Ujamaa at the Bookfair

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Ramalama
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Sep 25 2014 15:33
Ujamaa at the Bookfair

Ujamaa - the hidden story of Tanzania's socialist villages, 2-3pm in the Mason Lecture Theatre at this years bookfair.

lou.rinaldi
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Sep 27 2014 17:49

I'm not in Africa, so wouldn't be able to go to this event, however I've done some work in school around various conceptions of African socialism(s) and am generally interested in it. Do you know what the synopsis of this talk is? What is the "hidden story"? I assume since this is at an anarchist event it'll be something negative regarding the Tanzanian experience. Also, will this be recorded to view or listen to later?

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Red Marriott
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Sep 27 2014 21:05
Quote:
I'm not in Africa, so wouldn't be able to go to this event

It's in London UK; http://anarchistbookfair.org.uk/

lou.rinaldi
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Sep 27 2014 21:42

Ah, well the OP just said "the bookfair" and posted in the Africa forum so I assumed this was taking place on the continent.

Anyways, I'm not in the UK, so I wouldn't be able to go to this event.

Ramalama
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Sep 28 2014 11:04

Sorry about that, I should have specified it was in London. The full title of the meeting is "Pre-publication of book: Ujamaa - the Hidden Story of Tanzania's Socialist Villages".From what I've read of the introduction to the talk it seems pretty positive.Some of the bookfair talks are recorded, I'll try and find out.

Mark.
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Sep 28 2014 16:05

In that case I'll search out something negative - there's plenty to go at.

Edit: for example see this NGOish piece on forced villagisation:
http://www.mokoro.co.uk/files/13/file/lria/villagisation_experiences_eth_moz_tanz.pdf

Quote:
Force, or the threat of force, was used liberally against those who would not go voluntarily, and houses were destroyed to make sure that peasants did not move back into their old homes (Raikes 1975: 50). "The ends of villagisation justified the means" (Hyden 1980: 144). Hill (1979), writing on Operation Dodoma, and De Vries and Fortmann (1979), writing on Operation Sogeza in Iringa, note poor planning in terms of village location and the lack of services; "many people objected not so much to the move as to the way it was done" (De Vries and Fortmann 1979: 130). Some people were forced to move their houses just 50 feet. In the short term, Operation Sogeza in Iringa generated both a lot of problems and an increased demand for government services (De Vries and Fortmann 1979: 134). Usually, people were left with their belongings at the new sites and told to construct houses for themselves (Abrahams 1985: 7). In many areas of Tanzania, the distance to fields from the new villages posed great problems to farmers, as it did in Ethiopia and Mozambique, and villagisation was often implemented irrespective of the consequences for agriculture, for example, situating villages near main roads (Hyden 1980). Agricultural production suffered; the risk of soil exhaustion grew. The practice of shifting cultivation became impossible. Administrative convenience, not ecological considerations, governed the selection of sites, and the population often exceeded carrying capacity of the land...

[...]

However, in one frequently cited case, 'working together' was successful - but seen as a threat by TANU. The Ruvuma Development Association (RDA) was founded in 1960 and was a flourishing and successful cooperative. It was dissolved with its assets confiscated in 1969 (Maghimbi 1995). It is difficult to see how the state could feel threatened by an association like the RDA, but "some have suggested that it was too committed to egalitarian and cooperative ideals. . .too small" (Lappé and Beccar-Varela 1980: 99). Although it put into practice Nyerere's espoused goals, "its refusal to fit into the centralised scheme of the party was fatal" ...

Mark.
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Sep 28 2014 16:07

.

Caiman del Barrio
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Sep 28 2014 20:15
Sam Mbah in African Anarchism wrote:
In the early 1970s, Gavin Williams wror.e a shorr but very interesting article called "Taking the Part of the Peasants," in which he compared Tanzanian and Nigerian government policies. He found that in both r.ases the governments considered the pea.o;an t<; the problem rather than the solution to raising agricultural prorhtetivily. Despite the fact that the one government called ito;;elf socialisl while the other \Vas avowedly capitalist, both governments focused on outside, particularly foreign, expertise and technology to develop agriculture, and ignored the peasants themselves. The Ujamaa model failed because it degenerated into state control over the peasant<>. Through its bureaucrats and technical assistants, the state started to dictalc to the peasants what to do and what not to do, what to produce and what not to produce. Soon, too, the \Vorld Bank and other aid donors hijacked the program. The gov- ernment/World Bank/foreign aid strategy was to establish national production targets for each food crop, including export crops such as cotton, coffee, cashew nuts, tea, sisal, and tobacco. The next step was to set regional targets for the crops grmvn best in each region-a type of regional di\~sion of labor. The third step was to communicate these goals lO v:illages through the state apparatus. Whatever the peasants produced was sold to the authorities, and the government controlled the prices. In this way, the state squeezed the peasants for as mur.h
surplus as possible. It would have been simply unthinkable to imagine (hat t:jamaa, in its original, undiluted form, would have succeeded as part of a state system. To that extent, its failure was logical and inevitable

Nevertheless, this looks interesting and I may even trek up the Bookfair to check it out. smile

Terry
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Sep 29 2014 10:13

There is a section on this topic in Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott. Havn't read it though.