Issue 13 cover

Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs
No. 13 July 1981
Issued by the Britain-Tanzania Society

1 Notes on the economy:
(a) Relations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
(b) The National Economic Survival Programme.
(c) The Budget.
(d) The food situation.
(e) The Five Year Plan.
2. The fight against mismanagement and corruption.
3. The Presidential Commission on the Education System.
4. Makonde Art by Ida Marie Andersen
5. Review of an article on the origins of Kiswahili as a national language.
6. Digest of Tanzanian news.


Relations with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank
The special edition of the Bulletin on the economy (No.11) described the breakdown of Tanzania’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the terms of a subsequent standby agreement (upper credit tranche) for a loan of about $233 million to be paid quarterly over a period of two years provided that certain conditions were met, the most important being the requirement to keep its government borrowing within a set limit and to reduce overseas debts. Tanzania considered these conditions inappropriate, but accepted them as part of a compromise in the expectation that agreement would rapidly be reached with the World Bank for the provision of a long term structural adjustment loan. This key loan has not yet materialised and as Tanzania was unable to meet the IMF conditions it was not allowed to draw further on the standby facility.

The lack of foreign exchange and the level of external debts, which make it exceptionally difficult to obtain credit, are a major cause of inflation and depression in the economy. A steady flow of spares and essential materials would allow factories to make use of idle capacity, which would reduce their unit costs, help to meet the demand for goods and increase government, revenue. New negotiations have now begun with the IMF for a different form of assistance (extended fund facility). However, it seems likely that Tanzania will be under renewed pressure to accept the previously rejected terms. President Nyerere used his Peasant’s Day speech at Kigoma on 6th. July to explain why the government had rejected the advice to devalue, remove import controls, abolish price controls, freeze wages and increase interest rates. In his budget speech on 18th. June, Finance Minister Amir Jamal criticised the IMF for its rigidity, its preoccupation with the needs of industrial countries and its lack of understanding of the needs of agricultural developing nations.

The IMF has agreed to a credit of about $19.5 million as a compensatory financing facility in respect of an export shortfall in the 12 month period ended 30th. March 1980 predominantly caused by falls in the price of primary products. In this case the only condition is cooperation with the fund.

The World Bank has agreed, after prolonged negotiations, to provide a loan of about $50 million to finance imports necessary to improve the production of three agricultural export crops. This is welcome, but it must be seen in the context of the estimated $80 million needed for imported fuel and spares for this sector of the economy during 1981-82.

Negotiations with the Bank on a broader, multi-year structural adjustment programme have been proceeding slowly since early in 1980. An independent expert team with its own secretariat is being considered to help in reaching agreement on Bank support for major aspects of Tanzania’s restructuring programme and to provide ideas on re fining and elaborating the programme. Such a team and secretariat will be jointly appointed by Tanzania and the Bank, work with the Ministry of Planning for up to three months, review the situation and programmes for redressing it and report their findings and recommendations to Tanzania •and the Bank early in 1982. These, it is hoped, will form the basis on which final negotiations for a structural adjustment programme credit can be pushed to a speedy conclusion.

National Economic Survival Programme
In March this year it became evident that the foreign exchange shortage had reduced Tanzania’s ability to operate and maintain existing productive capacity to a crisis point. Further, by its impact on transport, procurement and processing, this critical situation, by reducing the ability to procure and ship exports, was thus further reducing foreign exchange earnings and import capacity. The situation was also exacerbated by the fact that 1981 was the third year in a row of relatively poor weather and by the loss of potential grain reserves, or their export to avert spoilage, as a result of poor handling and inadequate storage.

During March and April intensive discussions were held with the object of defining a short to medium term economic programme concentrating on areas in which action could raise export earnings (import capacity) and production and on reallocating scarce resources in support of those areas. The programme – under the title National Economic Survival Programme – was adopted in May and its 1981-82 component was embodied in the budget and the Annual Plan.

In his June address to the budget session of the National Assembly the Minister of Planning, Kighoma Malima, summarised the NESP as follows:

“Firstly, we have to increase our foreign exchange earnings from our productive sectors… The specific target is to raise, through our own concerted efforts … at least shs.6,000 millions in 1981.

“Secondly, we must utilise with the utmost care the limited foreign exchange which we generate. Therefore, our foreign exchange earnings will in the first place be used to import inputs, equipments, raw materials required in our production and transport sectors. An even higher priority will be placed on those sectors and activities which enhance our capacity in generating more foreign exchange.

