Church and State in Tanzania: Aspects of Changing Relationships, 1961-1994

By Frieder Ludwig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE

THE ARUSHA DECLARATION AND
ITS IMMEDIATE EFFECTS

The declaration of Arusha, officially called “The declaration of Arusha and the policy of TANU in regard to socialism and selfreliance” was passed by the national executive committee of TANU on the 5th of February 1967 in the north Tanzanian city of Arusha as the basic programme of the party. This declaration outlined the objectives and values of the party, concentrating mainly on the economic and political development of Tanzania. The agricultural structure of the country, its underdevelopment and the danger of dependency on external factors as well as internal capitalism, were to be corrected. The previous course which aimed to develop the cities and industries was considered to be mistaken. The declaration called on Tanzanians to work hard, so that the country could develop out of its own strength. The Swahili concept of “Kujitegemea” which can be translated in English as “self reliance” formed a central principle of the programme which was orientated towards socialist politics. The leaders of TANU were bound to follow a strict code of conduct which forbade participation in “capitalistic and feudalistic” enterprises.

The Arusha declaration, which was explained and complemented by Nyerere's papers Education for Self-Reliance and Socialism and Rural Development heralded a new era not just for Tanzania but for the whole of independent sub-Saharan Africa. The enthusiasm of the first period—symbolised for example by the charismatic Ghanaian head of state, Kwame Nkrumah, whose government soon showed dictatorial tendencies—had been replaced by a widespread disillusionment, but now Tanzania seemed to show a new way. A. Hastings commented: “The epoch of Nkrumah as the continent's prime guru was over and that of Nyerere had begun: far less flamboyant than Nkrumah, less ambitious in continental terms, more aware of the weakness of his own position, more realistically down to earth of the village where most Africans live and die.”2

1 Bolh papers are published in: J.K. Nyerere, Freedom and Socialism (Oxford, 1968).

2 A. Hastings, A History of African Christianity 1950–l975 (Cambridge, 1979), p.
184.

-93-

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