Extracts from a paper presented to the Conference on “Tanzania after Nyerere” held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. A full version with a list of references will be included in a book on the Conference to be published by Francis Pinter – later this year – Editor

One of the greatest achievements of Tanzania under the leadership of Julius Nyerere has been the political stability which the country has enjoyed, setting Tanzania’s political development apart from the ugly experience of many Third World countries. Academics at Dar e s Salaam University have also enjoyed an unprecedented autonomy and freedom to experiment and discuss critical national issues with confidence, an atmosphere that President Nyerere has helped’ to provide. The President’s own clarity of thought and commitment to the liberation struggles in Southern Africa have given us inspiration and added a new dimension to our understanding of international relations, Indeed Nyerere towered high above the parochialism and mediocrity of his many contemporaries, striving to rise above tribalism, racialism, class interests and sometimes, even above national interests, in a herculean effort to create a better world.

But the President was also a dictator and a ruthless implementer of the policy of Villagisation (1975) which forcefully moved 11 million peasants from their homes to strange surroundings. The President did hot hesitate to imprison people with out trial, if they were viewed as a threat to the state, notwithstanding his humanitarian ideals and values. The surprising and interesting fact about the President is that he chose to function within the boundaries of the law. Thus what makes President Nyerere interesting is the manner in which he utilised the state machinery.

The paper below examines the different roles the President played in policy-making and attempts to generalise their effects on the state machinery. The President’s greatest success was the maintenance of political stability and unity; his failure was his inability to create and consolidate a system to safeguard his achievements. This failure cannot be isolated from the way in which he utilised the state machinery.

The Tripartite System of Policy-Raking

Tanzania has had a tripartite system of policy-making which allows the Party, the Government and the President to formulate policy on different bases. This arrangement was made more complex and difficult because the state lacked a consensus. The Party and Government sponsored different and competing ideologies of development, which were often reflected in conflicting policies within this relationship, the President’s role and relationship with the two organs was extremely important as he could change the equation balance. Between 1962 and 1967 the President was closer to the Government, and supported Government capitalist policies. From 1969 to 1974, the President became closer ideologically to the Party; this affinity was reflected in his support for the Party policies such as Mwongozo (1971), re-location of the capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma (1973), and the Musoma Declaration (1974). Likewise this period was characterised by his withdrawal of support from policies which were favoured by the Government.

After 1974, with the first economic crisis, the President attempted to establish an equilibrium, by balancing conflicting objectives. This was seen especially in his vacillation from one position to another. The concept of a tripartite system of policy-making reveals a complex and intricate scenario of institutional manoeuvrings, changes of alliances, of issues and of policies. For example, two organs of the state would cone together to push through a policy which did not have the support of the third organ. A case in point, according to Green, was the Villagisation policy which was supported by both the President and the Party but not by the Government. At other times, one organ of the state would pass a policy unilaterally. The policy of Operation Maduka (1976) was passed by Prime Minister Kawawa unilaterally and reversed by the President, also unilaterally. On other occasions the state would come together in an attempt to co-ordinate policy-making; this usually happened when it was confronted with a crisis. Within this complex web of institutional interactions, the President’s role and support became critically important for he could determine the policy.

The President played different roles in policy making. For instance, as there was no institutional co-ordination between the Party and the Government, the President became the only co-ordinating mechanism; he was required to modify policy in order to balance conflicting demands and objectives. In addition, the Republican Constitution of 1962 had given him, according to his own words, “enough powers to make me a dictator”, and enabled him to by-pass both the Party and the Government and pass policy unilaterally. Sometimes, however, the President could be very democratic and take a policy issue to the Government and sometimes to the Party for ratification. By utilising the tripartite arrangement to suppress, sponsor, pass, support or change policy, the President was placed in a strategic position within the state to direct and control policies.

The President as a co-ordinating Mechanism

The problem of separation of policy-making from implementation was compounded by the absence of an institutional mechanism for coordination or consultation. It was difficult to co-ordinate discussion of the objective of policy with the problems of implementation. A policy which brought the Party and Government into a headlong clash was the policy on private capital, The Party opposed private capital because it created greater social inequalities; the Government supported it because of its contribution to economic growth. As head of both the Government and the Party, the President was in a strong position but he was subjected to contradictory pressures and demands, which were reflected in frequent changes of policy. Sometimes the Government would appeal to the President to modify a policy after it had been passed by the Party. A case in point was the Arusha Declaration. The nationalisation of foreign capital, together with the antagonism shown against private capital generally, led to a situation where private local capital stopped investment and threatened to bring the economy, trade, commerce etc. to a halt.

The Government appealed to the President and a month later in February, another document was issued, entitled, “Public Ownership in Tanzania”, which “welcomed private investment in all those areas not reserved for Government in the Arusha policies”. The new policy modified considerably the model of socialist development which was embodied in the Arusha Declaration.

What is significant is that President Nyerere changed his theoretical and political position, and his alliance. In his Opening Speech at Arusha in January, 1967 the President had stressed the problems of exploitation, a position which had brought him closer to the Party’s. A month later, the President accepted the policy of Public Ownership and was closer to the Government’s position, which he strongly supported at the Party Special Meeting held in Mwanza in September 1967.

However the President could also change a policy as a result of intervention from Party activists. For instance, the Party has had an immense impact on policies concerning international trade. As far back as 1962 Party activists, both in Parliament and in the Party forums, have consistently demanded the replacement of internal trade, which was controlled by Asian capital, by the co-operatives and state institutions. Until 1967, the President resisted the demand to nationalise local capital, especially internal trade.

In 1967, however, foreign capital was nationalised as the result of the Arusha Declaration. The import-export firms were subsequently affected. Three years later in 1970 the wholesale trade was nationalised. Indeed, one can argue that by 1969 the President changed his support for Government’s capitalist policies and moved to the Party’s more radical position of socialist development. With the nationalisation of local capital, the President accepted the principle of rapid nationalisation: once again, the President altered his theoretical and political positions and alliances.

The Presidency as an Independent Policy-Making Organ

But the President did not always respond to Party and Government pressures and demands. Sometimes, the President would act unilaterally, that is, without consulting either the Government or the Party. As we have seen the Republican Constitution had given him the powers to do so. Examples are difficult to come by, but research has indicated that the President was capable of acting as a dictator when he was confronted by a crisis and/or when he believed very strongly in a specific position.

A well documented case is the breaking off of diplomatic relations with Britain and West Germany in the 1964/1965 foreign policy crisis. According to Pratt the President took this decision without consultation with the Cabinet even though it affected the funding of the development plan. The decision to resign as Prime Minister in 1962 was also taken unilaterally by the President. According to Msekwa, the decision was “unexpected and unknown to the National Executive Committee of the Party”. Leys saw the resignation of Nyerere as Chief Minister as an attempt to avert a split between the Party and the Government.

