Tanzania, ice cream and international scientific controversy wouldn’t win many points in a word association game. But add the name ‘Mpemba’ and there is a link. ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ has uncovered a mystery that began in ancient Greece, resurfaced in 1960’s Tanga and has since ricocheted around university labs the world over.

And we exclusively trace the Tanzanian boy at the centre of the puzzle. His name now fills reruns of scientific journals but at the time he was mocked by his classmates as the ‘black sheep’ of the class.

Erasto Mpemba was the ‘black sheep’. He takes up the story in ‘Physics Education’. “In 1963 when I was in Form 3 in Magamba Secondary School, Tanzania I used to make ice cream. The boys at the school do this by boiling milk, mixing it with sugar and putting it into the freezing chamber in the refrigerator …. a lot of boys make it and there is a rush to get space”. One day Mpemba began boiling milk but another boy dashed to grab the space. Rather than miss his chance Mpemba acted rashly. “I decided to risk ruin to the refrigerator on that day by putting hot milk into it”. His gamble led to a strange discovery.

“The other boy and I went back an hour and a half later and found that my tray of milk had frozen into ice cream while his was still only a thick liquid not yet frozen.” The gamble paid off, but set in motion a chain of events that went far beyond a cool lick in sweltering Tanga town.

Mpemba had discovered a phenomenon that had been observed before but never explained. Sometimes, against all our intuitions, warm liquid freezes faster than cold.

Aristotle noticed this in the fourth century and wrote: ” … many people when they want to cool water quickly begin by putting it in the sun … “. Mpemba said that the ice cream makers of Tanga were among them. Before ice cream was even thought about in Tanga, and almost two millennia after Aristotle, the French philosopher Descartes observed: “… water which has been kept for a long time on the fire freezes faster than other water”. Twenty years before the English civil war Francis Bacon noted the same. So did scientist Marliani in Renaissance Italy.

But the mystery remained unsolved, tossed aside by the scientific community like a stone in the shoe of the new physics which could not explain it. Mpemba put the stone back.

But before the world would take notice another person entered the story. Six years after Mpemba’s discovery, Denis Osborne, Professor of Physics at the University of Dar es Salaam, went to speak in Mkwawa High School. Osborne recalls in ‘Physics Education’ that he faced a variety of questions from students: “How do I get to University?”, “What does the syllabus have to do with development?” but almost thirty years later one question still sticks in his mind.

“Why did hot water freeze more quickly than cold?” Mpemba was persistent – he had asked this question before. His first physics lesson on arriving at Mkwawa High School was on heat. Mpemba recalls the scene:

“One day as our teacher taught us about Newton’s Law of Cooling, I asked him the question “Please Sir, why is it that when you put both hot milk and cold milk into a refrigerator at the same time, the hot milk freezes first?” The teacher replied: “I do not think so, Mpemba”. “1 continued: It is true, Sir, I have done it myself’. And he said: “The answer I can give is that you were confused.” “I kept on arguing, and the final answer he gave me was that: “Well all I can say is that Mpemba’s physics is not the universal physics”.

“From then onwards if I failed in a problem by making a mistake in looking up the logarithms this teacher used to say: “That is Mpemba’s physics”. And the whole class adopted this, and any time I did something wrong they used to say to me “That is Mpemba’s …. whatever the thing was”.

Despite ridicule Mpemba adopted a pitbull-like persistence. Once he stole into an empty lab and ran through an experiment with beakers of warm and cold water and again found the same result. When Denis Osborne turned up at the school, he thought he might at last get an answer. Mpemba continues: “He first smiled and asked me to repeat the question. After I repeated it he said: “Is it true? Have you done it?” I said: “Yes”. Then he said: “I do not know but I promise to try this experiment when I am back in Dar es Salaam.” Osborne recalls: “It was a surprising question. I thought he was wrong. On my way back to Dar es Salaam in the car I worked out that he must be wrong in theory.” But Osborne held true to his promise Although Mpemba’s classmates would soon be laughing on the other side of their faces, they continued to rib him. “Next day, my classmates in Form 4 were saying to me that I had shamed them by asking that question and that my aim was to ask a question that Dr Osborne would not be able to answer. Some said to me: “But Mpemba, did you understand your chapter on Newton’s law of cooling?” I told them: “Theory differs from practical”. Some said: “We do not wonder, for that was Mpemba’s physics:’

Osborne was surprised when a technician at University College in Dar tried the experiment and he saw the results. He set about trying to explain them, coming up with a few possible explanations, and publishing material in various journals.

Recently the debate was re-ignited in the pages of the ‘New Scientist’ – exposing the same scepticism faced by Mpemba.

Norman Gardiner in Cheshire wondered whether Mpemba knew that his name had entered the language and that scientists were still debating the question that he put to Professor Osborne 30 years later. Charles Knight of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado recommended readers of the ‘New Scientist’ to read a paper which had been published in ‘The Transactions of the American Philosophical Society’ in 1948 under the heading ‘The Freezing of Supercooled Water’ but J Jocelyn from the Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre warned readers that this extended to 80 pages! Tom Trull from the University of Tasmania wrote: “This is a cultural myth.” But his colleague Michael Davis from the same university countered: ” … it is possible to produce ice cubes more quickly by using initially hot water instead of cold”. Matti Jarvilehto at the University of Oulu in Finland. writing in the New Scientist’s ‘Last Word’ section, reported on a similar effect in an electric sauna. “By fooling the temperature sensor by splashing water I increased the oven’s output” he wrote.

With the controversy having been re-opened in Tanzania by Mpemba the solution could come from elsewhere in Africa. South African physicist David Auerbach working in Germany thinks he knows the answer.

“It’s all to do with super cooling” Auerbach was reported as saying in the ‘New Scientist’ in late 1995. After 103 experiments he found that the Mpemba effect is not an iron law – sometimes warm water and sometimes cold water freezes first. The explanation lies in branching ‘ferns’ of ice. These shoot out from the walls of beakers full of water as it just begins to freeze. Auerbach says that this is a sign of super cooling. The Mpemba effect occurs with this super cooling. The sudden appearance of ‘ferns’ of ice crystals from the super cooled liquid occurs at a higher temperature in water that was originally hot. This means that warm water can freeze quicker than cold.

But will Mpemba’s discovery lead to any new inventions? Osborne is not sure. “Among other things the effect is quite erratic. It depends on random vibrations and wafts of air so you get different effects on different occasions.” This could limit its practical applications. Yet whether the Mpemba effect solves the world’s energy crisis or patches the hole in the ozone layer it undoubtedly affected the people involved.

