The purpose of this research paper is to review the process of integration of the nation of Tanzania into the world socio-economic system. In addition, there will be an evaluation of the affects of Tanzania of this integration.
The United Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 from the old British colonial possessions, Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika was located in East Africa and extended form Lake Victoria in the north to Kenya in the south over more than 350,000 square miles. Zanzibar consisted of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba which are located some 22 miles off the coast of Tanganyika. The combined area of the two islands is just a little over 1,000 square miles.
Tanganyika actually received independence from Britain in 1961. One year later a republican form of government was adopted. Zanzibar became an independent nation some two years later and was governed by a sultan who was descended from the rulers of Oman. This government was overthrown in 1964. The People’s Republic of Zanzibar was established to replace it. The Articles of Union between Zanzibar and Tanganyika were signed the same year and the name Tanzania adopted for the new nation.
The present head of government is Julius K. Nyerere who founded the African National Union (TANO) in 1954. This party became the major force behind the independence movement.
Except for the coastal belt Tanzania is a broad plateau over 1,000 feet in altitude out by mountains and lakes of the great African Rift Valley. The country contains the highest point in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, more than 19,000 feet high, and the second lowest point in the world, Lake Tanganyika whose greatest depth, 4708 feet is more than 2,100 feet below sea level.
Much of the country is covered with dry steppe or with wooded brushland and grassland which harbors the tsetse fly, bearer of the dreaded typanosomes which causes nagana in cattle and sleeping sickness in man. Health is a major problem in Tanzania where 40 percent of the children never reach adulthood.
As an agricultural nation Tanzania is handicapped by its lack of productivity. Of the nearly 35 percent of the land which can be cultivated only 10 percent is under cultivation at any given time. Famine remains a regular occurrence and a major problem of the state. Yet 95 percent of the people must live directly from what they produce on the land. In 1966, only slightly more than 3 percent of the population could be classified as wage earners and of these more than half have to grow their own food or have access to what is grown by other family members.
Around Mounts Kilimanjaro and Meru and Lake Victoria such cash crops as coffee and cotton have been developed. Also in the southern highlands where tobacco, tea and pyrethrum, which is used as a derivative for both insect repellent and medicine, there is a thriving region of economic development. Agricultural activity is the most important factor in the national economy which has developed primarily through the expansion of cash crops for export. Outside the land there are few natural resources. Manufacturing is concentrated in food processing both for internal consumption and export: “The biggest thing in Tanzania . . . is the social experiment.”
The most important example of this was the first of three projected five-year plans which was initiated in 1964. The people were told that they would be expected to contribute on the firm if they did not have other needed skills. In an attempt to forestall increases in urban development of unemployment, periodic round-ups of persons would be made. Unemployed non-citizens were deported and unemployed citizens were sent back to the region of their origin. In 1967, President Nyerere made what has come to be known as the Arusha Declaration.
The Arusha Declaration was a document of signif-
icance to Tanzania, as indeed all of Africa . . .
It should be seen:
. . . as a logical instrument designed to prevent
politicians from using their political power and
position from further aggravating the countries
problems, particularly the exploitation of the
under-privileged members of the society.
The tasks outlined in the Declaration were seen as the continued modernization of agriculture and the expansion of industry wherever practical to create income and to generate wage-paying jobs, education for particular purposes and the raising of rural income and the standard of living. Success initially was spotty. But the ambitions are reasonable and inhibited only by the extremely low position of Tanzania on the development scale. GNP now is only $84 per year.
Today, Tanzania faces economic disaster. And as Time magazine put it: “At least some of Tanzania’s current problems stem from Nyerere’s dogged adherence to doctrinaire social-
ism . . .” This primarily in the farming area where 85% of the 14 million Tanzanians live, and essentially in the socialistic system of cooperative villages called Ujamaa.
Ujamaa is opposed to both capitalism and doctrinaire socialism. The application is to agriculture in village collectives where the farming operations for each area are organized at the village level as against individual ownership as is common in the western world on the Soviet collective state operated factory farms.
Ujamaa has seemingly failed, at least up to now. Originally it was established on a voluntary basis. By 1974, no fewer than 3 million people were moved from their own admittedly inefficient individual plots to communal villages. Some of these were voluntary but many were moved through coercion. The result is that farm production has actually fallen which is particularly distressing at a time when Tanzania needs increased output. In the past two years, the country has been ravished by drought and flood. The specter which has haunted Tanzanians for year, hunger and starvation, is ever more present.
Thousands of small land holders have been forced off of their land and been made to move into unfinished villages with roofless homes and no running water or other conveniences:
. . . they, (those Tanzanians who have been
successful at cultivating the land) stand to
experience much smaller benefits living
collectively than they are accustomed to as
Because the government pays low prices for basic agricultural commodities, farmers in 1974 alone smuggled more than $50 million in sisal, cattle, cotton, corn and cashew nuts across the border into neighboring Kenya where prices were higher. This action has hurt Tanzania in its most vulnerable position, its lack of foreign currency exchange. In one year’s time the currency reserves shrank from $100 million in 1974 to just $11 million one year later.