The Arusha Declaration was also in response to crises. The Government was not consulted (Pratt) and Party members received no advanced notice (Mwansasu). In line with the crisis theory, Tanzania also experienced a number of mini-crises: the 1964 army mutiny, the emergence of wa-Benzi (Pratt) signifying the growth of gross inequalities among the social classes, the student crisis (Coulson), the coups taking place in Vest Africa and the Salaazar, Smith, and Verwoerd threat to the region and to Tanzania. President Nyerere used the Arusha Declaration as a shock treatment to pre-empt what he believed was a crisis looming over Tanzania. In this instance he came to believe that a different development strategy would help Tanzania avert political instability.

President Nyerere was also prepared to act unilaterally when and if he believed that his position on an issue was morally correct. His support for the Biafran case was an example, but the President was very careful after the Biafran experience not to repeat a similar case in foreign policy. However, the domestic scene was his own backyard, and here the President would often go against the advice of his Cabinet. After the Arusha Declaration the President discouraged private commercial farming because he believed that it was capitalist and exploitative, although the Cabinet had hoped to maintain it because of its contribution to the GDP. As a result, the Government had to rely very heavily upon the progressive farmers for export and food production. In 1967 the President supported this category of farmers but in 1969 he withdrew his support when he passed his Presidential Circular on Ujamaa 1969, which called for a frontal approach to the implementation of Ujamaa villages. Again, this policy was taken against the advice of senior Government officials(Pratt) . The villagisation policy was also taken against the advice of the Government (Green). Ve can therefore see that President Nyerere’s moral beliefs played a very important role in policy-making………

The President as a Democrat

In Tanzania both Parliament and the Party can ratify or pass policy. For instance, the President took the Union issue (between Zanzibar and Tanganyika) in 1964 to the Government; in presenting the Union agreement in Parliament he re-emphasised the absolute supremacy of the National Assembly (Msekwa), Nyerere himself dealt with the Union. According to Tordoff, “it seems unlikely that more than a handful of Ministers were consulted in advance over the Union” The policy of Decentralisation (1972) was initiated by the President and sent to the Government for ratification and implementation.

The President also took major policy decisions to the Party Both the Arusha Declaration (1367) and the policy of Villagisation (1975) were taken to the Party. Commenting on the latter, Msekwa states that: “The NEC discussed and accepted the President’s submission, and directed that it should he implemented throughout the country”. As Head of both Party and Government, the President could take a policy issue to either organ for discussion and ratification This situation gave him a great deal of room to manoeuvre because he would take a ‘policy issue to the organ which was more sympathetic to the policy or where he thought it would stand the greatest chance of being accepted without major modifications, challenges or the risk of being miss-handled. Democracy was facilitated by the flexibility of these structures.

Sometimes the President encouraged discussion between the tripartite organs – the Government, the Party and the President. This happened when the state was confronted with a crisis. The policy on private capital from 1976 onwards is a case in point. Various discussions within the state have been held at various times to discuss the pros and cons of private capital. Another example is the recent IMF package, the discussions of which occupied the state for almost 10 years. Over this period Nyerere’s position changed considerably, He had vehemently opposed the IMF package in 1978 which led to the resignation of his Minister of Finance, Htei. In 1986 as the Party Chairman, Nyerere was responsible for almost constraining members of the NEC to accept the IMF package. Once again, Nyerere changed his position and alliances.

The Presidency: A State within the State

We can see that the President was placed in an important and strategic position within the state, which enabled him to control policy in a very important way. The different constitutional traditions, parliamentary democracy, republican rule, supremacy of the Party, which Tanzania enjoyed, together with Institutional arrangements for policy-making which existed, virtually made the presidency a state within the state.

The Presidency became both a stabiliser and a source of policy in stability. Like the rock upon which Peter built his Church, the nation would look towards President Nyerere for guidance. Even the warring Party and Government would accept the President’s arbitration and acquiesce. With his charisma, national and international status, and his intellectualism, President Nyerere was able to drape a cloak over the dissensions and weaknesses within the state and maintain stability and unity in the country – two major contributions of the President. But the Presidency was also a source of policy-instability which was reflected in the extreme policy changes which the country has experienced. Such fundamental policy changes implied changes of positions and alliances. It created uncertainties within the state and in the larger society and destabilised the economy.

President Nyerere failed to build and consolidate a system. The conflict between the Party and the Government (1962-1982) and the dissentions between the President and his Government (1969-1982) indicated that the state lacked a consensus over serious policy matters. Indeed some of the policies passed during the Party-Presidency alliance weakened the role of the Cabinet and Government generally, which in turn inhibited the development of a strong and independent administration, a pre-requisite for building and consolidating a system.

This situation was made worse by the deteriorating economic performance, leading to an acute economic crisis which manifested itself in a shortage of consumer goods and rising inflation. Patronage, a network of clients and the ethos of the “economy of affection” gradually eroded the few professional norms and standards which had prevailed in the modern sector (Hyden).


The centrality of the Presidency within the state structure and the practice of switching fundamental positions and alliances did not encourage the development of consensus and of an effective administration. In addition, the docility of the public in general, the dependency of officials (Government and Party), professionals and businessmen on the state has inhibited the development of a social class which could have acted as a restraining influence on some of the measures, practices and policies which have been taken by the state. The manner in which state resources have been managed and the disregard of law and regulations which is taking place – are all an indication that there is a Government without governance, and a state without a system.

The challenge confronting Mwinyi’s government is to build a system. There is a need to strengthen the administration and make it a powerful tool to manage and supervise socio-economic activities. Corrupt and incompetent officials need to be weeded out and a new class of professionals encouraged to staff the administration. The public should also be encouraged to sue incompetent state institutions and to report malpractices.

The new constitution (1984) radically alters the arrangements for policy-making. The President is no longer the Head of both the Government and the Party, and the new President lacks the flexibility which the former President had enjoyed. The separation of the two systems – Party and Government, and their parallel administrations – can make co-ordination and co-operation difficult to achieve especially in case of conflict, which could reverberate from nation alto village levels. The position of Prime Minister has also become a powerful one within the state, The axis of power relation within the state still configurates within the tri partite relations of the President, the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Party. Thus the concept of a tripartite form of policy-making has changed its form under the new conditions but without having lost its validity.

A post-Nyerere Tanzania will need to pay greater attention to building and consolidating a system which would strengthen the state and prevent its disintegration – a phenomenon which is already taking place in some parts of Africa

Jeannetta Hartmann – University of Dar es Salaam


The speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa chaired the entire 38 day budget session of the Assembly in 1986 without the assistance of the Deputy Speaker, Ndugu Austin Shaba according to the Daily News. Ndugu Shaba had been pre-occupied by an election petition against him in Mtwara. Chief Mkwawa said that the long session had given him an opportunity to get to know the new members and for them to get to know him. Nevertheless, in spite of this heavy workload he has kindly taken time to prepare a comprehensive article for the Bulletin on Tanzania’s Parliament, the first part of which is as follows – Editor

The United Republic of Tanzania is a union of the two sovereign states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika was under German rule from 1884 to the end of the First World War and the country then remained under the League of Nations with the British Government as the governing authority. Although World War I ended in 1918, British rule did not come in until 1920. From 1920 to 1926 there was no legislature as such. In 1927 a legislative council was established and the members were colonial officers. From 1927 until the end of World War II there was no African representation on the council, but the interests of the Africans were represented by the white members. However, in the 1930s, nominations were made of European and Asian unofficial members to represent the interests of the Africans and Asians respectively. In 1947 new African Chiefs were nominated to the legislative council. These were the first African members. This trend of nominations continued for about twelve years. In 1958-59 Africans were given the opportunity to elect their representatives. During this election, voting rights and candidacy depended heavily on property and education.