“Thirdly, 1981 and 1892 must be declared to be the years when the problem of food shortages in Tanzania must be solved …. by assigning ourselves targets for different food crops and by ensuring that there is effective follow-up and implementation … hand in hand with a systematic programme of early purchasing of food crops from farms for cash payments… The Programme for Survival also calls for the establishment of food crop zones” (drought resistant or maize) “in accordance with environmental and weather conditions.

“Fourthly, our development plans must effectively take into account the Programme for Survival. For this reason, therefore, during the coming two to three years our development plans will put more emphasis on fully utilising the already existing production and investment capacities before starting new projects” and therefore “will emphasise: ongoing projects, whose results will be realised in the short run and which will correct sectoral imbalances,… food; … foreign exchange earnings will be given special priority … projects which will bring about restructuring of our economy … projects which are not in line with the above priority will be scrutinised again and where possible they will be postponed until the economic situation permits.”

The 1981-82 budget and plan presentations – including those by Ministries – indicate a substantial number of changes in priorities and programmes as a result of the NESP. For example, in constant price terms the development budget estimates are a quarter below the 1980-81 total, with very few new projects, and the only constant price increases in the recurrent budget relate to rehabilitation and restructuring of the weaker parastatals (especially the National Milling Corporation, the Railways and the Airways). The controversial sugar price increase is designed to restore a significant positive cash flow at the Arusha Chini and Kilombero estates (Mtibwa is already in surplus) to finance rehabilitation of plant and the extension of irrigation. The Ministry of Industries has for the first time set export targets for the main manufacturing firms and the second half of 1981 foreign exchange plan – also for the first time – makes substantial raw material import allocations specifically tied to achieving specified levels of export performance.. .

The NESP does not assume successful completion of IMF, or World Bank structural adjustment programme, negotiations in 1981-82. This is in part a decision (unlike 1980-81) to budget on the basis of the worst likely result, so that deviations from the projection are positive, not negative. However, in the case of the IMF it also represents real pessimism that agreement can be reached.

While the outlook for a Bank structural adjustment programme credit is seen as more promising, with a jointly appointed expert team and secretariat to review the situation and report to Tanzania and the Bank early in 1982, it is unlikely that substantial real resource transfers could be received before mid-1982. This may seem ironic in that both President Nyerere and President McNamara perceived such a programme as urgent in February, 1980, but it is not an atypical example of the speed with which multilateral assistance negotiations proceed.

The Budget
The Minister of Finance, Amir Jamal, presented the budget for 1981-82 to the National Assembly on 16th. June, stressing that the international economic situation was for Tanzania more difficult than it had been in the previous year. Moreover, the targets for the previous financial year had not been met and the planned deficit of shs .331 million had quadrupled to shs.1,372 million. This was due to the continuing cost of keeping troops in Uganda and a fall in income from customs and sales taxes. In addition, export taxes on coffee, sisal and tobacco had been removed to encourage production by maintaining prices to producers. The country’s external deficit had risen to shs.2,600 million. In an effort to reduce expenditure and increase revenue the budget provided for a reduction in the subsidy for sembe (maize meal, the basic food of most people), increasing its price from shs.1-25 per kilo to shs.2-50, and increases in the rates of customs duty and sales tax.

An increase in expenditure which was considered essential was civil servants’ pay. There had been no increase above the minimum and other wage levels for seven years and their living standards had dropped very sharply The lowest wage was increased by 25% to shs.600 a month, higher levels by 2o%. Changes in income tax result in about a 25% post tax increase at the bottom and 19% at the top, so that the ratio of the lowest to the highest salary will decline slightly.

The proportion of expenditure on new projects fell from 23% in 1980-81 to 5.8% reflecting a recognition of the need to maintain and conserve rather than undertake further development.

The Food Situation
In most places the rain was late or very late and its distribution was very uneven. By March the situation was desperate with a prospect of starvation before the end of the year facing many people. Fortunately, once the rain did come it continued into June and even the worst areas are expected to have some harvest. With the surplus expected in other areas and some imports there is now no fear of famine, but there will be nothing with which to start rebuilding reserves.