“Surprising questions are fun. They are not to be despised,” says Osborne. “One piece that’s to my credit is that I did not despise, I went off and researched it.” Osborne has pursued a distinguished career in science education. Mpemba’s life has followed a different path since the two parted company in 1969 after they published their joint paper in ‘Physics Education’.

Finding a one-time physics student in a country the size of Tanzania seemed, at first, like a daunting task. But after tracking down Professor Osborne in Britain, the task became straightforward as they had remained in touch with each other. In Dar es Salaam, after a tip off from a Security guard at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, we tracked him down to the “Ivory Room” in Changombe, Dar es Salaam. This is where the big annual sale of Tanzanian ivory used to be held before marketing the tusks was banned. Ivory is still stored there from elephants that are damaging crops and have to be killed.

Mpemba’s work with wildlife means that he is no stranger to elephants. “We were on control work in Dodoma some years ago” he said. “We met a big herd. The leader dominating the herd was tuskless. They were ruining peoples crops. He had to go. But he decided to die with us”. “I aimed between the eyes. He went down. He stood up again and charged. I shot him again at 50 yards. I shot him for a third time, a fourth time. A fifth time. He was over my head. As he finally fell, his body grazed my leg.”

But run-ins with elephants were not what Mpemba always had in mind. Originally he wanted to be a doctor but his parents did not have the money to pay for the training, he said. Seeing work with wildlife as the best way to an overseas scholarship he ended up at the Mweka Wildlife College. After getting his diploma he was promoted to Regional Natural Resources Officer in Mara Region in 1967. It was eight years before he achieved his ambition of foreign study. In Australia he got a degree in Natural Resources Management. Today Mpemba is Principal Assistant Game officer working with communities to involve more people in conservation.

Funnily enough his wife is a doctor. But science does not seem to run in the family. “And your children, are there any budding physicists among them?” we asked. “No. They are not doing at all well in physics” he replied. Mpemba may have done more for science than science has done for him. Osborne says: “He is slightly cynical about the whole thing and says people are making too much fuss about it. He did badly in his physics exam”. But if the Mpemba effect does lead to some new advance it will not be a first for Africa. “Some aspects of environmental science and drugs taken from natural sources are being pioneered by Africans and people in other developing countries,” says Osborne.

And Mpemba’s lesson is more than just about the properties of water. How many students in the high tech labs of British schools have made a similar contribution to science understanding? And how many teachers have dismissed students who go against the textbooks? The “black sheep of the class” may have done badly in his physics exam but he has taught a lesson to students and teachers the world over.
Matthew Green

(The heavily guarded Ivory Room is still in use. 144 elephant tusks, disguised as boat spare parts and believed to be from the mainland were recently seized at Zanzibar airport. This brings the total stock of ivory in the Room to some 60 tonnes worth $6 million. The fate of this ivory is to be decided at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in Harare in July – Editor).


The tortoise is threatened with extinction in Zanzibar because they are being taken away for sale to ships in Dar es Salaam harbour. But now, according to the ‘Business Times’, they are to be provided with special devices to be implanted in the shells which will respond to the touch and so trigger a signal directly to a monitoring centre to show that the animal is probably in trouble. It is one of the new technologies being used to protect endangered species the world over.


In a 7-page cover story in its February issue AFRICAN BUSINESS Maja Wallengren wrote that ‘decades of socialism have so enervated the enterprise spirit in Tanzania that it acquired the unwelcome reputation of being a sheep in a region of predators. All this is about to change and the country is clearing its throat to roar like a lion’. The Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) was quoted as saying that it was his hope that in the 21st century not only Asian tigers but also some African lions will be roaring in the international economic arena and Tanzania could be one of them.

AFRICAN BUSINESS (March) described the state of Tanzania’s struggling coffee industry as ‘quality not quantity’ following reports that the production in the year 1996/67 would be only 42,000 tonnes, a drop of 20% from the previous year. Traders were quoted as saying that massive replanting schemes were needed to replace the many trees which are 50 to 100 years old and thus increase the average yields from the 250kg per hectare in Tanzania to the Kenya figure of 500 kgs. However, quality was said to be improving and the country was now again earning a world class reputation for its mild Arabica. Production of Robusta coffee in Bukoba remained steady at 12-14,000 tonnes but here the problem was price. Vietnam’s coffee production had increased from 20,000 tonnes in the mid-1980’s to almost 250,000 tonnes for 1996/97 which was depressing world prices (A massive new replanting programme is about to start under a $14 million EC aid grant – Editor).

Zoe Heller, the columnist in the SUNDAY TIMES MAGAZINE explained (on March 9) how she had thrown over her boyfriend and, in order to distance herself from him, moved from Los Angeles to New York. But she doesn’t seem very happy with her new friends: ‘I have been out to a dinner party at a fancy house on the Upper East Side’ she wrote. ‘There was a revolting deb type there banging on about her recent jaunt up Kilimanjaro. “God, Africa, I mean, it’s sooo poor”! she kept on bellowing. “But so real, you know”. She told me about how fetchingly hard her thighs got during her ascent. ” ….. my porter was sooo sweet – when it got really cold and my nose was running, he’d take a handkerchief and wipe my nose for me”. “Ah, yes” I murmured “those marvellous Tanzanians, they do make remarkably good bearers, don’t they ……. ”

NEW AFRICA (February) recounted how Mwalimu Julius Nyerere recently sold his famous cane or ‘magic wand’ as he calls it to raise funds for his sponsorship of the education of bright but poor children. Dozens of wealthy Tanzanians wanted to buy it. Former UN Adviser Gertrude Mongella was said to have offered Shs 3 million but it was local business tycoon and soccer financier Ahmed Bora who eventually got it for Shs 4.5 million. Nyerere was said to have been shocked by this revelation of the wealth of Tanzania’s new capitalist class. One of his relatives said that Mwalimu had lots of sticks and he had probably sold one of the powerless ones, not the magic one. Midst much public criticism Mr Bora decided to give the stick back to Mwalimu. No one knew whether he got his money back. Some were said to believe that the wand just refused to stay in Bora’s hands.