With the birth of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954 and political changes in other African countries, such as Ghana and Nigeria, African elected representation was accelerated. As a result of this political consciousness general elections were held in 1960, which were contested by TANU and other political parties. TANU won all the contested seats except one which was won by an independent. As a result of this overwhelming victory of TANU under the leadership of Mwalimu Nyerere, there was no alternative for the British Government except to convene a constitutional conference in early 1961, leading to independence on 9th December 1961. Mwalimu Nyerere became the first Prime Minister and on 9th December 1962 Tanganyika became a republic and Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere the first Executive President.

After the disastrous defeat of the other parties in the general elections of 1960 and in the local government elections afterwards (all opposition candidates lost their deposits) the opposition parties willingly disbanded and Tanganyika became de facto a One-Party State. African political consciousness was not confined to Tanganyika alone, for in Zanzibar the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) was formed in 1957 under the leadership of the late Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume. Elections were contested by the Afro-Shirazi Party and other political parties, but despite a majority in favour of the Afro-Shirazi Party the other parties got more seats in Parliament. The British Colonial Government handed over power to the minority Arabs. The African majority was dissatisfied and did not feel bound to accept the results of the elections and the Government which was formed. The African majority under the leadership of the ASP took up arms and overthrew the Government of Zanzibar on 12th January 1964. As a result of the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar on 26th April 1964 the United Republic of Tanzania was born.

Following the union there was an Interim Constitution which enabled the two entities to co-operate in some matters and provided for Zanzibar’s representation in the Union Parliament. In 1965 there was a general election under the Interim Constitution and also the first presidential election for the United Republic, at which Mwalimu Nyerere was elected by about 98% of the voters under a system of adult suffrage. Under the Interim Constitution Tanzania became a One-Party State, with TANU for the mainland and the ASP for Zanzibar. In 1977 the Interim Constitution gave place to the permanent Constitution of the United Republic, which continues to operate to this day. This Constitution enabled the people of Zanzibar to hold their first elections to the Union Parliament based on adult suffrage. In 1977 also TANU and the ASP were amalgamated to form the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as the One-Party of both the mainland and Zanzibar.

In accordance with the Constitution of 1977 there are two governments in the United Republic of Tanzania, that is, the Union Government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. The Union Government is responsible for all Union matters as stipulated by the Constitution and all non-Union matters relating to Tanzania mainland. The Union Government is headed by an Executive President, who is also Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is responsible for all natters pertaining to Zanzibar which are not Union matters as specified by the Union Constitution, Zanzibar is headed by a President, who is also one of the Vice-Presidents of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairman of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council.

Chief A.S Mkwawa – Speaker of the National Assembly

This article will be continued in the next issue of the Bulletin. -Editor



Sheikh Thabit Kombo, who died on August 28 1986 of a heart attack at the age of 82 was the enigma of the Zanzibar revolution. After a rudimentary education he worked as a sailor, a railwayman and a shopkeeper and itinerant trader during the 1930’s depression before becoming head of security at the Clove Growers Association (the Government controlled parastatal). While working at the clove storage depot, Kombo was befriended by several of the more educated staff, such as Shab Abeid and Ajmi Abdalla, who introduced him to poetry and music clubs. Kombo, consequently became a member of Zanzibar’s Shirazi elite and in 1956 was elected General Secretary of Unguja’s Shirazi Association.

As part of the cultural revival of the 1940’s, several younger members of the Arab community had received higher education in Cairo. Radicalised by the Egyptian campaign to evict British troops from the Suez Canal zone in 1954, these Arab radicals had demanded rapid constitutional advance and boycotted the Legislative Council for eighteen months. Kombo, as General Secretary of the Shirazi Association was inevitably drawn into politics.

In contrast to Mohamed Shamte and Ali Sharif, the Shirazi Association leaders on Pemba, who attempted late in 1956 to form a “Peoples Party” – the Ittihad ul’Umma – independent of both Arabs and mainland Africans, Kombo and Ameri Tajo, encouraged by the young Julius Nyerere and by the British colonial regime, in January 1957 decided to establish a political alliance with Sheikh Abeid Karume, the leader of the Unguja based African Association. The Hadimu community, who live mainly in central and southern Unguja, had been much more severely disrupted by the Arab conquest in the nineteenth century and by the establishment of slave plantations in the western mudiria than the Tumbatu people of northern Unguja or the Pemba. Anti-Arab sentiment was strong and their experiences as share croppers on the clove plantations of the absentee Arab elite, who lived in Stone Town, resulted in an alliance with Karume’s followers – the descendants of slaves or more recent migrant labourers from various parts of the African mainland. Thus, despite his cultural links with members of the Arab community, when Zanzibar became politically polarised, Kombo, as the ‘father figure’ of the Hadimu community, became an important ally of Karume and a key figure in the Afro-Shirazi party’s hierarchy, remaining loyal to the ASP when the Shirazi controlled ZPPP was formed in 1959.

Kombo’s loyalty to Karume in 1959 and after the party’s third election defeat in July 1963, when Othman Sharif on the ‘right’ and Kassim Hanga on the ‘left’ attempted to capture control of the party, ensured his political survival after the revolution on 12 January 1964. Yet in the confused state of immediately post-revolutionary politics, as the ‘left’ ‘centre’ and ‘right wing’ factions in the ASP schemed with Umm and ‘Field Marshal’ John Okello, Kombo played little part and was not among the thirty member Revolutionary Council announced on 24 January. Behind the scenes however he exercised considerable influence and mitigated the worst excesses of Karume’s rule. His presence in the ASP hierarchy helped to legitimise first Karume and then Aboud Jumbe among the Hadimu. Kombo’s caution enabled him to retain political influence as party Treasurer. Indeed, when Karume was assassinated, he was playing Bao with Kombo, who was shot in the leg during the attack.

Kombo also played a crucial role in the resignation of Aboud Jumbe at the extraordinary session of the CCM’s National Executive Committee at Dodoma in the last week of January 1984 and in the appointment of Ali Hassan Mwinyi, first as the President of Zanzibar and then eighteen months later as President of Tanzania, and in the selection and election victory of Idris Wakil as his successor in Zanzibar in preference to Chief Minister Seif Sharif Hamadi.