The Dakawa rice project in Morogoro costing shs.200 million provided by the African Development Bank is expected to start production in November, 1981 and have an annual output of 12,000 tonnes. Together with the existing projects at Mbarali in Mbeya and Ruvu output will still not meet the National Milling Corporation’s annual sales of 90,000 tonnes

The Fourth Five Year Plan, 1981-81 to 1985-86
The new Five Year Plan, the first to include Zanzibar, is now to be implemented after a delay due to the severe economic problem and the war in Uganda. The plan is part of a twenty year strategy aimed to make Tanzania self-sufficient in manufactured goods and food. The plan shows evidence of the disillusion among officials with the long term prospects for a sustained increase in peasant: production. The first priority will be the industrial sector, which is to receive 25% of planned investment in order to expand the production of processed goods for export and local consumption and to provide essential inputs for other industries. Stimulation is to be given to industries which use local resources of coal, iron, wood and sisal. Agriculture has second priority with emphasis on large state farms using irrigation to grow maize, rice and wheat.


One of Tanzania’s great assets is its reputation for honest government. Its impressive record in obtaining overseas aid from both governments and voluntary organisations has been achieved because those providing the funds know that in Tanzania money and equipment will be used to good purpose and in accordance with agreements. Even the IMF has accepted that loans to Tanzania are well administered.

It is sometimes difficult for outsiders to appreciate the strengths of the pressures against honest government. Much of the writing on Tanzania over the past decade has described and deplored the growth of a privileged class of government and party officials, well paid, with access to cars, houses and luxuries, which set them apart from the majority of the people. This picture is a half truth. Clearly anyone who receives a regular salary and works in an office is in a more comfortable position than a peasant who depends on what the labour of his family can produce from the land available subject to the hazards of rainfall, crop disease, pests and world markets. However, in comparison with their counterparts in most other African countries Tanzania’s civil servants and party officers are not well paid. The 1981 budget gives them their first increase since 1973 (see Bulletin No.5) and in the face of sharply rising prices civil servants have experienced dramatic and painful falls in their living standards. Since many of the more senior civil servants are required to live in the larger towns and are subject to frequent and sudden transfer to other posts, they have little opportunity to grow their own food.

Over the past decade, Tanzania has faced one economic crisis after another, while shortages and problems of distribution have increased. Everyone wants scarce resources to be allocated to their organisation or area. Shortages multiply as bottlenecks produce delays. For example, the country may have produced enough food, but lack of vehicle spares and fuel can hinder distribution and result in urban food shortages.

Speaking in a Reith Lecture twenty years ago Galbraith made the point that countries with plentiful resources can afford good administration, which prevents resources being wasted, whereas countries with scarce resources cannot afford to make mistakes, which waste resources, and also cannot afford the efficient administration, which can prevent mistakes.

Scarce resources mean that decisions have to be made about their allocation and that some people and organisations will have to go without. Under pressure sometimes the wrong decisions will be made; Tanzania’s decision makers are under constant pressure. Undoubtedly it sometimes happens that decisions are influenced by considerations of political advantage, family loyalty, or personal financial gain. The real cause for concern is that so many Tanzanians have come to believe that a significant number of decisions are now subject to such influences.

Government and party leaders are acutely aware of the damage that just the belief that corruption exists can do to national morale at a time when most people are suffering from a shortage of necessities and when many items of everyday use are unobtainable. The Central Committee of the party (Chama cha Mapinduzi- CCM) began to investigate the misapplication of public funds in January. The first consequent dismissals were reported in the last issue of the Bulletin. Subsequently, the chairman and all members of the Tanganyika Pyrethrum Board were suspended for bad financial management – they had used money loaned for crop purchase to pay the Board’s administrative costs. All these cases, it must be emphasised, have involved mismanagement, not corruption.

Personal gain does seem to have been the motive at Tanzania Elimu Supplies, where it was found that stationery had been sent to private shops while TES shops had no supplies. The general manager and Dar es Salaam zonal manager were dismissed and other officials in the organisation demoted. Party leaders have not been exempt from enquiry. The Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Abdulmum Suleiman, was dismissed by the President after local party members had complained of his activities and had asked ‘relieve us of this burden’.

The Central Committee continues its investigations, although since February its findings have not been made public. It can be argued that publicity would increase public confidence, but most enquiries now concern breaches of the Arusha Declaration leadership code and these are not crimes.