Under this heading the INDEPENDENT published a guide to mugging (based on information from the British Foreign Office Travel Advice Unit) in its issue of March 1. Countries featured in this particular issue included Indonesia, Iran, Sierra Leone and Swaziland. On Tanzania it wrote: ‘Incidents of mugging and theft are common especially on public transport and beaches. Food should not be accepted from strangers as it may be drugged. Armed car thefts, particularly of four-wheel drive vehicles occur fairly frequently and may be accompanied by personal violence (Thank you Jane Carroll for this item- Editor).

The JOHANNESBURG STAR’s BUSINESS REPORT in its issue dated January 23 was highly critical of Tanzania’s six-year old investment act and wrote that the country was now rewriting its investment code. ‘The Investor Road Map of Tanzania’ sponsored by USAID had ranked it among countries with the worst investment hurdles. The article went on: ‘The report said that it took between 545 and 1,095 days to lodge an application for business …. there were delays in finding land, high taxes, poor infrastructure and far too many forms to fill in. In all, a firm in Dar es Salaam could expect to submit at least 89 separate filings per year ….. and financial institutions had to submit up to 235 returns every year. …. While it takes only one or two days to clear imports into Mauritius, Namibia or South Africa, in Tanzania it takes up to three months’. The article went on to describe the changes likely under the new code with its one-stop centre and a ‘facilitation office’ which was expected to make a considerable improvement in the investment climate.

In an article on a recent African music festival at the Barbican in London NEW AFRICAN (February) reported as follows: ‘Tanzania’s much travelled master musician Hukwe Zawose, who is almost a one-man compendium of his nation’s cultural heritage, performed a spellbinding demonstration of song and dance with myriad traditional instruments’. It reminded readers that Hukwe’ s current album Chibeto had been chosen as African Life’s ‘Album of the Year’. The VSO publication ORBIT (fourth quarter 1996) listing the same album in its ‘Top 10 Sounds of 1966’ described Zawose as ‘one of Tanzania’s national treasures and a magical character of mythical proportions’ .

Under this heading the DAILY TELEGRAPH (21/3/97) wrote that a Labour mayor who spent £1,500 of council money on a week-long ‘fact finding’ trip to Musoma, Tanzania has returned with suspected malaria. Dawn Neal’s visit had been criticised at a time of financial cuts on Calderdale Council, West Yorkshire. She was accompanied by her boyfriend Danny McIntire, a fellow councillor and Margaret Berry, the council’s senior environmental health officer. They left Halifax to see the Serengeti Game reserve and advise the locals on tourism and also handed over a piece of medical equipment that can help to clear swallowed fishbones from throats. “This was not a holiday” she said. “It was a fact-finding mission to Calderdale’s twin town and we intend to begin fund-raising to pay for medical supplies for the people of Musoma” but a former mayor, Liberal Democrat Stephen Pearson, said “I don’t believe glad-handing people is going to make a fundamental difference to their quality of life”.

“When our children do well in primary school we get really worried” said a farmer in the western Usambara mountains. He was peaking to Charles Worth who wrote in CHRISTIAN AID NEWS (February/March) that since the government had imposed fees, secondary education had become a luxury which this family could scarcely afford. Only one family out of 300 in the village were able to send their children to secondary school. … many Tanzanians felt enslaved today because of Tanzania’s massive debt burden – the World Bank and IMF had imposed a structural adjustment programme which had drastically cut government spending on health and education …. ‘ Mr Worth went on: ‘Victorian campaigners had the vision and persistence to help bring an end to the evil of slavery. Can the British churches today catch their spirit, change the rules and end the slavery of debt in Tanzania?’ (Thank you Betty Wells for this item – Ed).

‘That is the staffing level of a London hospital with 300-400 beds and a district population of 200,000 – the same as Muheza district in Tanga Region. In London there are many more junior doctors and a network of GP’s. Muheza has three doctors. If each saw only inpatients for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, that would be 3xlOx7 = 210 hours, half an hour for each inpatient. Yet many are very sick and need more intensive treatment or operations done by the same three doctors. Then there are long hours to be spent seeking outpatients, supervising the laboratory and X-ray, and administration, teaching and trips to the ministry in Dar es Salaam to be fitted in …… ‘ extracts from a recent issue of the NEWSLETTER of ‘MEDICINES FOR MUHEZA’ (Thank you Trevor Jaggar for this item- Editor).

The New York WALL STREET JOURNAL has published an article by Robert Greenberger under the heading’ Some Hotels May Do More Laundering of Cash Than Towels’ which has attracted a lot of attention. It stated that there were indications that Zanzibar banking and hotel businesses were being used by foreign investors to launder international drug money. It was alleged that huge sums were being deposited in banks by hotels which had few guests. The IMF has been quoted as saying that shady financial flows were flourishing in Zanzibar but the Government of Zanzibar and the Bank of Tanzania have denied the allegations.

‘Tanzania may not resemble the famous gold producing regions of Western Australia on the surface, but Australian explorers active in the east African nation reckon that underground it is almost like home. ‘Tanganyika Gold’ has 28 exploration tenements in two main areas – the Lake Victoria Goldfield and the Lupa Goldfield. “it is exciting to be in an area that is very unexplored by Western standards and clearly has a lot of gold” says Managing Director Ian Middlemas. “It has similar geology to W Australia”….. Two tenements have been drilled so far – at Buhemba in the north of the Lake region and Busolwa to the South. The latter included intersects of 32m at 2.48 grams per tonne – a lot of the holes end in mineralisation Mr Middlemas said – THE WEST AUSTRALIAN (December 23) – (Thank you Mr D Gledhill for this item and for the mention of your gold prospecting uncles who were on the Lupa in the 1930 ‘s – Ed).


Under this heading, at the end of a speaking tour of Britain by three Maasai spokespeople complaining about the action of the Tanzanian government in driving them from their lands in the interests of game and tourism, the London OBSERVER (April 6) published a half page article. It concentrated on the situation at the Mkomazi Game Reserve in the Same district and contrasted what it described as ‘the glass-fronted house with a satellite dish, verandah and spectacular views’ of manager Tony Fitzjohn (said to be nicknamed ‘boy Tarzan’ by the Maasai) and ‘the fly-infested, stinking animal carcasses, children with distended bodies standing in glum groups … near the boundaries of the 1,400-square mile reserve’. Mkomazi is run by a non-profit trust-making trust set up by the late George Adamson – husband of ‘Born Free’ author Joy Adamson – and Mr Fitzjohn and supported by the wealthy, including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and the film stars Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and Ali MacGraw; the Duke of Kent is a patron. When the trust arrived in 1989 the Maasai thought they would be able to negotiate but they claim that his has not happened and that they were driven out of the land at gunpoint. Sixty three of them are challenging the government in court. The trust, on the other hand, claims that it has succeeded in its conservation task and that the elephant count has gone up from two in ] 968 to 1,000 in 1993; the East African black rhino population had previously been hunted from 65,000 to near extinction; the area was badly overgrazed and there had been serious erosion when the Maasai were there.