Following the support for Idris Wakil, both in the CCM and during the difficult election campaign in Pemba in October 1985, Kombo was reappointed to the re-structured Revolutionary Council. By his death, he had become the grand old man of Zanzibar politics as befitted the survivor par excellence of Zanzibar’s stormy political history over the last thirty years. Some would argue that this survival was bought at too high a price in friends sacrificed and principles abandoned, especially during the Karume years, but in the last five years Kombo’s political skills have helped to preserve the United Republic and served Tanzania well.
David Throup – Magdalene College, Cambridge

The CCM Party National Executive Committee announced seven days of mourning and flags were flown at half mast throughout Tanzania. -Editor

George Winslow Lock, who died on 2nd July 1986 aged 84, devoted almost the whole of his colonial agricultural service in Tanganyika to sisal research, the development of productive estate systems of crop husbandry and improvement of processing and quality of sisal fibre. He studied at the School of Agriculture, Sutton Bonnington, at the Oxford Agricultural Economics Research Institute and was one of the early graduates from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, Trinidad. Lock was posted to Tanganyika In 1930 and in 1934 was appointed Sisal Research Officer to develop the research services for the Tanganyika sisal industry. Tanganyika was the world’s largest producer of sisal fibre at the time. He developed the Mlingano Sisal Research Station near Tanga from scratch since the land acquired for the Station was originally under a Ceara rubber forest planted by the Germans. The capital cost of the station was advanced by the Government but the recurrent costs were met by the industry. The sisal estates in Tanganyika lay in three main groups – along the Tanga line to Arusha and the central line from Dar es Salaam to Kilosa and around the port of Lindi. His work therefore involved a lot of advisory touring and the establishment of experiments locally; his advice was also sought in Kenya.

During the second world war, Lock undertook sisal control duties; the whole crop was sold to the British Ministry of Supply. Post-war he expanded the scope and scale of sisal research until his retirement in 1959. He worked closely with George Doughty, Geneticist at the nearby East African Agricultural Research Institute, Amani, on sisal breeding and trials. A promising variant of sisal with blue leaves and a finer, longer fibre was discovered growing under a bush at Amani but its early promise was limited by pests and diseases. However, from this, Doughty produced a hybrid with improved characteristics which, after trials at Mlingano, was grown by many estates to improve yields.

Lock’s work laid the pattern of sisal husbandry throughout the Tanganyikan estates and in Kenya. The value of this may be gauged by two points: firstly, during 1947-48 the industry subscribed to a research fund which acquired and expanded the Sisal Research Station with buildings and scientists; and secondly, at the end of his career the Tanganyika Sisal Growers Association commissioned him to write a book covering all aspects of sisal production. His “Sisal. Twenty-five Years Sisal Research” was published by Longmans in 1962 and became the standard work on the crop. He produced a revised second edition during his retirement when he was called am to undertake a number of consultancies with sisal.
George Cock is survived by his widow, Jo.
Sir Roger Swynerton


The British Medical Journal has reported the death on 20th November, 1986 of Dr J. S. Meredith aged 73. He was a medical specialist in Tanganyika for many years. The Journal stated that “his diagnostic skill and his ability to adapt medical advances to the conditions prevailing in an underdeveloped country were both instructive and supportive to his colleagues and to the authorities by all of whom he was respected and valued. His contributions to medicine and medical education in the tropics were lasting, and he was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. On his return to the United Kingdom in 1962 he became a tutor in tropical paediatrics at the Institute of Child Health and helped train doctors from developing countries.

As Chief Scout of Tanganyika he was appointed O.B.E and as a devotee of pipe music he was made an Honorary Vice-President of the Vale of Athol Pipe Band”


A general description of Tanzania’s Economic Recovery Programme was given in Bulletin No 25. Five months after the Paris conference at which final agreement on the package was reached, limited progress has been made in formalising the contributions of multilateral and bilateral agencies. Agreement for a standby credit of 70 million dollars was reached by the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund on 28th August, but the final approval of the Executive Board of the World Bank for a structural adjustment loan of 130 million dollars was only given at the end of November. Meanwhile the various bilateral donors were proceeding with varying alacrity. The United Kingdom moved quickly to finalise the details of the first 810 million in the approved aid program. West Germany, on the other hand, was slow to complete the necessary formalities.

One result of the agreement with the IMF was a meeting in Paris on 18th September with Tanzania’s main creditors to consider the rescheduling of official debts. Unfortunately, it was left to Tanzania to negotiate an agreement with each creditor country individually. The result inevitably is some delay in securing relief from the debt burden and the imposition of a considerable administrative burden on the Tanzanian Government.

At the end of November, therefore, Tanzania finds itself at an intermediate stage of its recovery programme. On the one hand, prices have responded to devaluation with increases of 100% or more in the case of imported items. Since transport is a substantial cost item affecting many home-produced products, itself depending heavily on imports, the prices of commodities of domestic origin have been affected, sometimes drastically. On the other hand, foreign exchange relief and industrial revival have hardly begun to result from the new inflow of resources. During this interregnum, therefore, many of the social costs of the recovery programme in terms of higher prices and budgetary stringency are being exacted without the compensating benefits of industrial rehabilitation and revival.

Looked at in this way, this intermediate stage is essentially an urban phenomenon. In the rural areas where most families grow crops for their own subsistence, the situation wears a somewhat different aspect. The steep increase in producer rewards seems to have induced, at least in some areas, a spirit of optimism and to be stimulating production. Prices in the village dukas may be high, but there is now money in the pockets of many farmers. In this situation the presence of incentive goods on the shelves of the village shops is of considerable importance and the fact that in some areas distribution has been unsatisfactory due to the country’s formidable transport problems has been recognised by the authorities as meriting urgent attention.

A modest attempt has been made to blunt the edge of the price explosion in the towns by increasing de facto the minimum wage and the rates of salary paid to civil servants on a declining scale in the higher ranges. Strictly speaking, salaries were themselves unaffected, but were topped up by an ‘allowance’ as an interim measure of relief pending the report of the Nsekela Commission on Public Service Salaries, the results of which are also likely to affect incomes in parastatal and private industry and other forms of employment But the amount of the ‘allowance’ even at its proportionately highest level fell short of the shift in the cost of living and therefore failed to avert a further fall in living standards. It my seem surprising, therefore, that fears of civil commotion resulting from agreement with the IMF do not appear to have been fulfilled.

There seem to have been three possible reasons for the absence of any noticeable reaction to inflation. The first is that two good harvests in succession have restrained the increase of food prices, which are now expected to remain fairly steady, subject to local variations, well into the new year, For the first time in a number of years the Rational Milling Corporation has been buying grain for store and, unless there is serious damage from insects, the unloading of these stocks should exercise a steadying influence on prices before the next harvest. There are, of course, dangers lurking in the shadows, such as the Greater Borer Beetle, but precautions are being taken. Let us hope that they will be effective.

The second reason for the absence of unrest may be the fact that before devaluation most purchases were already being made at highly inflated prices in the black market. As in Uganda, and subsequently Ghana, the practical effect of devaluation may thus have been merely to bring the official price structure into line with that of the alternative economy.

Thirdly, it appears that the inflation provoked by the package has not been as severe as was commonly feared and that already there are signs of prices levelling off. Some further modest increase is expected in 1987, but given reasonable harvests it is hoped that towards the end of the year the growing capacity utilisation of industry will help to restrain further rise.