A recent scandal that has raised great public indignation concerns the Sugar Corporation (SUDECO). Sugar has been very short in Tanzania this year. Dar es Salaam had been short of sugar for several weeks when it became known that there were large stocks in a store just outside the city, which were being ruined because the store roof did not keep out the rain. It was then discovered that the leaky store had been purchased for a price much in excess of its assessed value. To the sugarless citizens of Dar es Salaam the story seemed to confirm their belief that the shortage was being engineered for somebody’s profit. A statement has been made to the National Assembly and a subcommittee set up by the Assembly, but it seems that the full facts have yet to emerge and it may be a case of one problem leading to another. Sugar distribution had been disrupted when floods damaged a road bridge and sugar piling up at the refinery threatened to halt production. When the bridge was repaired SUDECO was allocated transport and instructed to clear the backlog by a deadline. Storage near Dar es Salaam had to be found urgently. The only available store was privately owned and the owner would not rent, only sell, and SUDECO management had to make a rapid decision. The decision might have been wrong, especially in not undertaking responsibility for repairs rather than leaving it with the former owner, but it has yet to be shown that it was dishonest.

This case illustrates the government’s dilemma. If administration is to function in a country the size of Tanzania, initiative and the taking of responsibility must be encouraged. If organisations and individuals are to be disgraced when they make a mistake, they will be discouraged from taking any decisions. Tanzania cannot afford the mistakes that are being made. The problem is to ensure that proper care is taken before decisions are made while encouraging initiative. The government’s policy is clear. Corruption is unacceptable and it will be fought wherever it appears. It is important that friends of Tanzania should make the distinction between corruption and mismanagement, even if Tanzanians themselves sometimes find the practical effects indistinguishable.


The President has appointed a Commission to review the country’s education system, including the extension of education, curriculum development, administrative structure, equipment and materials. The review is to cover the past 19 years and make recommendations for the next 20.

In view of the central role of education in the development of Tanzania’s social philosophy and the changes which the system has been expected to absorb, it is reasonable for this kind of wide-ranging review to be made now. However, it seems likely that a further and more immediate reason is to provide a response to the widespread and increasingly vocal criticism of the system of seven year primary education which is now provided for all children. The criticisms of education in Tanzania are very similar to those being made in the debate on education in Britain. There is the same questioning of the results of investment, the same confusion of legitimate concern and holding the education system responsible for all of society’s problems.

Tanzania’s primary education system has been ‘very rapidly expanded under the double pressure of the introduction of universal primary education and a rising population. Universal primary education (UPE) was brought forward as a result of a political decision. Those concerned with implementation were aware that it could not be done without reducing standards, but official, public acceptance of this consequence would have led to the same result by destroying morale in the teaching service and reducing public confidence in schools in advance of the expansion. UPE required great effort and dedication from large numbers of people and it was important to give them the maximum of political support. The Minister had to make a particular effort to maintain confidence of parents in the thousands of additional teachers who were trained in villages using the methods of mass adult education which has been developed by the Institute of Adult Education.

UPE was introduced during a period of continuing economic crisis which has produced shortages of even the most basic school materials, not only books, but paper and pencils (it is said that some schools have been without pencils for two years). Even without the increase in pupils the school system would not have been able to fully maintain the quality of its service.

The problems of rapid expansion and shortage of supplies could, eventually, be overcome but despite the clear and repeated statements on policy, the question of what primary schools are for has not been resolved; the intentions of ‘Education for Self Reliance’ have not been worked into a curriculum which is understood and accepted by parents and teachers.

Teachers have been required to take on a wide range of additional responsibilities for which they have no special training such as adult education and community leadership. There has. been little time for training or even thinking about what and how they should be teaching in their schools.

The proportion of primary school pupils who can obtain places in secondary schools, always low, has fallen further as primary numbers increase. The rewards of a secondary and higher education produce strong parental and social pressures for pupils to pass the entrance examination. Despite the theory the education system remains highly competitive and examination oriented and therefore biased towards children who are academically gifted and have the support of educated parents. The requirements of the Secondary entrance exam still dominate the primary curriculum so it is still divorced from the real needs of most pupils.

There is little social acceptance of the primary school leaver as being adequately educated for life in a rural community. The teaching has not helped pupils to support themselves, but neither have they learnt the traditional skills which would make them of practical assistance to their family or village. The sense of failure, rejection, wasted time and lost income remains strong. Hence one innovation the Commission is likely to be considering is the establishment of post-primary village level technical education, drawing on the experience of the District Folk Development Colleges, or even the Kenyan village Polytechnics.

As in Britain quite legitimate questioning of aspects of the education system is expanded by some into wholesale condemnation and the cause of all social problems. It is claimed that pupils completing seven years of primary school are not up to the same standard as those who went through the old primary and middle school system. This must be true of many pupils, since the old system was highly selective and only the very best were allowed to continue to the end of middle school. It is not clear if there has been any reduction in the standard of the best pupils under universal primary education – some secondary school teachers would claim that there has – and the question needs proper research.

