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Structural Adjustment and the Fragile Nation: the Demise of Social Unity in Tanzania

  • Paul J. Kaiser

Tanzania is one of the few African countries that has remained relatively calm since independence. However, its long history of ethnic, racial, and religious cohesion has begun to fray as the Government attempts to reform its ailing economy in accordance with World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionalities. This process offers an opportunity to explore the degree to which there is a causal link between liberal economic reform and social unity. This is especially relevant as many African régimes are implementing similar policy prescriptions in the form of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), the terms of which often depend on the minimal financial leverage that African negotiators have vis-à-vis the advanced industrial countries of the North.1 York Bradshaw and Zwelakhe Tshandu have argued that ‘the burgeoning debt crisis may represent the “new dependency” for many African countries which cannot acquire capital from other sources besides the IMF and the World Bank.’

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1 The term ‘North’ refers throughout this article to the advanced industrialised countries, while ‘South’ refers to ‘developing’, ‘less-developed’, or third-world countries.

2 Bradshaw, York W. and Tshandu, Zwelakhe, ‘Foreign Capital Penetration, State Intervention, and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa’, in International Studies Quarterly (Guildford), 34, 2, 06 1990, p. 231.

3 van de Walle, Nicolas, ‘Review Essay: adjustment alternatives and alternatives to adjustment’, in African Studies Review (Atlanta), 37, 3, 12 1994, pp. 103–17. See also, Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Steve and Levin, Jorgen, ‘Adjustment and Poverty: a review of the African experience’, in African Development Review (Abidjan), 6, 2, 12 1994, pp. 139.

4 Ravenhill, John, ‘Adjustment with Growth: a fragile consensus’, in The Journal of Modern African Studies (Cambridge), 26 2, 06 1988, pp. 179210.

5 Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, van der Hoeven, Rolph, and Mkandawire, Thandika (eds.), Africa's Recovery in the 1990s: from stagnation and adjustment to human development (Basingstoke and New York, 1993).

6 Schatz, Sayre P., ‘Structural Adjustment in Africa: a failing grade so far’, in The Journal of Modern African Studies, 32, 4, 12 1994, p. 692.

7 Williams, Maurice, ‘The Role of Private Enterprise in Human Centered Development’, in Development (Rome), 2, 1994, p. 11.

8 Adekanye, J. 'Bayo, ‘Structural Adjustment, Democratization and Rising Ethic Tensions in Africa’, in Development and Change (London), 26, 2, 04 1995, pp. 355–74. According to Bienen, Henry and Gersovitz, Mark, ‘Consumer Subsidy Cuts, Violence, and Political Stability’, in Comparative Politics (New York), 19, 1, 10 1986, p. 25, ‘subsidy cuts may provoke discontent, but they do not appear to be more fundamental as a cause of instability than many other shortrun factors which are at work leading to social and political instability, not to say long-run trends in society’.

9 Wagao, Jumanne H., ‘Adjustment Policies in Tanzania, 1981–1989: the impact on growth, structure and human welfare’, in Van der Hoeven, Cornia, and Mkandawire, (eds.), op. cit. pp. 93115.

10 Tanganyika African National Union, The Arusha Declaration and TANU's Policy on Socialism and Self-Reliance (Dar es Salaam, 1967).

11 Ibid. p. 11.

12 Ministry of National Education, The Ministry of National Education Combined Annual Report for the Years 1970–1975 (Dar es Salaam, 1983), p. 2.

13 See Khalid, Abdallah, The Liberation of Swahili from European Appropriation (Nairobi, 1977), for more on this perspective as applied to Kenya.

14 Active participants in this debate have included Justinian Rweyemamu and Issa Shivji from Tanzania, Walter Rodney and Clive Thomas from Guyana, and Lionel Cliffe, John Saul, and Goran Hyden from the North. See Kenyanchui, Simon S. S., ‘Scholars' Conflicting Interpretations of Tanzanian Ujamaa: a review article’, in African Journal of Sociology (Nairobi), 3, 1, 05 1989, pp. 8493.

15 Rasmussen, Lissi, Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa: the cases of Northern Nigeria and Tanzania compared (London, 1993), p. 109.

16 Little attention was paid to the rôle of ujamma in mitigating ethnic tensions in Unesco, Two Studies on Ethnic Group Relations in Africa: Senegal and the United Republic of Tanzania (Paris, 1974).

17 Wagao, loc. cit. p. 99.

18 Change (Dar es Salaam), January 1993, p. 5.

19 Ibid. June-July 1994, p. 3.

20 Ibid.

21 Africa Confidential (London), 36, 15, 21 July 1995.

22 Uhuru (Dar es Salaam), 4 September 1993, and Wakati ni Huu (Dar es Salaam), 7–13 September 1993.

23 Research notes, Bruce Heilman, Bloomington, Indiana.

24 Mfanyakazi (Dar es Salaam), 25 June 1994.

25 See Shivji, Issa G., Tanzania: the legal foundations of the Union (Dar es Salaam, 1990), and Jumbe, Abdou, The Partner-ship - Tanganyika-Zanzibar Union: 30 turbulent years (Dar es Salaam, 1994).

26 Inter-Press Service, ‘Tanzania-Politics: Nyerere calls for resignation’, E-mail, 2 November 1994. Also, Barkan, Joel D., ‘Divergence and Convergence in Kenya and Tanzania: pressures for reform’, in Barkan, (ed.), Beyond Capitalism vs. Socialism in Kenya and Tanzania (Boulder and London, 1994), p. 34.

27 Mtikila, Christopher, Letter to the United Nations, E-mail, 15 December 1994.

28 This incident was widely reported in Kenya and Tanzania during April and May 1993.

29 Tripp, Aili Mari, ‘Local Organizations, Participation, and the State in Urban Tanzania’, in Hyden, Goran and Bratton, Michael (eds.), Government and Politics in Africa (Boulder and London, 1992), p. 238.

30 See Daily News (Dar es Salaam), 18, 22, and 25 09 1995, for reports of political violence in the country.

31 According to Singh, Gurnam, ‘Modernisation, Ethnic Upsurge and Conflict in the World’, in International Journal of Group Tensions (New York), 24, 4, Winter 1994, p. 406, ‘The decline of the ideology of territorial nation-state created a sort of vacuity wherein ethnicity is fast emerging as the most solid basis for political formation and its sustenance’.

32 Africa Confidential, 36, 23–24, 17 11 and 1 12 1995.

33 The Express (Dares Salaam), 26–28 10 1995, p. 8.

34 On 24 October 1995, the CUF cited ‘a chain of irregularities that have surfaced in the electoral process’, and the following day the CCM issued a formal complaint ‘against the chain of irregularities done during the electroal process [which]… led to a lot of confusion where by causing the elections not to be free and fair’. On 27 October 1995, a press release by the Netherlands Embassy ‘on behalf of the Heads of Mission of seventeen bilateral donor agencies’, noted ‘discrepancies in the compliation of the votes for the Presidency’.

35 Africa Confidential, 36, 24, 1 12 1995, p. 4.

36 See Sheriff, Abdul and Ferguson, Ed (eds.), Zanzibar Under Colonial Rule (London, 1991), passim.

37 Agence France Presse, E-mail, 14 March 1995.

38 Fukayama, Francis, The End of History and the Last Man (New York, 1992).

39 Adekanye, loc. cit. p. 367.

* Assistant Professor of Political Science, Mississippi State University, Mississippi.

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