It is difficult at this stage, in the absence of reliable statistical information, to pronounce with certainty on the effects of the Economic Recovery Programme. Nevertheless, it is perhaps significant that there appears to be a favourable psychological climate beyond previous expectations, considering the difficulties imposed by the interregnum. There are signs of an emergent spirit of enterprise, particularly in the export sector. This may be part of the consequence of what is known as the ‘liberalisation programme’, which allows exporters to retain a proportion of their foreign exchange earnings to pay for their industrial raw materials and machinery spares and, within prescribed limits, to buy foreign consumables for the domestic market This programme was not a part of the IMF agreement, but had been announced some time previously. It is clear that entrepreneurs have recognised in the more relaxed approach to the proceeds of foreign trade new commercial opportunities and there are some signs that new entrepreneurial talent my be emerging. There will no doubt be bankruptcies and individual attempts to exploit the new freedom beyond the intended limits; but in the end the programme will be judged by its total effect on foreign exchange earnings and the penetration of foreign markets.

However, notwithstanding these developments in foreign trade, to which the variety of goods in the shops bears witness, and the more favourable outlook for primary producers, it is realised by those at the centre that a long and hard struggle lies ahead.

First, these changes have not yet made significant inroads on the formidable adverse balance in the foreign exchanges. At present the proceeds of sales abroad account for less than half of Tanzania’s minimum foreign exchange requirements and the reversal of this situation will depend critically on the external economic environment and the results of sustained effort over many years. Tanzania is not alone in facing this problem, which is shared by many other countries in Africa and elsewhere, and at this stage it is impossible to feel confident that it will be successfully resolved.

Secondly the entire transport system of the country lies in a serious state of disrepair and imposes a heavy charge on all production. Economic recovery depends critically on the ability to move products and supplies easily, rapidly and at minimum cost, a problem exacerbated by the sheer size of the country. An attack on this problem receives high priority in the Economic Recovery Programme.

Thirdly, the rehabilitation of industry and achievement of satisfactory levels of capacity utilisation will take time to accomplish and it is unlikely that significant developments will be noticeable before the latter part of 1987. In the allocation of new resources now becoming available it will also be necessary to consider priorities owing to the interconnection between different industries For example, the promotion of certain exports will be fruitless until suitable containers have become available in the requisite quantities.

In conclusion, of the immense difficulties ahead there can be no question, but there are grounds for optimism. First, there seem to be a wide measure of political support for the programme both in the Government and in the Party. There seems no doubt about the commitment of President Mwinyi, or the support of the Chairman of the Party, Mwalimu Nyerere. That is a very great advantage in prosecuting a policy so radical and so far-reaching in its repercussions. But secondly, the general atmosphere appears to be not devoid of hope and hope is an important pre-requisite of success. Moreover, there is now ground to expect that the severe difficulties of the interregnum will gradually be eased now that production gets under way. When this takes place and employment picks up progress will become visible for all to see. The success of the Economic Recovery Programme will depend not only on the rewards for individual enterprise, but also on a public perception of benefits widely dispersed. Fortunately, in Tanzania these things are well understood.
Roger Carter


In its appraisal of President Mwinyi’s first year in office, New Africa’s Paula Park (in the December 1986 issue) wrote that “in a cautious, low key, pragmatic way, the President has already set Tanzania on the path of reform.” She went on, “At the end of his first year in office, President Mwinyi gave a press conference for no specific reason, and promised to open more dialogue in the future. In his discussions with journalists he repeated his request to the public to help him in his campaign for financial discipline by reporting to his office Government officials involved in bribery, mismanagement and embezzlement.

Mobilising the public to report on Government officials rather than Government officials informing on the public is revolutionary in Africa where intelligence police and Government informers have been an integral part of independent rule.

The President does not, however, depict himself as a revolutionary. In his campaign for discipline and financial controls, he urges Government officials to follow rules already established by the previous President. While he has exhaustively lobbied for the country’s Economic Reform Programme, which brings initial hardship to the populace, he has not tried to console people with promises he cannot guarantee. Rhetoric is not in his style. When interviewed he describes himself as a Government official duty-bound to the public, not a vanguard.

And yet he has spearheaded real reform in Tanzania. Free of Government support and the yoke of Government controls, top managers in state corporations have become self-critical and self-analytical. Even the Government owned press has become a bit more courageous in its editorials, reports, and analysis. A recent Sunday News columnist criticised corruption and cruelty among police officers. The widely read workers weekly, Mfanyakazi blasted the Government over its handling of the Kilombero sugar riots. Corruption and suspected embezzlement cases have featured regularly in the news. The President has shown remarkable confidence in the political maturity of Tanzanians to allow a subtle but substantial freeing of information and debate. In his foreign policy and statements to international forums, President Mwinyi has followed Julius Nyerere, while adding a few nuances of his own. Outspoken against apartheid, he has urged frontline states to be practical in their campaigns against South Africa, to replace ‘lipservice’ with action. He has offered to divert domestic import and export activity to Mtwara and Tanga ports leaving the larger Dar es Salaam port free for land-locked southern Africa. He has strengthened moves towards closer links with Kenya, started under Julius Nyerere. He has opened his arms to Uganda.

While in his foreign and economic policy he has shown courage, determination, and concern for Tanzanians, the Field Force Unit shootings of 20 sugarcane workers in Kilombero remain a stain on his positive first year in office. When confronted on the issue by local journalists, he promised a full report would be released soon to the public.

Some observers have noticed that despite Mwinyi’s programme of reform, he has failed to make substantial changes in his cabinet to prove his commitment to change. While his cabinet adjustments have been mainly reshuffling of ‘old boys’, some of the longest serving political leaders have led reforms.” The writer mentions Minister of Finance, Cleopa Wsuya, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Paul Bomani, and Getrude Mongella, “who has been the first Minister to aggressively campaign for tourism. It is to Mwinyi’s credit that he has left top party committees alone, and allowed staunch socialist ministers to remain in the cabinet, thus balancing the group of reformists……

Prices of everything are up, though wages have remained low; students have boycotted University classes demanding better book allowances (which they were granted). Perhaps despite his caution and hesitance in initiating reforms, President Mwinyi has changed too much, too quickly. Only the future will tell.”


The Economist in its issue of December 20th 1986 noted that “any big bank worth its deposits has a risk analysis department to tell it which countries it should not lend to because they are not likely to repay.” The Economist then looked at what it described as 50 developing countries which are at the greatest risk of becoming unstable during the rest of the 1980’s. It admitted that its comparative table was deeply unscientific and explained that it had selected the 50 countries by eliminating the superpowers, rich OECD countries, any country with a population of less than 5 million, and what it described a s those already ruined (eg. Afghanistan & Mozambique). Each country was scored on a 100 paint scale: the closer to 100, the more unstable.

Tanzania is in the centre of the table – the 21st most risky with a score of 51 out of 100. But of the 10 African countries South of the Sahara quoted in the table Tanzania receives the best score for stability.

There are 16 “Points of instability” – 33 points for economic factors, 50 for political factors and l7 for the state of society, Tanzania scored well because of its good relations with its neighbours, its absence of militarism, Islamic fundamentalism, and ethnic tension, its relatively low rate of urbanisation and its food production. It is given an average score on the legitimacy of its Government and its GDP growth. It is assessed as potentially unstable because of the authoritarianism of its Government, its level of corruption, its rate of inflation, the size of its foreign debt and its dependence on commodity exports.