Many of those who have successfully passed through the education system have found employment in the large state trading, production and crop marketing organisations. These organisations carry at least some responsibility for the country’s economic difficulties and are popularly believed to be incompetently, if not corruptly, managed. ‘Why’, it is asked? ‘can the school system not produce competent staff and staff with sufficient civic and political education to resist corruption and be courteous and helpful to customers?’ This may not be a fair question in view of all the pressures on young people, but it is an indication of the concern of those who pay for the education system.


by Ida Marie Andersen (Translated from an article in Hodi no. 3/80, journal of the Norge-Tanzania foreningen).

Who are the Makonde?
The Makonde belong to the Bantu tribes of Africa. For many years they lived as a compact community on a barren plateau on both sides of the Ruvuma river, which formed the boundary between Tanganyika and Mozambique. Thus, the Makonde lived in two separate countries. Survival is arduous on this plateau and the Makonde got little help from outside. The first missionaries reached the area around 1920, but contact with the outside world was scanty as access was difficult.

In the colonial period there was a demand for labour on the plantations and in the mines and men from the Makonde tribe travelled further north into Tanganyika for work. The northward migration has continued, especially during the liberation struggle in Mozambique, as conditions were unsettled in the Makonde country. The Makonde built their own villages in the areas to which they moved. They have thus been able to live under their own customary laws and maintain many of their ancient traditions, even though there have been many changes in their manner of life and beliefs as among the peoples of Africa generally.

Tribal characteristics and mythology
Makonde society is matrilineal, relationships being determined by the female line of descent. Externally the tribe is distinguished by marks tattooed in a particular pattern on the face and breast of both men and women and the front teeth are filed to a point. The women had a plug or plate in the upper lip, the larger the greater the number of offspring. These customs are, however, dying out. In the old Makonde villages the wood carver occupied an important place and wood carving was a craft handed down from father to son. Wooden figures were used in ceremonies such as weddings, initiations and magical rituals. As far as we know these figures were naturalistic and were made of whatever kind of wood came to hand. In certain ceremonies a display of dancing was customary, where the dancers would wear masks of carved wood and clothing to correspond.

According to Makonde creation mythology, a woman was the foundress of the tribe. A manlike being wandered in the wilderness. In his loneliness he carved a figure of wood and set it up against a tree. As the sun came up the figure became a living woman and at the same time the manlike being was transformed into a man. The woman bore him a child, which died there where they were by the river. She took the man to a higher place, but a second child also died. Eventually they reached the plateau and there their children survived.

It is particularly important for human beings that they are blessed with fertility, both to produce children who in turn are able to give birth to future generations, and to secure good harvests and good returns from cattle so that the tribe may survive. Woman is an important symbol of fertility in her childbearing role. Thus figures of women were later used to bring good fortune and happiness. Closely related to fertility is sexuality, which is a life-giving force and the sex organs symbolise this power.

The Makonde conception of the world about him is different from ours. Supernatural powers in nature control man’s destiny among good and evil spirits, each with its own mode of operation and characteristics. Medicine men and magicians have closer contact with the world of spirits than other men. Their task is therefore to placate the spirits and seek help for mankind. The Makonde honour their ancestors and the spirits of the dead live among them. The individual is a connecting link between past and present generations.

Modern carving among the Makonde
Many Makonde today live wholly or in part by carving. The traditional craft has been further developed and some carvers are recognised artists. The carvers have settled in particular in Makonde villages around Dar es Salaam, where they are able to sell their carving. They like to sit and work in groups beneath a large mango tree, or under a grass shelter beside the road.

The tree that is used produces a hard kind of wood with a black heart-wood surrounded by a lighter layer of sapwood. In Tanzania it is called ‘Mpingo’, or African black-wood. According to Jonn Korn, ebony is not used because the black heartwood does not grow large enough in this part of Africa. This tree has always been reserved for artistic uses and today felling is regulated by the state.

Carvings are made from an entire piece of the trunk and are therefore limited by the thickness of the trunk. Only the heartwood is used. This is so hard that insects and other vermin cannot attack it. From time to time a little of the light sapwood is incorporated. The tools used are simple – an axe, a chisel, a mallet and a knife. Only the men do the carving and the women must therefore undertake most of the work on the village land.

