high debt, low state revenue and weak capacity, the performance of infrastructure has been widely reported as a constraint to growth. Lessons learned from how these countries have responded to these challenges provide some insight as to the degree to which potential synergies can be crafted around inflows of mining-related foreign direct investment and enhancements to the infrastructure networks.

Review of Development Economics, Vol 16(3) – Arndt C, Farmer W, Strzepek K & Thurlow J “Climate change, agriculture and food security in Tanzania”. Due to their reliance on rain-fed agriculture, both as a source of income and consumption, many low income countries are considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change. Here we estimate the impact of climate change on food security in Tanzania. These results are in turn imposed on a highly disaggregated recursive dynamic economy-wide model of Tanzania. Relative to a no-climate-change baseline, and considering domestic agricultural production as the channel of impact, food security in Tanzania appears likely to deteriorate as a consequence of climate change. The analysis points to a high degree of diversity of outcomes (including some favourable outcomes).

Review of Development Economics, Vol 16(3) – Ahmed SA, Diffenbaugh NS, Hertel TW & Martin WJ “Agriculture and trade opportunities for Tanzania: Past volatility and future climate change”. Given global heterogeneity in climate-induced agricultural variability, Tanzania has the potential to substantially increase its maize exports to other countries. If global maize production is lower than usual owing to supply shocks in major exporting regions, Tanzania may be able to export more maize at higher prices, even if it experiences below trend productivity. Diverse destinations for exports can allow for enhanced trading opportunities when negative supply shocks affect usual import sources. Future climate predictions suggest that some of Tanzania’s trading partners will experience severe dry conditions that may reduce agricultural production in years when Tanzania is only mildly affected. Tanzania could thus export grain as climate change increases the likelihood of severe precipitation deficits in other countries while simultaneously decreasing the likelihood of severe precipitation deficits in Tanzania. Trade restrictions, like export bans, prevent Tanzania from taking advantage of these opportunities, foregoing significant economic benefits.

World Development, Vol 40(6) – Nielsen MR & Treue T “Hunting for the benefits of Joint Forest Management in the Eastern Afromontane biodi­versity hotspot: Effects on bushmeat hunters and wildlife in the Udzungwa Mountans”. Based on a seven year temporal comparison, the effect of joint forest manage­ment (JFM) in the new Dabaga Ulangambi Forest Reserve in the Udzungwa Mountains is evaluated. Using bushmeat hunting as an indicator, conservation outcomes, livelihood effects, and changes in governance are analyzed. Results show that JFM effectively reduced bushmeat hunting, thus facilitating wildlife recovery; but with negative consequences for hunters’ livelihoods. Problematic governance outcomes stemming from poor design and implementation of JFM furthermore undermined hunters’ willingness to comply with wildlife manage­ment rules. In combination, results suggest that JFM can work as intended if fundamental governance problems are adequately addressed.

World Development, Vol 40(8) – Pan L & Christiaensen L “Who is vouching for the Input Voucher: Decentralized targeting and elite capture in Tanzania”. Through decentralized targeting of input vouchers, new agricultural input subsidy programs aim to more effectively reach their objectives and target population, but lingering fears of elite capture remain. These are borne out in the 2009 input voucher program in Kilimanjaro. Sixty percent of the voucher beneficiaries were households with village officials. This significantly reduced the targeting performance of the program, especially in unequal and remote communities. When targeting the poor, greater coverage and concentration in higher trust settings mitigates these concerns.

Readers of this column more interested in politics than economics may also like to check out a group of four short articles in the Review of African Political Economy Vol 39(131): Cliffe L – “Theme: Tanzania at 50: Kicking off a debate on Tanzania’s 50 years of Independence”; Shivji IG – “Nationalism and pan-Africanism: Decisive moments in Nyerere’s intellectual and political thought”; Saul JS – “Tanzania 50 years on (1961-2011): Rethinking ujamaa, Nyerere and socialism”; and Cliffe L – “Fifty years of making sense of independence politics”.

In his opening piece, Cliffe says: “The hope is that [these articles] will raise enough issues and unanswered questions to spark off a continued debate in these columns on the lessons and legacy of the Tanzanian experience. Some articles and debate pieces by Tanzanians as well as outside observers, and on the more recent periods, are provisionally lined up for later issues, but here is an open call for others to consider engaging in this dialogue.” Over to you, dear readers!


It is not often that my name is mentioned twice in the same magazine so I thought that readers who are interested in Tanzanian history and publications – post German – may like a bit more general information. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies at London University has published a brochure entitled “Administering Empire” with a list of pretty well all the publications of personal memoirs with an introduction by Tony Kirk-Greene CMG, MBE, FRHistS, Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford. The Tanganyika Rifles Officer who actually changed the flag at midnight is a friend of mine and lives nearby. To the list might be added “Towards Uhuru in Tanzania” by G. Andrew Maguire.