The four least stable countries in the table are Iraq, Ethiopia, Iran and Sudan. The most stable are Brazil, Portugal, China and Hong Kong.


Under this beading, New Africa, in its September issue referred to the IMF negotiations in these terms: “Ujanja is the Swahili word for cleverness and it has ruled the day in Tanzania’s juggling act between the country’s socialist party leaders and the IMF. The result has been a pragmatic three year plan for economic recovery, supported by IMF funding, the World Rank, and a host of donor countries. While Tanzanians have compromised their socialist principles to an extent by promising support for private business, and a further slimming of the country’s parastatal marketing boards, they have been able to score real victories against IMF conditions. Chiefly the Government bas retained its power to devalue, at its own rate, and to increase minimum wages to offset the effect of devaluation and budget slimming. In the 1986-87 budget, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Cleopa Msuya announced 7-25% ‘cost of living allowances’ for civil servants and is looking into more substantial permanent wage increases expected to be announced soon…. Despite donor hesitations, the Economic Recovery Programme and the external finance to support it represent a victory on behalf of the Third World countries, the Tanzanians are claiming. From the negotiations with Tanzania, a diplomat said, the IMF has learnt to be more sensitive. It has learnt to be more flexible.”


The appointment of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere as chairman of the new “South-South Commission” has been widely publicised. South in its October issue related how Julius Nyerere first suggested the setting up of a South Commission in December 1977 at the end of a conference sponsored by the Third World Foundation and four years later elaborated the idea in a speech in New Delhi. He then felt that a commission of broadly based, high calibre membership and technical staff could be of great service in promoting Third World co-operation. The commission would examine the many different ideas which have been discussed over the years, the current and probable future organisational needs, and the priorities of intra-Third World action which are appropriate to dealing with the problem of world poverty.

Commonwealth Currents in its October issue reported that, “At the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, in early September, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamed, announced the establishment of the ‘South-South Commission’ for cooperation among developing countries and the acceptance of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, to chair it. The invitation to chair the Independent Commission of the South on Development Issues had previously been communicated personally to Dr Nyerere by Dr Mahathir.

The Commission, to consist of 20 international politicians and intellectuals acting independently from governments, will initially function as a ‘Think Tank’ along the lines of the Brandt Commission and other such bodies. It is expected not merely to identify the causes of under-development but to produce common strategies for developing countries to combat poverty, hunger, illiteracy and economic stagnation.

West Africa in its September 27th issue took the matter further in writing that “The Nyerere report, which may take a couple of years to complete, looks like being for the ‘eighties what the Brandt report was for the ‘seventies and the Pearson report was for the ‘sixties. Pearson now seems a very long time ago, and was largely composed of aid gurus, while Brandt enlarged the field, and included more political figures including several from the Third World. It is a reflection of the way in which developed countries have totally ignored the Brandt report, in spite of a considerable promotion around it, that the poorer countries are now falling back on their own wisdom…..It will be interesting to see who Mwalimu brings with him on his quest. Will the membership for example, be strictly from the “South”? One notes that he is also a likely member of the committee of wise men set up at this years OAU summit in Addis Ababa, which is especially supposed to include former heads of state who have stepped down with dignity. He is definitely not available for just any committee of worthies going: for example he declined to be one of the Commonwealth’s “eminent persons” on South Africa, nominating his former Agriculture Minister John Malecela to take his place.”

Readers will recall that we referred in Bulletin No 25 to growing concern about ivory poaching in Tanzania. According to the Financial Times on December 3rd 1986 the Government has acted. It had announced a total ban on Ivory sales to curb poaching of elephants, with dealers ordered to hand in their trading licences by December 30th 1986.

Development Forum in its September 1986 issue reported that: “since its establishment in 1963 the Mweka College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania has produced over 1000 graduates from l6 African countries. Located on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro the college is open to students from any nation. It offers courses in the natural sciences, wildlife and estate management and conservation education. The graduates are now working in virtually every protected area throughout Eastern and Central Africa. According to Robinson HcIlvaine, former President of the African Wildlife Foundation, “If Mweka didn’t exist, it would have to be invented – it is a glowing tribute to the far-sighted Government of Tanzania.” A number of graduates now occupy senior positions within their respective Governments including the Directors of Wildlife in Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi.

Mother Teresa, aged 76, escaped unhurt when a light aircraft she was travelling in slewed off the rough airstrip at Hombolo near Dodoma on October 12th, 1986. Five people in the crowd lining the airstrip were killed. According to the Times, “The dead were two boys aged 8 and 12, sister Serena, an Indian missionary nun, the director of a leprosy centre, and another Tanzanian man. The pilot, Mr Rolf Klemenson, a Norwegian, said the plane slewed off the runway as it was gathering speed for take-off and he was unable to lift it over the crowd. Two were injured by the propellers of the plane and at least one of the dead was decapitated.
Mother Theresa subsequently attended the funeral of sister Serena. She was deeply affected by the tragedy, saying: “My coming is behind this accident.” She at first said that she would abandon the rest of her tour, but later decided to continue and flew to Tabora, where she attended a ceremony at which seven members of her Missionary Sisters of Charity took their first vows.”

In its September issue, Africa Events had three articles on the
Kilombero sugar estate incident. It referred to the official reports to the effect that on July 25th 1986 three people were killed, seventeen seriously injured and thirteen arrested during a riot by sugar cane cutters. It went on to describe how “sugar cane cutters are employed on a minimum wage of TShs.810 per month. The way they are treated is reminiscent of the colonial plantation practice derogatorily called MIAMBA (“numbers”) or migrant labour. Indeed cane cutters all over Tanzania come mainly from Mbeya region, from the poorest peasantry called Wasafwa. When they arrive on the plantation they are given an advance to buy cooking utensils, clothes, and a panga, their only tool of trade. These loans are then deducted from their meagre monthly wages. Cane cutters live mostly in unlighted labour lines or quarters in deplorable sanitary conditions.
At the end of July, the cane cutters found that after deductions they were left with some TShs 100-200 each. Apparently they had not been paid their overtime earning and bonus. Some deductions were mysterious or unexplained. This infuriated the workers. On Sunday at dawn they surrounded the factory gates barring other workers from entering and reportedly after remaining the entire day began dispersing around 5.00 pm when the Field Force Unit arrived at the scene. Workers rallied against the Unit. It’s likely that FFU commanders at the site believed the machetes carried by the workers for cutting cane were weapons; it is not yet publicly known. Someone threw a stone and the firing began.” The Sunday News reported that the Government had set up a six-man Commission of Enquiry, chaired by Justice B. D. Chipeta.

South published in its August issue its list of the biggest 600 companies, in term of sales/turnover, in 48 Third World countries, Two Tanzanian companies were included. The National Textile Company (US$ 628 million) which came in the 102nd position and Tanzania Breweries (US$ 225 million) which came in the 283rd position. Top of the list was Mexico’s oil company (US$ 20,873 million).