AFRICAN BUSINESS (January) had a cover story and seven pages of text on Tanzania’s impressive political and economic progress. One of the articles was about the sad state of the sugar industry due to a severing of government subsidies to the Sugar Development Corporation (SUDECO) and the associated lack of capital for rehabilitation of factories now running at an average of only 50% capacity. It was assumed that SUDECO would be privatised some time this year.

The BBC WORLD SERVICE in its FARMING TODA Y programme on February 26 reported on the effect of mining for minerals on Maasai cattle keeping around the settlement of Simajiro. Cattle fall into the pits left after the miners of Rhodolite (a pale violet or red garnet) move on to other sites and as the miners encroach upon the surrounds of the village itself. A Maasai spokesman in a taped interview complained also of the water supply problem and a woman reporter spoke of the careful control of overgrazing of the poor land by the Maasai. (Thank you Mr P H C Clarke for this item – Editor).

“At one time attacks by wild animals constituted 25% of all evacuations” said Juliette Heza, the longest serving flight nurse in the Flying Doctor Service quoted in AMREF NEWS (Spring 1997). “Nowadays”, she said, “most of the patients are from traffic accidents, malaria, cardiac emergencies and exhaustion amongst tourists”. She went on “I’ve treated dozens of hyena bites and snake bites. We still get buffalo attacks – they’re very arrogant animals. They can be very frightening”. The Flying Doctor Service teams aim to leave their base within five minutes of receiving a call for help.

‘They nibble at sleeping people. They gnaw at parcels in the post office. They take free rides in cars and trains …. .rats are on the rampage in Tanzania’ according to NEW AFRICAN (April). Minister of Transport and Communications William Kusila was quoted as claiming that the biggest rats of all were found on Tanzanian trains. “They grow fat on the food brought on board by travellers” he said. The article concluded ‘Foreign funded projects to eliminate crop destroying rodents ceased when donors cut their aid three years ago. Now the whole nation is being overwhelmed by a plague of rats and very little is being done about it’ .

A new Centre for Refugee Studies has been established at the University of Dar es Salaam reports the BRITISH COUNCIL’S AFRICA NEWSLETTER (January 1997). A British Council managed link has been arranged between the Centre and the Refugee Studies Programme at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford University (Thank you Trevor Jaggar for this item – Editor).

‘A friend of mine, a surgeon, volunteered to work overseas and was swiftly transferred from Tottenham to Tanzania and a post in a city hospital… the wards were adequately equipped and the work was most satisfying … But she found that there was little she could do to affect a series of curious occurrences in one intensive care bed … patients had been passing away with far greater frequency in bed No 13 than occupants of other beds. Some staff thought that the bed was jinxed …. And then our surgeon discovered that the victims of bed 13 all died on the same day – a Wednesday, early in the morning. She decided to stake out the ward. All was quiet until the appearance of the cleaner, mechanically cleaning the floors as usual. Then suddenly, above the grinding din, she could just hear the high-pitched life-support machine alarm bleeping desperately. Springing to the rescue, the surgeon rushed over to see that the intensive care apparatus appeared to be switched off. To her horror she then noticed that the cleaner had been plugging his floor-polisher into the most convenient socket.. … ‘ from ‘Urban Myths’ in THE GUARDIAN (November 11).

(In our last issue there was a story about the difficulties ‘Mission Aviation Overseas’ was facing in obtaining licenses for airstrips in Maasai country. Christine Lawrence tells us that eighteen licences have now been granted – Editor).


MOHAMED AMIN died in the highjacked Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed in the Comoro’s on November 23 1996. ‘New Africa’ described him not only as a photographer of quality – he was named British cameraman of the year and built his East African ‘Camerapix’ into the foremost picture agency in Africa – but also as an entrepreneur and a fixer. New Africa wrote that ‘at the beginning of his career he had been thrown into jail and tortured in Zanzibar for photographing Russians training soldiers of the Zanzibar Liberation Front’ .

New Zealander GEORGE HART (86) who died in December 1995, worked from 1951 to 1985 with the Church Missionary Society and the International Leprosy Mission in the Dodoma region.

The death of former CCM Secretary General and cabinet minister HORACE KOLIMBA (57) on March 13 under extraordinary circumstances was mourned throughout the country. Mr Kolimba had earlier obtained massive publicity by criticising the CCM party for its lack of vision and clear guidelines and had then been attacked verbally by several party colleagues for making such remarks in public. Summoned to Dodoma to explain his views to the party’s Central Committee he collapsed during the meeting and then died three hours later. To avoid any allegations of foul play, President Mkapa ordered a post-mortem which found that he had died due to a rupture of the aorta, a natural cause of death.

MARY LEAKEY (83) the archaeologist who died on December 9 in Nairobi and who lived for many years at the famous Olduvai Gorge, was noted for the scrupulous scientific approach she always applied, which added veracity to the important discoveries of her husband, the anthropologist Louis Leakey and herself. After his death in 1972 she found three trails of fossilised hominid footprints 3.6 million years old at Laetoli which showed that man’s ancestors were walking upright at a much earlier period than most anthropologists had believed.

PHILIP LOUSADA (81) who died recently was a District Officer/District Commissioner in Tanganyika from 1959 until independence – (Thank you Liz Fennel/for this information – Editor)

ESTER NYAGALU (111), the mother of former Prime Minister John Malecela died on December 29 in Dodoma.

MICHAEL MACOUN CMG, OBE, QPM (82) who died on March 24 was in the Tanganyika Police for most of the time between 1939 and 1958 rising to the position of Acting Commissioner. His first job, as he was fluent in German, was the internment of German residents at the beginning of the second world war and evaluating the extent of Nazi influence in the country at that time (thank you Geoffrey Cotterell for this information – Editor).

(86), a former Chief of Butiama in Mara Region died on March 9. He was the half brother who brought up Mwalimu Nyerere in the latter’s early years.


Compiled by Michael Wise and John Budge

Paul J. KAISER, structural adjustment and the fragile nation; the demise of social unity in Tanzania, and, Sayre P. Schatz, The World Bank’s fundamental misconception in Africa. Two articles in Journal of Modern African studies, 34 (2), 1996.