What do the carvings represent?
Makonde carvings can be very varied, ranging from the naturalistic to the abstract and strongly stylised. Naturalistic carvings usually portray human figures in a situation drawn from daily life. A special type are the so-called ‘ujamaa carvings’, in which a group of people, old and young, sustain and clasp each other on a carving fashioned from a single block. Such carvings express human fellowship in an historical perspective, and from time to time, ancestors and the shapes of spirits are included. Another variant is an open design in which each human figure appears to stand right out, and this form is also used with more abstract figures and having a different meaning.

In his ‘shetani’ carvings the carver portrays spirits from Makonde mythology. The normal indication that a carving represents a spirit is the presence of some non-human feature, an enormous ear, or the absence of certain members. Spirits can also have the forms of animals, birds, snakes and chameleons often appear. These carvings have no ritual function in Makonde society and are simply artistic creations. The carvers make no sketches or models before they start and just carve in accordance with their imagination, combined with an inborn feeling for the possibilities inherent in a particular piece of timber. Their creativity and capacity for abstraction does not appear to be diminished by the fact that most of the carvers are illiterate.

Parts of the body are stylised and combined in new ways and mythological symbols are woven in. We find such elements in abstract carvings with a modernistic stamp. The female breast is often carved in a form resembling a calabash – a gourd used for carrying water. This is no accident. The function of the breast is to give milk to a baby so that it may survive. In the Makonde country water is a scarce commodity and one has to go far to fetch it, but all depend on it for survival.

The Makonde carver is indeed receptive of ideas from without, but they can only bring positive results if they inspire him to creative activity on his own terms. With the exception of a carving here and there with Christian symbolism, the influence is difficult to point out directly. But, as we shall see, the purchasers can also influence the Makonde’s carving.

The Makonde carvers and the market
Compared with our own craftsmen, the Tanzanian carver is in the special position that his customers are natives of other parts of the world. He has little direct contact with his public, who make their purchases against the background of a different culture from his.

The market has opened up new possibilities for the development of Makonde art. The few carvers who thereby have acquired an artistic reputation are most often able to sell their products and at the same time to retain relatively intact their freedom to create as they wish. But at the same time we have to admit that most of the carvers are obliged to accommodate themselves to demand and in large measure to reproduce those carvings that sell best at a given time.

The chance of buying original creations is maybe greatest at art shops in the cities and by direct sale to visiting foreigners. Many carvers deliver almost wholly to purchasers in the export business; these are mostly anonymous craftsmen who more or less mass produce popular models. Only the best known carvers sign their work, but of course good unsigned original carvings are also found.

The parastatal organisation ‘Tanzania Handicraft Corporation’, which promotes handicraft products has a large turnover of Makonde carvings. But mass production is seen as essential for this purpose. The corporation is able to attract substantial foreign exchange income from its operations. At an art centre in Dar es Salaam, ‘Nyumba ya Sanaa’, students are enrolled from various tribes. Here also Makonde carvings are made. It is hard to say as yet whether this centre will make a significant contribution to the art of the carver in years to come.

Commercialisation of this peculiar Makonde craft has come to stay. Craftsmen lose their freedom by becoming dependent on purchasers who enrich themselves by exporting their products. If official cultural policies dictate that Tanzania needs foreign exchange, it is questionable how long the craftsmanship will retain its special character.

The society in which the Makonde live is continually changing. These are difficult times both for those living in Mozambique and for those in Tanzania. We can only pose the question whether there will be fertile soil for the maintenance of this special form of art. To what extent are the craftsmen who are able to renew and develop the art of carving dependent on their contacts with their own cultural tradition?

Berg, Erik: Makondene- kulturfolk in Ost-Afrika: article in Norkontakt, No.1 of 1981
Fouquer, Roger: The Makonde and their sculpture – Dar es Salaam, 1972
Korn, Jorn: Modern Makonde Art – Hamlyn Publishing Group, London 1974
Museet i Dar es Salaam fortaeller om Tanzania: Danish National Commission for UNESCO 1974
Poppius, Ulla: Makondeskulpturen talar Afrikas eget sprak; Folkbildnings-forbundet, 1973
Stout, J. Anthony: Modern Makonde sculpture: Nairobi, Kibo Art Gallery, 1966.
Wood sculptures of the Makonde people: ed. by Instituto de investigacao scientifica de Mocambique, Laurenco Marques, 1963


The rise and development of a language policy in German East Africa by Ann Brumfit: from Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika 2 (1980) pp.219-331