In an article headed “On the Wrong side of the Law” New Africa in its September issue claimed that although Tanzania may have a constitution guaranteeing women’s representation in Parliament, women generally find little protection under the law. It quotes a number of examples: “In June the Dar es Salaam City Council vowed to close down vendors selling food on the streets in order to combat cholera. It was a welcome initiative, but the victims are the women who sell bread and chapatis to boost their meagre incomes.

Another incident occurred last October, when 23 women were rounded up by the police for appearing on a Dar es Salaam street at 9pm. They were taken to court where 19 were sentenced to between 3 months and a year in jail. The Daily News reported that when one woman showed her cinema ticket as proof that she had not been loitering, the magistrate responded that she should not have been going to the cinema at night and then pronounced her guilty.

The police arrest women for loitering because prostitution laws are too general and convictions too difficult to push through, according to legal expert Malingumu Rutashobya. If the Government wanted to crack down on prostitution, it could begin today, Rutasahobya said because the places where the prostitutes live are well known By convicting women for loitering, the Government can punish innocent people.

The law regarding rape is also weak. Since there is no minimum sentence for rape, the magistrate or judge determines the punishment. A man convicted of a violent rape can spend less than three years in prison, complains Rutashobya, and when he gets out, perhaps he’ll rape again, since the punishment is not really a deterrent. Police procedures in rape cases are not standardised; a woman who has been raped must often prove her case using circumstantial evidence. The police are supposed to establish medically whether the woman has been raped, but they do not always do so As a consequence, the evidence is often weak and a rapist can be sentenced for a lesser crime”

Business Traveller in its October 1986 issue examined in an article headed “Suit Yourself” as part of a regular series comparing the cost of living in different parts of the world, the price of a man’s suit in 36 different countries. Using 100 as the base cost of a suit in Britain it found that a suit in Tanzania would cost the equivalent of 360 on the same scale – the highest figure in the table. It commented that “absent-minded business travellers are advised against forgetting to pack the trusty three piece on visits to Tanzania. Any visit to the friendly Dar es Salaam clothier would only be hidden by the most lavish of expense accounts!”

According to a German newspaper, there were in 1983 some 119 surviving askaris of the German force serving under General von Lettow- Vorbeck in World War 1. Each year around Christmas those few who can still manage the journey assemble at the German war cemetery in Tanga for a ceremonial wreath-laying beside the memorial stone under an ancient baobab tree. After placing the wreath at the foot of the memorial, one of the old gentlemen cries “Kaiser Vilhelm lebe hoch”, whereupon the others reply “Hoch” three times. Then there follows the singing of the German Imperial anthem “Heil dir in Siegerkranz, Herrscher des Vaterlands, Heil Kaiser dir.” After the ceremony, the veterans resort to the house of a German lady resident since 1934 in Tanga, Hargarete Scheel (known as ‘Mama Askari’), where they enjoy a good meal and no doubt share many recollections of that remarkable campaign.
Towards the end of their service in the ‘Schutztruppe’ the askaris received only promissory notes by way of payment and they had to wait until 1964 – the year of von Lettow-Vorbeck’s death at the age of 93 – for these obligations to be redeemed by the West German Government Thereafter, each year each surviving askari has received from the Government in Bonn a present of DK50 around Christmas time, raised in 1984 to DM 100 (£38)

The Farmers Weekly in its November 21st, 1986 issue reported how an Essex farmer, Mr Simon Collins is appealing to farmers for redundant irrigation pipes for Tanzania. Mr Collins told the Bulletin that he originally read an article about a Roman Catholic Mission farm at Himo, near Moshi and then met Father J. Massawe during a visit by the latter to Britain. Mr Collins then launched an appeal for donations of irrigation pipes and in 1985 was able to take some l40 lengths of pipe with him to Tanzania.
Mr Collins now wants East Anglian farmers to donate further unused pipes and sprinklers. Anyone with spare irrigation pipes can contact Mr Collins on 0279-731205, who will arrange collection.


“Mainland Tanzania is one of the few parts of Africa that has not installed television despite the fact that Zanzibar TV was one of the first to bring this service to its people” reported New Africa in its October 1986 edition. “Originally mainland Tanzania turned down the idea for ideological reasons. – a radio service would cost far less and reach more people in the remoter rural areas – but now it is the sheer cost of the exercise that is the problem.” “But the wind of change that has been shaking some of the more hard and fast tenets of Tanzanian socialism in the wake of Nyerere’e departure from office has contributed to a renewed interest in the medium.

The establishment of a TV service in the 1980’s is immensely costly, particularly in a country as large and as thinly inhabited as Tanzania which, it is estimated, would require at least 20 transmitters to blanket the mainland with broadcasts…… The arguments for and against a Tanzanian TV station have been aired regularly in the newspapers. One conclusion is that Tanzania should aim to develop a village based ‘Peasant TV’. A look at Zanzibar’s TV service shows how hazardous such a venture could be for the mainland. Zanzibar TV (ZTV) was founded by President Karume in 1974 at a cost of TShs 25 million…… The Government’s target was to establish a popular service that would not only entertain but would also contribute to national development efforts. Those consumers ZTV sought most to serve were the ones living in the rural areas where there is no electricity. The Government overcame the problem by installing a receiver, running off a car battery, in every branch of the ruling CCM party. Access to the service was free to all villagers and still is, though most of the television sets no longer work.

We had a good take off in the beginning said a ZTV spokesperson, but we haven’t made much headway. The worsening financial situation has seriously affected the quality of programming. Contracts with news agencies have had to be shelved …… Mainland Tanzanians should take a look across the Zanzibar channel before embarking on the tough road to setting up their own television system.”


Mrs F.A. Mturi, a lecturer in the Department of Zoology and Marine Biology at the University of Dar es Salaam was in London recently and described the work she is doing (towards a Phd at Cambridge University) on the feeding behaviour and ecology of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey. This is a sub-species which is endemic in Zanzibar and nowhere else. The monkey is a highly selective feeder on certain fruits, leaves and stems found in the forest. But as the forest is being encroached upon by farmers the monkey is in danger of dying out. There are only some 600 left.

The Forest Department is trying to preserve them by moving some of them to the forest reserves (Jendele, Kichwele and Masingini) and some have been moved to Pemba. With the destruction of other habitats the monkeys are often driven to raiding crops. Although they are protected farmers are often forced to kill them. Mrs Mturi feels that the Josani forest should be turned into a National Park and that other forests should be surrounded by a buffer zone in which harvesting of forest products could be controlled. – Editor


The problem with schools in many developing countries – or so most people thought in the 1960s and 1970s – was that their curricula were not relevant. Wordsworth did not speak to village life in Tanzania. So, education in many developing countries rushed to combine prevocational courses with academic secondary school curricula to make school more relevant to work and national development goals. Such an approach seemed implicit in Tanzania’s Education for Self Reliance. Yet whether diversification was doing what it was supposed to do – broaden access to secondary schooling, hone students cognitive skills, and give graduates a head start in the job market – remained uncertain until World Rank researchers and consultants carried out studies in Colombia and Tanzania using data for 1978-82.

Dr. George Psacharopoulos subsequently wrote an article on the results of this work which Professor Honeybone bas kindly reviewed for us. An expanded paper was subsequently published as a book “Diversified Secondary Education and Development.”