The most powerful economic institutions in the world, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have been, and continue to be guilty of serious errors of judgement and practice, in the opinion of two American investigators. In the opinion of Paul Kaiser, of Mississippi state University, their structural adjustment policies as applied to the Third World, especially Africa, are largely responsible for the destruction of the essential virtue of social cohesion. Any visitor to Tanzania since the two institutions’ loan conditions were reluctantly accepted will probably agree with him that, in one of the few African countries to have remained relatively calm ever since independence, “a long history of ethnic, racial and religious cohesion has begun to fray”. He believes too, that the terms imposed and the burgeoning debt crisis may represent a “new dependency” for many African countries unable to acquire capital from other sources.

He points to religious and racial tensions directly related to the process of economic liberalisation, a matter which was argued between President and World Bank for almost six years. For example, when parastatals were being sold off, it was not long before racially motivated questions began to be asked about who should be allowed to move into the rapidly expanding private sector. At the same time the quality of life of the majority of Tanzanians was declining, as incomes became devalued and the costs of necessities of life escalated.

The welfare state, built up over 30 years witnessed a partial demise, with the people, especially urban workers, being called upon to share the costs of education and health at a time when their incomes were inadequate even to meet food costs.

Although Nyerere’s policies may not have entirely achieved some of the intended goals, Kaiser comments: “A potentially divisive array of social groups achieved a degree of cohesion that surpassed each and every neighbouring country” .

In the second article, Sayre Schatz of Columbia University reinforces this by reproducing data showing that the World Bank’s attempts to demonstrate the policy’s efficacy “not only failed to support its conclusions but actually bolstered the contrary thesis, namely that its implementation most often caused poorer economic performances”. He attributed this to the “objective difficulty of promoting development in Sub-Saharan Africa, a formidable and obdurate problem”, but also to the “mistaken view that the basic cause of Africa’s economic stagnation was poor government performance”.

He concludes: “The only way to generate a satisfactory rate of growth in Africa’s least developed economies is through government intervention to nurture investments. We should also remember that governmental activism has been associated with economic success in many developing countries”.

This promotes in this reviewer the horrifying thought that perhaps IMF/World Bank policies may have played a part in undermining the social cohesion of Rwanda and Burundi, and thus contributed to the recent escalation of conflict, which in turn has cost Tanzania heavily as a host neighbour to refugees.

A. Charles LANE, Pastures lost: Barabaig economy, resource tenure, and the alienation of mainland Tanzania. Nairobi: Initiatives Publishers (P.O. Box 69313, Nairobi), 1996. 216p., US$18.

Charles Lane cannot be other than highly commended for his very detailed study of the Barabaig of Hanang District, Tanzania. It is also a most useful contribution to the cause of pastoralists generally in East Africa.

Lane’s detailed research was carried out in 1986-88 and he continued after this to work closely with the Barabaig, particularly on their land campaign. The method used was “participatory research”, that is to say he lived in a traditional Barabaig community for about 18 months and involved them in actual research. This says much for his skill and dedication, as well as, I am sure, ingenuity. It seems he had to learn much Tataga language, to the extent of the names of many species of grass, herbs and trees. I am glad he had help from the East African Herbarium for this. The result is a comprehensive socio-economic and historical account of the Barabaig people, and it reveals a national customary order of life to cope with the circumstances of nomadic pastoralism contradicting some misconceptions generally held. Lane describes their social rank formation and wealth control system; their land tenure methods and customary tenure; care of their cattle; grain production; food consumption; levels of income; their beliefs, culture and other social details.

The book is however, much more than a social study. Lane contends throughout that policy-makers from colonial times have misunderstood pastoralism. The last three chapters deal with the present considerable problems and developments, which have arisen since the appropriation of 100,000 acres of their land in the 1970s by NAFCO for the Canadian Wheat Project. New Tanzanian Government policies on land tenure are discussed. Lane concludes:

Ways need to be found to integrate traditional Barabaig leaders and institutions with state structures. For this to be achieved, government administrators will have to view this representation (i.e. the Barabaig’s) as a complement to effective government and not a threat to their authority, and traditional leaders will need to be convinced of the benefits from such integration.

I do recommend this book and hope it can be made freely available where it is most needed.
Christine Lawrence

Emmanuel J. E. MAKAIDI, EMMA’S encyclopaedia tanzaniana of national records 1497-1995. Dar es Salaam: Sunrise Publishers (P.O. Box 352), 1995. 279p. Tshs 7,500

The first entries in this strictly chronological and rather intriguing record of events in Tanzania over a period of 498 years give some flavour of the style of the book and the presentation of the events recorded:

1497: On April 15 Tanganyika is for the first time infiltrated with white men. This was the occasion of the arrival of portuguese, purportedly on business exploits.

1498: On June 2, leading a large group of Portuguese, Vasco da Gama arrives in Tanganyika. It was largely due to Vasco da Gama’s greed and influence, that led to the establishment of Portuguese settlements on the coast of Tanganyika and later, the initiation of their rule in the country.

1500: On July 16 Kilwa residents wake-up only to find themselves under alien rule. The first Tanganyikans to be colonised by white men …

There are only five more entries before we jump to 1843 when, on September 29, The British national flag is hoisted high in Zanzibar, amidst colonial pomp and pageantry.

As we proceed further, particularly after 1980, the entries become fuller and more comprehensive and thus begin to fulfil the stated objectives of the book – to be a student’s companion, a researcher’s pathfinder, a teacher’s reference, a politician I s compass and a diplomat’s guide. The final entry dated December 31, 1995 records part of President Mkapa’s new year message to the nation.

Ali A. MAZRUI and Alamin M. Mazrui, Swahili state and society: the political economy of an African language. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers; London: James Currey, 1995. 171p., ISBN 0-85255-729-9, £11.95.