With the government unable to maintain subsidies, prices on basic food stuffs have increased some 80 percent. Although Tanzania has millions of acres of potentially arable land, the inefficiency of the collectivized agricultural system, combined with drought and smuggling has made it necessary for the country to import some 40 percent of its food needs.
To control the declining foreign exchange credits in the country Nyerere has banned liquor and tobacco imports, severely restricted the importation of automobiles and announced a gas rationing plan.
Though inflation rates vary from country to country, there is a general consensus of opinion that there is a growing international economic interdependence. This is particularly true in the underdeveloped countries where their success or failure is so dependent upon the needs of the richer nations, “Inflation reduces the level of investment and distorts what investment remains.”
Nowhere is thus more true than in Tanzania where some 14 million people are essentially tied to an agricultural existence both to feed themselves and to provide export in order to create cash to buy the things the nation needs to increase development. And nowhere have the world international conditions of inflation been more severe than Tanzania where the hardships of OPEC oil price increases of more than 400 percent in five years combined with crop failures because of drought and dislocations resulting from Ujamaa which has reduced production and the countries’ standard of living had a more disheartening affect.
The onset of economic crisis in the Third World is not nearly as visible in aggregate as it is in the decline and collapse of some of the individual developing state. The former is certainly true with Tanzania which must reverse this trend or otherwise collapse is inevitable:
. . . for Tanzania, the crisis may provide its
own short-term and long-term solution: a cut in
consumer imports, with the savings thereby gen-
erated being channeled to the agricultural invest-
ments, especially of the sort which will quickly
yield increased output.
The problems are not just in slower growth but increased consumption requirements both from more mouths to feed but also from exposure to greater expectations.
In Tanzania, where as we mentioned previously GNP was but $84 in 1975, this was actually a step backwards from a 1972 figure of $103. Compare this was with the United States at some $5,550 and some idea of the real poverty in Tanzania is readily apparent. Yet, despite this poverty Tanzania is still one of the Third World’s best governed and politically most stable countries. Its plans for economic development are well articulated. From 1964 to 1972, the Tanzanian GNP underwent a steady growth in excess of 5 percent per annum. The disasters of the past two years are not the result of previous poor internal planning. Food production during the same period increased some 40 percent, one of the best growth records among all the developing countries. Furthermore, Tanzania has distributed the benefits of this growth more equitably than any other Third World country. This has been due primarily of a concern for the welfare of the many rather than that just for the few.
During the 1960’s, Tanzanian food imports averaged about $20 million a year. There was a jump in 1972 and 3 to approximately $40 million each year, and the record became disastrous in the first half of 1974 where for the six months of the first half of the year imports were a staggering $75 million. This is a stunning change. Fuel oil requirements due primarily to OPEC price increases had reached in the first half of 1974 some $70 million from $27 million for the whole year just four years earlier.
In 1969, food and oil accounted for about 20 percent of Tanzania’s import expenses by 1974 they were representing nearly double that total. Total imports of all categories have gone up an unfortunate 200 percent during the same four year period.
On the other hand, exports have not increased at anything like the same rate of growth. In 1969, the nation had a favorable trade balance of $12 million, but by 1974 this figure had reversed to a negative balance of some $300 million.
The problems of Tanzania are compounded throughout the world of developing nations. They are trapped in a general rise in inflation that affects them much more than it does the developing nations. The only answer seems to lie in continuing development along the lines advocated by Nyerere but with massive support from the developed nations to enable Tanzania and others of the Third World to sustain themselves to a point of equilibrium.
Only those nations with resources whose prices can be controlled and world-wide demand from the developed nations is steady can expect to sustain a normalized growth. The effects otherwise can only be continuous economic disadvantage unfavorable to the developing nation and collapse: “. . . increasing abundance of goods as production (rises) which (help) to substantially slow down the rise of prices.”
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I. M. Kimambo and A. U. Temu, A History of Tanzania (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1969), p. 256. ↑
John Dumoga, Africa Between East and West (Chester Springs, PA: Dufour, 1969), p. 22. ↑
Lee Griggs, “Ujamaa’s Bitter Harvest,” Time, January 27, 1975, p. 45. ↑
Nadine Gordimer, “Tanzania,” Atlantic, May, 1973, p. 16. ↑
Charles P. Kindleberger, Economic Development (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965), n.p. ↑
Dudley Jackson, “Caught in the Tide of Crisis,” Nation, Dec. 14, 1974, p. 616. ↑
P. T. Ellsworth, The International Economy (New York: Macmillan and Company, 1964), n.p. ↑