When I wet Dr Psacharopoulos (who for eleven years taught at the London School of Economics) in Washington recently, be told me that he expects to publish another paper shortly (in the International Journal of Education and Development, University of Birmingham) on another subject of interest to Tanzania – a comparison of the quality of public and private schools. He indicated that, on the basis of his research, private schools tended to he better on general subjects, language and mathematics, but public schools tended to be better in technical and commercial subjects. Private schools, being cheaper to run, tended to give a defined amount of knowledge at lower cost than public schools.

Dr Kenneth King of the University of Edinburgh in a paper he prepared for the recent conference “Tanzania After Nyerere” went beyond Psacharopoolos’s work and wrote of two different traditions of diversification running side-by-side in Tanzania, one of these had usually underlined the importance of orientation to work and the educational value of industrial and agricultural work; the other was explicitly concerned with production and the need for students to experience real work. Unfortunately space does not allow us to develop further this fascinating interplay of these two different traditions of diversification. Perhaps it will be possible in the next issue of the Bulletin. In this issue we start with Professor Honeybone’s review of the original article. – Editor.

Curriculum Diversification in Colombia and Tanzania: An Evaluation by George Psacharopoulos

This article published in the Comparative Education Review (Vol 29 No 4 November l985) questions the assumptions on which the Tanzanian secondary school curriculum is based. A diversified curriculum is defined as one which includes pre-vocational elements as well as the more traditional subjects. The author, George Psacharopoulos, of the Education Department of the World Bank, recognises the different cultural, politica1 and economic backgrounds of Colombia and Tanzania and has not chosen them for direct comparative purposes. But because both countries have adopted a policy of diversification, albeit for different reasons, he uses them as the basis for an empirical investigation into his central question of whether “the outcomes of diversified education vary substantially from those of conventional secondary schooling.”

This article is a summary of the book referred to above. It is a contribution to the educational literature on what has become known unfortunately as “the vocaticsna2 school fallacy”. I write “unfortunately” as such a name suggests a built in bias against a diversified curriculum, a bias attributed by educationalists to economists who seek to evaluate a secondary school curriculum mainly on a “rate of return” basis. This is not an arid academic debate. The cost of education is obviously a very important factor in limiting the scope of education particularly in the poorer countries of the Third World. But educationalists would agree that cognitive achievement and degree of success in reaching the social and political objectives are also very important factors.

The author recognises these differences of emphasis in Tanzania and writes: “The main impetus for diversification stems from a strong sense of commitment to the ideals of work education…… Because of Tanzania’s philosophy of self reliance, students are required to gain experience in practical subjects in addition to academic pursuits by ‘majoring’ in vocational subjects.” It could be argued that he ought to have organised his investigation to discover how far secondary education has been successful in achieving “the commitment to the ideals of work education.” In fact, he identifies two “dependent variables” (a) what is learned in school and (b) what is later accomplished in post-secondary economic and further education activities,” and virtually ignores the significance of governmental policy.

Although the article is a summary of a book, it is clear that it is a very careful and well organised investigation; and the reputation of the author should guarantee that details of the questionnaires and the statistical analysis (which are not included) are of the highest order. So the conclusions which emerge from his investigation should provide useful empirical evidence for educational planners. The results from the Tanzanian pupils in the cognitive tests applied in the fourth year of secondary schooling show that in the pre-vocational subjects (agriculture, technical, and commercial) the scores in the diversified schools were only slightly higher than in the traditional schools. One would have expected them to have been markedly higher. But, surprisingly, the diversified schools were also slightly higher in mathematics. In the English tests the traditional schools were considerably higher than the diversified schools. In other words, the investigation shows that in most of the achievement tests, the Tanzanian diversified curriculum is slightly superior to the academic curriculum. This is a result which will not surprise the educationalists who have argued that pre-vocational subjects, if properly taught, can be as intellectually demanding as the more traditional (or academic) subjects; and many would carry this line of reasoning further by supporting a diversified curriculum (i.e a balanced mix of the pre-vocational and academic subjects) on the grounds that a higher proportion of the content would be more directly associated with everyday life than the traditional curriculum. The results from the Colombian schools show a superiority of the prevocational pupils (industrial, commercial, and social science) over the academic pupils in the academic as well as the pre-vocational tests. In agriculture there was no significant difference. The author sums this up as, “This implies that industrial learning was not acquired at the sacrifice of academic learning.” A biased summary? Perhaps a more accurate conclusion would be “The achievement tests show that in general the pupils from the diversified curriculum schools scored higher marks than those in the traditional (academic) schools.”

However, the main criterion from an economist’s point of view is the unit recurrent cost of secondary education. This article shows clearly that the “diversified curriculum” schools in Tanzania are more expensive to run than the “traditional” schools, and, rather less clearly, that the ‘social rate of return” is higher for the pupils from the traditional schools.

Finally the author offers some “considerations that the policymaker could confidently take into account when designing a secondary school system in developing countries.”

– Diversified curricula are more difficult to implement owing to the need for new teaching equipment and for teachers with new qualifications.
– Diversified schools are more expensive to run.
– Pupils from diversified schools are just as likely to want to proceed to university studies (and sometimes to specialised academic studies) as those from the academic schools.
– These is no evidence that a diversified curriculum improves the fit between the school and the rest of the world of work.
– Diversified curricula should not be offered by countries which provide secondary education to only a small section of the appropriate age range.

The author justifies this last statement as follows: “In this case the expansion of any type of secondary schooling will be legitimately seen by students and their families as opening the door to improved mobility, including university entrance or a start in a non-manual occupation (such as teaching). But such expansion could have been achieved by less costly means and also would not predicate the outcome of the reform,”

One wonders how the education planners in Tanzania would react to the author’s use of the word “legitimately” and how they would balance their “strong sense of commitment to the ideals of work education” with the evidence of higher costs. The author unfortunately does not deal with this aspect although it is basic to Tanzanian policy. A pity!

Professor R. C. Honeybone


Just before going to press we Beard from Professor Terence Ranger, the first editor of this Bulletin, about his visit, towards the end of December 1986, to what he described as the cheerful Christmas bustle of Arusha (with abundant supplies in the shops) to attend a four day international conference on “The Arusha Declaration”, 20 years after its publication. Professor Ranger said that he was deeply impressed by the diversity of views expressed (there were 45 papers), by the self confidence of the Tanzanian University staff, from many different departments, and the libertarian commitment of most of the papers. He wondered whether such a conference could take place in other African countries.

The conference had been opened by President Mwinyi and closed by Vice-President Wakil and attended by representatives from Britain, Scandinavia, The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, China and other countries. There was much discussion on the crisis in agriculture and most papers had agreed that this was due to internal rather than external causes. Some participants had felt that the crisis had a risen because the Arusha Declaration had not been effectively carried through; others had felt that the Declaration was a flawed document. Professor Ranger said that everybody had been critical of the use of force in villagisation and what was described as the “commandism” of the Government in relation to peasant producers. Peasants had deliberately resisted this “commandism” There was a call for greater autonomy of peasant organisations and better incentives. What had been basically wrong was weak and corrupt party management. – Editor