The focus of this book is the relation between Kiswahili and economic, political and social conditions in East Africa. This is a two-way relation: the development and spread of Kiswahili has been and continues to be dependent on social, political, and above all economic factors, whilst at the same time helping to shape (to various degrees) the social, political and economic characters of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zaire. The book consists of three sections and two appendices, each of which can be read in isolation (there is in fact a considerable overlap between the three sections) . The first and third sections of the book cover the same topics, but from different perspectives. Kiswahili is discussed in relation to detribalization (not eradication of ethnic identity, which remains strong, but the overlaying of ethnic loyalties with national, political, class and religious identity), class formation, popular political participation, secularization, and science and technology. The first section provides a concise but comprehensive account of Kiswahili’s role as an agent of change in East Africa, from the perspective of economic history (for example, the role of Kiswahili as a ‘proletarianizing’ force is traced back to the facilitation of dockers’ strikes in Mombasa (1939, 1947, 1955, 1957) and Dar es Salaam (1947). The third section is more of a manifesto, sketching the contemporary socio-linguistic scene and proposals for the ‘decolonization’ of Africa, in which the promotion of Kiswahili should play a prominent role. The second section (‘The History’) also concludes with suggestions for pan-East African co-operation in the development of Kiswahili, but focuses on the historical spread of the language, starting with the Maji Maji rebellion in Tanzania. Section 2.3 provides a fine account of Tanzania’s educational language policy.

The two appendices are: ‘Social engineering and language policy in East Africa’, by Ali A. Mazrui, and ‘African languages in the African-American experience’ by Alamin M. Mazrui. Each of these is reprinted from previously published sources.
Steve Nicolle

Magdalena K. RWEBANGIRA, The Legal status of women and poverty. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1996, 58p. (Research report; no.100), ISBN 91-7106-391-9, £5.95 (SEK60). Distributed by Almqvist & Wiksell International, Stockholm.,

This book provides a review of existing laws relevant to the title, with legal developments of the last twenty years being dealt with separately. The principle laws that are considered in depth are the Law of Marriage Act, 1971; inheritance laws, and land laws. The issues concerned are described clearly, accessible to those without any knowledge of the Tanzanian legal systems. The section on significant changes to relevant laws in the last twenty years is interesting, not only as a review of the actual legal developments, but also because reference is made to legal changes which did not address gender issues in areas where this could have been productive.

The ‘poverty and the Legal status of Women’ section, although not mentioned in the introduction, briefly mentions some of the wider social influences which reduce the effectiveness of the legal systems in terms of gender equality. A ‘Women’s Law approach’ is mentioned but not elaborated on (worthy of several volumes as a debate topic in its own right). This section, and others on background and conclusions, highlight the need to view the role of the legal system in a realistic and holistic way, rather than assuming that the simple process of a law will ensure that its purpose is fulfilled. Social issues affecting the effectiveness of the legal system are mentioned, including the ever important areas of education and media.

The presentation of the report may be found to be misleading in some respects. For example, although the objectives are described clearly in the ‘Executive Summary’, they are lacking in the ‘Background and Objectives’ section. In this, and elsewhere in the text, a stricter proof reading might have improved the ‘flow’ of the report.

For anyone with little knowledge of the subject area, this book introduces some of the issues involved in a largely accessible way, and puts forward recommendations on ways to improve women’s legal status. Its size, dictated that only selected issues and legislation could be discussed in any significant detail.
Kenneth Dawe

Nancy SPALDING, The Tanzanian peasant and Ujamaa: a study in contradictions. Third world quarterly, 17 (I), 1996, p.89-108.

The writer of this article pays tribute to Nyerere for his, unusual among African leaders, integrity and devotion to his people, but notes how his policies were failures, leaving the country still “desperately poor despite high levels of aid” .

Asking the question; “How much can or should political agendas and rhetoric be measured against historical reality?”, she employs a ‘culture theory’ from anthropology, constructed by Mary Douglas and based on African social ritual and religion.

This led to the conclusion that the essential characteristics of Tanzanian society are non-centralisation, with the family as the unit of decision, high levels of interaction between communities, especially in trade, and pronounced individualistic cultural tendencies. She believes this culture was “incompatible with Ujamaa and Tanzanian socialism” . However, Nyerere in his essays and speeches never concealed that he had few illusions about the individualism of Tanzanian peasants.

On the one hand, in this article, Spalding asserts that “natural change in response to significant contextual shifts” is different from “engineered change, which is notoriously difficult” and feels that further research on this is necessary. Nyerere, on the other hand, could quite justly respond that changes in human nature and culture, “engineered!’ through the progressive reform of human institutions, has been chiefly responsible for the advancement of civilisation over the course of history. However, such engineering can only succeed when the time and conditions are ripe.

Werner VOIGT, 60 years in Africa: the life of a settler 1926-1986. Published by the Author, 1995. Obtainable from General store Publishing House, 1 Main Street, Burnstown, Ontario, Canada KOJ IGO. CAN$24. 95, plus $10 for shipping and handling.

This book is a rare gem. For anyone with the slightest pang of nostalgia for the Tanganyika of the old days, and even for those who cannot be nostalgic but have a trace of curiosity about what life was really like then in an expatriate community, this book is not to be missed. It is the adventure-packed, gentle and moving personal story of the 60 years the author (who is now 92 and lives in Canada) spent in Africa most of them in Tanganyika/ Tanzania. A short review cannot do justice to the richness of this tale. Werner Voigt grew up in Leipzig and studied tropical agriculture. He went to Tanganyika in 1926 and started work on a coconut/ cotton plantation near Bagamoyo. He nearly died of malaria; one year his crops were totally destroyed by locusts; he panned for gold in the Lupa goldfields; he eventually got his own farm at Mufindi and took his bride on a 1,000 km foot safari for her honeymoon; he became a skilled builder and constructed houses for the groundnut scheme; he imported a lifeboat for his fishing expeditions at Bagamoyo and then converted it into a cabin cruiser. He remembers all the extraordinary stories he heard about exotic personalities he met and recounts them with humour and an original but highly readable and rather elegant writing style. There are a lot of references to ‘the war’ but it is the 1914-1918 war he is writing about Werner Voigt must be good natured. There is hardly a word of criticism of anyone in the book except his neighbours who became rabid Nazis in the 1930’s. His relations with Africans seem to have been excellent. Even the British colonial administration is never attacked – something very unusual among settlers in fact the British are hardly mentioned at all in the first part of the book, as the Germans seemed to be a self-contained group.

During and after the second world war Voigt was interned for eight years. When he tried to buy back his farm which had been taken from him, many of his British neighbours were resentful but later, when he was growing tea at Mufindi, he seems to have become part of a largely British community. The final chapter entitled “The Dream Fades” is sad but very brief. The eightyodd snapshots which illustrate the text are remarkably clear considering that most of them were taken fifty years ago. I am grateful to reader Michael Carr for letting me know that this book exists. Do not start reading it when you are expecting visitors – you might resent their intrusion. Do not start reading it late at night (as I did) – you will miss a night’s sleep! And watch out for the film which will surely follow.