Tanzania is unique in sub-Saharan Africa in having a single, widely used and accepted African national language. Though vernacular languages survive and are still used for daily verbal communication in many areas, especially by the older people, they have been widely displaced by Kiswahili among the younger generation and retain virtually no significance as vehicles of literate communication. A traveller in any part of Tanzania can now easily get by with Kiswahili. In local government offices he will hear little else and almost all official documents and communications are in this language. Parliament (Bunge) transacts its business in the national language and with the exception of most major legislation, for which English is retained for the time being, the laws are increasingly in Kiswahili. Official documents and pronouncements, such as the republican constitution, development plans and budget speeches, use the national language exclusively and provide evidence of linguistic development, for which the existing dictionaries make increasingly inadequate provision.*

The happy possession of a single official African language undoubtedly powerfully reinforces national unity in Tanzania and provides a psychological outlet for pride in nationhood. Unlike Kenya or Nigeria, where the use of European lingua franca seems inescapable, Tanzanians can employ an essentially Bantu language closely related to the local vernaculars and in this respect a more natural expression of their own identity and traditional habits of thought.

How did Tanzania come to enjoy this considerable advantage? The reasons are in part geographical and in part historical. Apart from small enclaves of nilotic and nilo-hamitic origin, the people of Tanzania are of Bantu stock. In this respect they differ fundamentally from the population of Kenya, for whom the colonial partition of Africa has secured the presence of a large nilotic minority, whose language and culture differ radically from those of the Bantu majority, and not inconsiderable populations of nilo- hamitic origin, such as the Kisii.l The nilotic Luo have been traditionally resistant to the penetration of Kiswahili, which in Kenya, notwithstanding its general inclusion as a subject in the primary school and limited use as an urban lingua franca, has remained largely a coastal vernacular.

But the reasons for the pre-eminence of Kiswahili in Tanzania are predominantly historical and the essay to which this article refers traces these origins from early times to the end of German rule. The earliest and most important influence leading to the spread of Kiswahili was the penetration of the inland areas of Tanganyika by Swahili traders from Zanzibar and the coastal strip in search of slaves and ivory.

The early overland routes emanated from Zanzibar and passed through Tanganyika from Bagamoyo in the north and Kilwa in the south, leading to the establishment of inland trading posts occupied by Swahili traders from the coast. Some of these trading centres eventually became towns such as Tabora, Ujiji and Songea. In due course people from inland tribes began to make journeys to the coast for the purposes of trade during the dry season and in pursuit of this aim acquired a working knowledge of Kiswahili. As trade gradually penetrated the rural areas and with increasing labour mobility in search of work on plantations, in commerce or on the railways, the utility of Kiswahili as a lingua franca became increasingly apparent.

The value of Kiswahili as a common language of administration early became evident to the German colonial government and during the German period increasing provision for it was made in the schools, in spite of opposition in Berlin, where German was the favoured second language and Kiswahili was distrusted on account of its Islamic associations. The Protestant missions were also initially hostile to Kiswahili both as a possible vehicle of islamic proselytism and in view of the Lutheran conviction that religion should be taught in the mother tongue. But in the end, with the gradual opening up of the country and the increasing mobility of its people, the inevitable spread of Kiswahili and its potential as a vehicle for Christian teaching were recognised.

While it cannot be said that either the German colonial government, or the missions, provided the initial impetus which caused Kiswahili to rise supreme over the other vernacular languages of mainland Tanzania and to penetrate to all corners of the country, both government and missions – including the post-war government under the Mandate – eventually did much to promote Kiswahili, both by their use of it in their respective spheres, and by teaching it in the schools under their control. In spite of the early associations with slavery, it was a utilitarian argument that eventually triumphed.

The article provides a most interesting, well-documented account of the origins and growth of Kiswahili and the influence upon its propagation exerted by the German colonial authorities and the catholic and protestant missions. In so doing, the narrative at the same time provides usefu1 insight into the conditions prevailing in the closing decades of the nineteenth century and the years leading up to the Great War. The legacy of colonial governments has by no means always, or in all respects, been an asset to the successor governments of independent Africa, but in respect of language, notwithstanding the early perverse intentions of the imperial government in Berlin, the German colonial authorities and German scholarship certainly made a valuable contribution. It has been the genius of independent Tanzania that has transformed this inheritance into a vehicle fit for the complex requirements of life in a modern society.

*Such phrases as ‘pato la taifa’ (GDP) are now in common parlance among people who talk of such things. Percent is ‘asimilia’, correlate ‘wianisha’ and evaluation technique ‘ubinu za tathmini’.