“Tanganyika Notes and Records” up to the time of Independence is also available on microfiche at the Rhodes House Mandela Library in Oxford which is part of the Bodleian Library, courtesy of the Government of Tanzania.

I am grateful to Dick Eberlie for his kind words about books written by former members of the Colonial Service which came to an end in 1966 when Her Majesty The Queen unveiled a Memorial at Westminster Abbey inscribed with the words “Whosoever will be Chief among you, let him be your Servant” which is a quote from the King James version of the Bible, St Matthew Chap XX verse 27.

Thereafter we became H.M.Overseas Civil Service. Tanzania was of course never a colony but a League of Nations Trusteeship Territory subject to annual visits by the United Nations. Settlement of immigrants from Europe and elsewhere was restricted as they could only hold leasehold land – not freehold. And Local Authority approval had to be obtained and compensation paid where appropriate. It was also prescribed by the Order in Council 1920 that “The interests of the indigenous population shall be paramount”.

I like to think that we honoured our mission.

Finally you mentioned one of my daughter’s two books.
“The Clever Rat and other African Tales” is available from Glenmore, Deanland Road, Balcombe, West Sussex, RH17 6LX Tel. 01444-811220 and “Tales of Abunuwas and Other African Stories” is published by “Mkuki na Nyota” at PO Box 4246, Dar es Salaam and available in England from Africa Books Collective, PO Box 721, Oxford, OX1 9EN. Prices are £12­99 and £15-95 respectively but cheaper on Amazon. Readers may like to know that these two books together retell in English with coloured illustrations (by English and Tanzanian artists respectively) the well known childrens’ stories “Hekaya za Abunuwas na Hadithi Nyingine” which has for many years been a primary school reader throughout Swahili speaking East African schools.

John Lewis-Barned

Large scale aid
Having read Theroux and de Waal, Robert Wise (TA 102) is concerned, rightly, ‘… about the effectiveness of large-scale aid which provides much money but fails to ensure local people are involved and trained.’ His concern will only be heightened by the East African piece entitled ‘So Homosexuality is unAfrican? What About Living on Handouts?’ (TA 102, p32), and had he also read Graham Hancock’s Lords of Poverty (now rather dated) and Dambiso Moyo’s Dead Aid (very current), he might start lobbying his MP!

I have written in to TA before on the subject, and won’t bore readers again with all the arguments against continuation of most ODA (official development assistance) to the LDCs. Just to relate a cautionary tale: a friend of mine, high up in DfID, some years ago, in response to my inveighing against the aid programme, cynically said, ‘If we (by which he meant the West) do not give it, China will gain undue influence in the LDCs’, thereby immediately revealing the kind of mindset which pervades Western governments, and, I hasten to add, many of the West’s huge charity bodies like Oxfam, SCF and World Vision: that aid-giving is a matter of international power politics and little else, as of course it was during the Cold War. ‘The West knows Best for the Rest’, as one might put it!

Mr Wise asks for monitoring and evaluation on small-scale projects. I would like to ask aid-giving governments and the UNO for the equivalent at the other end of the scale, because I have a sneaky feeling (often revealed by ‘think-tanks’) that much ODA aid has benefitted the First World rather more than the Third. Is it time, as Mr Wise infers, to concentrate on the usually more effective and efficient small-scale programmes, run, as often as not, on a volunteer basis, like the TDT’s?

In toto they are still ‘drops in the ocean’, but surely, after half-a-century of Independence in Africa, isn’t it time to withdraw the deadening hand of ODA, the mega-aid gravy-train? Most polls of taxpayers in the West show majorities in favour of doing so, and many Africans think likewise, if letters to the BBC Africa Service are any guide.
A.D.H. Leishman (Mr)

Biomass Fuels
I am particularly interested in the piece on Biomass Fuels in the last issue of TA. I wonder how this level of timber conservation is still possible. Sixty years ago the people of Ukerewe provided their own solution. They had a strong tradition of self-help manifested in the voluntary construction of roads, and, in the present context, growing their own firewood. The islands were even then densely populated and there was very little surviving ‘natural bush’ to provide firewood or building materials. Each household had to plant and maintain about half an acre of a fast growing deciduous tree and each village established a larger plantation for communal use.

Do these practices still exist in Ukerewe? Have they been adopted elsewhere in Ukerewe? They should perhaps be common practice.

Don Barton, District Commissioner, Ukerewe 1958-61.