Tyler BIGGS and Pradeep Srivastava, structural aspects of manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa: findings from a seven country enterprise. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1996, ix, 67p. (World Bank discussion paper; no.346; Africa Technical Department series), ISBN 0-8213-3807-2.

Assesses the result of a survey of firms in seven countries, Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and deals with issues of entrepreneurship, labour markets, technological capabilities, financial markets, infrastructure, regulation, and conflict resolution mechanisms.

COTTON, colonialism, and social history in sub-Saharan Africa; edited by AlIen Isaacman & Richard Roberts. London: James Currey, 1995. xi, 314p., ISBN 0-85255-619-5, £14.94 Includes several chapters dealing specifically with German East Africa/ Tanganyika.

Colin CREIGHTON and C.K. Omari, Gender, family and household in Tanzania. London: Avebury, 1995. 327p., £39.90 Peter J. DAVIS, East African: an airline story. Thirty years of the international airline of Africa. 2nd ed. Egham:
Runnymeade Malthouse Publishing, 1996. 485p., ISBN 0 9523047 08 £20

L.G. “Bill” DENNIS, The Lake steamers of Egham: Runnymeade Malthouse Publishing, 1996,
9523047 1 6, £16 40 East 280p. , Africa. ISBN 0

KONIGSBERG – A German East African Raider by Kevin Patience
This new book of 100 pages and 150 illustrations, many never before published, is the result of 25 years of research and tells the complete story from 1906 to the present day of the German cruiser Konigsberg. This ship destroyed the British cruiser HMS Pegasus at Zanzibar in 1914 before seeking shelter, pursued by the Royal Navy, in the Rufiji Delta. Special pre-publication offer to readers of Tanzanian Affairs – £14 inc. p&p Obtainable from the author at P 0 Box 669 Bahrain.

Also obtainable:
Zanzibar and the Shortest War in History: A narrative of events leading up to the destruction of the Sultan’s Palace at Zanzibar on 27th August 1896. 32pp illustrated. £4 inc. p&p. Zanzibar and the Bububu Railway: A history of the two railway systems built on the island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 32pp. Illustrated. £4 inc. p&p.

Zanzibar and the Loss of H.M.S. Pegasus. The story behind the destruction of the British cruiser sunk at Zanzibar by the German raider Konigsberg on 20th September 1914. 48pp. Illust. £5 inc. p&p. Steam in East Africa: A pictorial history of the construction and development of railways and lake services in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zanzibar from 1893 to 1976. 140pp.hb. £15 inc. p&p. Steam Twilight. A nostalgic look back at the last years of steam on Kenya Railways. 64pp. Illustrated. £8 inc. p&p.

Alex DIANG’A, Where native fish face extinction September 21, 1996. Daily News,

A study of Lake Victoria, carried out by World Watch Institute, has shown that as a result of the introduction of exotic, i.e. non-native fish and the commercialisation of fishing activities, 60 per cent of the native fish species are extinct, and the remaining 40 per cent are at risk. From time immemorial the native fish of the lake were harvested by artisan fishermen and processed for local consumption. The harvesting of fish by large, open water vessels, with destructive gear, prior to large scale commercial processing operations for the export. market, has brought about this change.

China has experienced the virtual extinction of fishing on the Yangtze River in 40 years since the 1950s. The World Watch report considers that a major cop-operative effort between the three East African countries could still restore Lake victoria, as well as preserve the less degraded other lakes, Malawi and Tanganyika. will anything effective be actually put into action?

Peter DUMBAYA, Tanganyika under International mandate, 1919- 1946. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1995. no price stated.

Klaus FIEDLER, Christianity and African culture: conservative German Protestant missionaries in Tanzania, 1900-1940 .. Leiden: Brill, 1996. 250p. (Journal of religion in -Africa supplements; 14). NLG125.

The FUTURE of Tanzania. Conference report; deliberations and recommendations, ESAURP (Eastern and Southern African Universities Research Programme), December 1995. Dar es Salaam: Tema Publishers Co., 1996, 81p., ISBN 9987 25 010 6, no price stated.

Includes the summary of a paper by Dr. M. Hodd, a member of Britain-Tanzania society and occasional contributor of reviews.

Seyoum Y. HAMESO, Ethnicity in Africa: towards a positive approach. London: TSC Publications (P.D. Box 12879, London W13 8WS), 1997. viii, 120p., ISBN 0 9530204 0 I, £11. The author’s preface draws attention to the tendency of historians and nationalists, during the first half of this century, to concentrate on state nationalism, and to bypass the significance of more localised expressions of ethnicity in the African continent. This short study includes quite lengthy case studies of selected studies, including Tanzania and its neighbours.

C. George KAHAMA, The Twelve tasks. Dar es Salaam: Tema Publishers Co., [1995?]. 12p., no price stated. Described by the author as being derived from his book, Tanzania into the 21st century, this short statement on his view of the way ahead ends with a punchy acrostic of twelve points for development into the next century. They read: Government: Education: Overseas visitors: Rates of currency exchange; Guidance for the private sector; Exports; Karibu visitors: Alleviation of poverty: Health: Accumulation of savings; Management; Asset restructuring.

Juhani KOPONEN, Development for exploitation: German policies in mainland Tanzania 1884-1914, [Helsinki]: Finnish Historical society, 1995. 49), ISBN 951 710 005 1, £19.95.. 741p., (Studia Historica; Has been described as being the first major survey of the period since the works of John Iliffe and Rainer Tetzlaff twenty five years ago.

Gwynneth LATHAM and Michael Latham,Kilimanjaro tales: the saga of a medical family in Africa. 1995, ix, 220p. London: Radcliffe Press,

A double narrative (Mother and son) about two generations of a medical family in Tanzania, from the 1920s to the 1960s. The larger part of the book is made up of a narrative by Michael Latham, based on his Mother’s journal up to the end of the 1940s.

LIBERALIZED development in Tanzania.; edited by Peter Gibbon. Uppsala: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1995.

Georges LOIRE, Sea people in Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam: Tanzania Publishing House, [1996?]. 170p. Tshs 7,000.

This is an account, by Fr. Georges Loire of to Seamen, of his attempts to organise help return home of “fishermen”, and other sea stowaways who have become stranded far from during the 1980s. the Missions towards the people or home shores

M.H. MULOKOZI, The last of the bards: the story of Habibu Selemani of Tanzania, c.1929-93. Included in Research in African literatures, Spring 1997, published by the Journals Division of Indiana University Press.