In June, petrol and diesel rationing was introduced. Private motorists can only buy fuel on three days a week and diplomats are required to buy fuel in foreign currency.

All passenger services on the Tazara railway were suspended on 16th. April due to shortages of locomotives and allied problems. These services were due to resume in May. The problems of the railway continue. It is still not getting the payments from Zambia which it needs to cover its costs. Too much is still going by road and by other routes. Repayment of the Chinese loan for building the railway was due to begin in January 1983, but President Nyerere has secured Chinese agreement to a ten year delay in the start of repayments of the £300 million loan. Repayment over 30 years will now begin in 1993. The Tazara Board met in Dar es Salaam in May to discuss the railway’s economic and operational problems. These were identified as a lack of reliable locomotives and spare parts and difficulties in transferring funds (most revenue is collected in Zambia, but most of the track and hence of maintenance expenses are in Tanzania). It was agreed to increase the number of engines by 50% to be purchased probably from West Germany because Chinese engines had shown a high rate of breakdown.

Zambia has used part of its recent IMF loan to payoff outstanding port bills in Dar es Salaam port.

The Tanzania Railways Corporation is unable to repay foreign debts, which it inherited from the former East African Railways Corporation. Some shs.85 million are due for repayment in 1981-82.

Air Tanzania is due to make repayments of shs.160 million, for which it will need government help.

As part of an agreement with Mozambique to expand trade through a Ruvuma free trade area, work is to start on a bridge over the Ruvuma river in September, 1981, to be named the Unity Bridge.

Industry and Power
In February, the Mtera dam, 100 kms. north of Iringa, was inaugurated. It will provide water storage and hydroelectric power, reducing dependence on imported oil. The cost of $113 million is being met by the Swedish International Development Agency and the World Bank.

Angola has agreed to supply Tanzania with part of its oil needs on favourable credit terms and in return for goods.

The American chemical company Agrico has signed an agreement with Tanzania to form a company to make ammonia and urea from natural gas if the Songo Songo field can be exploited. The products would be used to make fertiliser and production could meet all local needs for ammonia and urea and provide a surplus for export.

Natural carbon dioxide found at Kyejo in Longwe District is to be processed with plant supplied by Denmark. Production is expected to begin early in 1982.

Overseas aid
West Germany is to finance a road project in the Usambaras, a paper mill at Musindi, the railway workshop at Morogoro and a water supply for Tanga. Technical cooperation includes support for the Faculty of Engineering at Dar es Salaam, the national coconut development scheme and Nyegezi agricultural college.

Sweden has signed an agreement covering two years, which will provide shs.1,411 million in development assistance and shs.85 million for import support.

President moves to Dodoma
On 26th. July, The President officially moved to the State Lodge at Chamwino village 40 kms. from Dodoma. This is an important step in the plan to move the headquarters of government to the new capital.

The article that never was
During May and June, Dar es Salaam was swept by rumours alleging that an article had been published in Time or Newsweek giving details of money held in Swiss bank accounts by the President and senior party officials. No such article appeared in either journal, but this is difficult to prove, since, together with many other magazines, Time is not being imported as a foreign exchange conservation measure, while the number of copies of Newsweek available is limited. The rumour claimed that the magazines had been banned because of the article. The US library was inundated with requests, but most of its copies of the magazines were stolen. The Tanzanian English language paper Daily News offered shs.20,000 to anyone who could produce the article and promised to print it in full. State House also offered a reward to anyone who could produce one of the photo-copies said to be on sale at shs.200 each. Neither of the rewards has been claimed.

The last Tanzanian troops have left Uganda. They entered the country in 1978 to defeat Idi Amin. At the height of the conflict there were 40,000 Tanzanians in Uganda. Most of them returned in 1979 and 1980, but some 10,000 remained until this year helping with training and security. They were called on many times to maintain order and protect key installations. They frequently came in for criticism. Some undoubtedly were involved in activities that have little to do with the job of an army. Some Tanzanian soldiers have been involved in black market trading on a big scale. But generally speaking the Tanzanians have been praised on all sides for their good discipline, their tolerance and their courtesy towards ordinary people on roadblocks, in marked contrast to what Ugandans have become used to from their own soldiers. About 1,000 Tanzanian policemen remain in the country to help with the training and organisation of the police force. As with any departing army, there are the usual social and domestic problems. The army is not only leaving much equipment and supplies behind, to the delight of local people, but Tanzanian soldiers have also had the problem of saying goodbye to a number of women with whom they had been living and the children they had fathered.