I am writing in response to John Budge’s review of Astier Almedom’s article ‘Recent developments in hygiene behaviour research’ which appeared in Tanzanian Affairs No 56. John Budge comments “one cannot help being surprised ….. by the naivete and glibness of experts, who, sitting in a room in London, with no doubt an adjoining toilet, discuss the importance of teaching African children to wash their hands … ”

I was based in Dodoma myself for three years and worked on the WaterAid programme as the Community Involvement and Hygiene Education Co-ordinator. I was responsible for liaising with Astier Almedom whilst she conducted her field trials, and can assure you that she was not discussing the importance of hand washing with other experts but with Tanzanian villagers and government field staff. WaterAid staff and those of our partners, the Tanzanian Government, work extremely hard. They are in the field, visiting and staying in villages, five-six days a week, most weeks of the year. All of the work they do is based on the full participation of the people who will benefit, and they employ a range of community development techniques to ensure the involvement of the whole community (some of which are mentioned in Dr Almedom’s article. The hygiene education component of the work is a prime example. The villagers are involved in assessing and prioritising the hygiene behaviours that should be targeted for change. Sanitation improvements are also discussed with villagers using a sanitation ladder, an exercise which stimulates discussion about the usefulness of making incremental improvements to latrines. This means that villagers can make changes at their own pace. WaterAid carries out hygiene education activities at the same time as providing clean water to a community. Whilst not the same level of service as ‘an adjoining toilet’, clean water is an invaluable resource for hand washing.

I am not writing purely in a professional capacity, but also as a member of the Britain-Tanzania Society since 1989. May I add that I find ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ an essential lifeline to events in Tanzania.
Julie Jarman
Advocacy Manager, WaterAid

Tanzanian Affairs’s review of my paper on recent developments in hygiene behaviour research was brought to my attention by Ms Julie Jarman of WaterAid with whom I had collaborated in 1994.

My paper describes the development of a field handbook ‘Hygiene Evaluation Procedure’ which has been published by the International Foundation for Developing Countries (INFDC), Boston, 1996. Among the field studies which contributed to the handbook was the Dodoma Hygiene Evaluation Study. The results of that study are mentioned in my paper as examples of the value of involving rural women and children in discussions of health and hygiene as part of good planning and implementation of hygiene education projects. Looking at John Budge’s ‘review’ I am not sure that he has read my paper. This is the first task of any reviewer, to actually read and then comment. As it is I do not know which experts ‘sitting in London’ he is referring to. As an African woman with young children, I have no problems in emphasising the need to wash hands at ‘critical times’ with African children (or any other children) because it is a simple and effective way to prevent diarrhoeal disease which claims the lives of too many of our children. Where clean water is not available WaterAid and other agencies try to make it available as much as possible.

Your readers may be interested to know that the hygiene evaluation procedures handbook is already being used by WaterAid and its partners in the field as part of its ‘good practice’ package. In addition, UNICEF is disseminating it more widely by funding a French and Spanish translation of it.
Dr. Astier M Almedom
Medical Anthropologist

…… We have been invited by the Anglican Church, Diocese of Central Tanzania, to work on the language development, literacy and Bible translation project for the Langi (also known as kiRangi) language … .if any of your readers knows something about the Langi, be it from own experience or from other people’s writings we would be only too happy to hear from them …. Oliver and Dorothea Stegen, P 0 Box 1369, Dodoma

I am writing to ask whether there is anyone out there who knows anything at all about ‘Dynamite Dan’ – one of East Africa’s most colourful personalities. There may be a reader of ‘Tanzanian Affairs’ who remembers him or a least can add to my very meagre but vividly clear memory of him. I know he was a big game hunter in Tanganyika after the first World War. I was told he was a remittance man, that he came from a ‘good’ family, had been educated at Winchester College and that his surname was Eldridge. I was six years old at the time and clearly remember Dan leading his game scouts and porters to Songea, where my father was then D. O. The procession was enormous, with men, sometimes two to a tusk, carrying a vast amount of ivory which was taken to the Boma for storage. Dynamite Dan was a wiry weather beaten man with a huge felt hat, a bushjacket with many pockets and a sort of khaki kilt which came to the top of his snake-crusher boots. He was as fascinated by the small fair haired child as she was by him. My parents found him an interesting guest though my father complained that his stock of sundowner whisky was depleted very rapidly. I can’t remember if they ever caught any escaping would-be German spies or what had happened to all that ivory or even what became of Dan but I’d love to find out.
Mrs Fiona Marsland
contact editor for contact details


This appeared in TA Issue 57 (1 May 1997) Stupid wordpress doesn’t allow dates pre 1960 any more ?

Ahead of all other stories in the ‘Tanganyika Standard’ during the first part of 1947 were those concerned with the ‘Groundnut Scheme’ which ended in disaster several years later. These are some of the stories:

January 25, 1947: The first experts from the United Africa Company (UAC), the company selected by the British government to operate the groundnut scheme, have arrived in Dar es Salaam. UAC Managing Director Mr F Samuel said “I believe that in a hundred years’ time the historians of the development of Africa will regard the beginning of this scheme as marking the critical date in the history of agricultural progress in tropical Africa. The initial stage will be the development of 150,000 acres of land mostly near Mpwapwa ….. speed is of the essence because of the world-wide shortage of fats”.

February 8, 1947: The biggest aeroplane ever to land at Dar es Salaam airport arrived yesterday carrying a party of groundnut experts. The British government has issued a White Paper saying that ‘this scheme is agriculturally sound; subject to reasonable assumptions, it involves no unjustifiable financial risk …… a production of 600,000 tons of groundnuts per annum can be expected by 1950:

April 8, 1947: The Dar es Salaam wharf was busier than ever yesterday when the first of over 500 heavy tractors for the groundnut scheme were off-loaded; they were still caked in mud from other lands (for they are not new); some have come from as far away as the Philippines …..

April 12, 1947: A lonely spot on the far south coast of Tanganyika, whose only claim to fame is that it was once filmed as the background for the film ‘Blue Lagoon’ will shortly become ‘Port Peanut’. This follows a recommendation that Mto Mtwara, a natural harbour on the Mikindani Bay should be the site of the new port to handle groundnut traffic. The total cost of railway and port will be £3 million – four times the original estimate.