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       Chapter I: The Capital in its Regional and National Setting

Political History


On the 7th of July 1954 the political party TANU, the Tanganyika African National Union, was born under the leadership of Julius K. Nyerere. The party was to lay the basis for the brand of African socialism which typifies Tanzania, in the development of a 'creed' of equality and the use of the country's resources for all.

The colonial powers brought communications, transportation and a centralization of authority and administration that helped unite the country, but they did not contribute much to the wellbeing of the vast majority of the local people. To the peasant on his land, life had changed little; his understanding of his ability to steer his own destiny, through belonging to a nation, was nonexistent. It was this understanding that TANU helped to develop in the people and it was this understanding that became the foundation for Tanzania's new political order and nation building; the concept that the people themselves — proud of being Africans — could control their destiny.

On the 9th of December 1961, under TANU leadership, Tanganyika became an independent nation with Dr. Nyerere as Prime Minister. In 1962 it became a republic, with Dr. Nyerere as President, within the British Commonwealth.

The island of Zanzibar, previously a British protectorate, was granted independence under the ruling Arab Sultan in 1963. Following a revolution and the overthrow of the Sultan, the island became the People's Republic of Zanzibar under the chairmanship of Sheik Abeid Karume in January, 1964. Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania in April, 1964.

As Africa 73 pointed out, "The history of modern Tanzania is largely the history of its remarkable leader, Julius Nyerere and his party, TANU, the Tanganyika African National Union. Nyerere has succeeded in getting Tanzanians to accept his own brand of socialism, one of the most genuinely egalitarian attempted anywhere, which embraces elements of both Marxism and Christianity and has the improvement of the lives of the peasant farmers as its main priority."

The Arusha Declaration, adopted by TANU in January 1967 is a milestone in Tanzania's political history. It clearly spells out the principal philosophies and policies of TANU and, therefore, of the Government of Tanzania. It establishes that Socialism and Self-Reliance are the foundations for all national development policies.

Rural development in general, and agricultural development in particular, are to be the first priorities. Greater agricultural production, of food as well as of cash crops suitable for export, offers the only opportunity to increase exports and thereby to earn foreign exchange, in a country with very limited financial and industrial resources. More and better agricultural production can be achieved by hard work on the part of each farmer, with a minimum of financial investment. Urban and industrial development, on the other hand, almost inevitably require the substantial investment of scarce foreign currency resources and should, therefore, only occur as one of the means toward rural and agricultural development; in other words, they are to provide the institutional and industrial infrastructure which will give the peasants better opportunities to become more productive.

As the Arusha Declaration states, "the development of a country is brought about by people, not by money," and "...the people and their hard work (especially in agriculture) are the foundation of development..."

The Arusha Declaration is considered to be essential to understand the framework within which the National Capital should be designed and built. As such, it has been included in total in this Master Plan Report as Appendix A.

The strength of the TANU movement has been the mobilization of the common people of Tanzania to achieve development for themselves and by themselves. Perhaps the most concrete example of this has been the Ujamaa (family) village programme, a system of developing cooperative villages based on the African concept of the extended family. Movement to the villages was voluntary. The concept was extremely popular at its inception, and by mid-1975, it was estimated that 70% of the mainland population lived in Ujamaa villages.

Tanzania's population is still 95% rural and the emphasis of the government is the continued strengthening of the rural sector of the economy. In an effort to contribute to rural development, Tanzania has recently (1972) delegated much of the power of central government to the regional administrations. The objects are to decentralize government, disperse development throughout the country in order to increase the benefits to all, particularly to the vast majority of the rural population, to decrease the influence of Dar es Salaam, the old commercial and administrative capital, and to afford the widest participation of the people in the development of their country.

It is within this context, that the move to a new Capital in Dodoma must be seen. The Capital is to be primarily a catalyst for the development, not only of central Tanzania, but, because of its location and ease of communications with all parts of the country, of the country as a whole.

Idealism has been a feature of Tanzania's short history as a state. Tanzania's concrete achievements have been the result of ideas, which have caught the imagination of the people. In this, the country has had an impact on world affairs, that far outweighs its position as one of the world's less developed countries in terms of material wealth. The power of the TANU creed and the Arusha Declaration in influencing development, have had an enormous impact on the country. These principles should guide the building of the Capital as an integral part of developing the country's future.

TANU is the only political party on the Tanzanian mainland and, as such, determines the broad lines of Government policy, as does the Afro-Shirazi party on Zanzibar. Most members of the National Assembly are elected to office and all are members of the two politicai parties. TANU is organized in different types of units — the Cell, the Branch, the District, the Region and the Nation. Each of these units, covers a specific geographic area and each, except the Cell, has a committee structure to determine and implement the Party's Policies.

The Cell is the smallest unit, at the grass-roots level. It consists of the people living in a group of ten houses, under a Cell leader, who is a TANU member. The 10-house Cell is designed so that the people will meet and know each other and will share the responsibility of resolving each other's problems and of ensuring the implementation of the policies of Socialism and Self-Reliance in their daily lives.1

In the words of the Arusha Declaration, the national development policies must emphasize:

Subsequent TANU documents such as Education for Self Reliance, Socialism and Rural Development, The Party Guidelines (Mwongozo), and Party Policy on Agricultural Production have served to elaborate and strengthen the socialist development policies and objectives of Tanzania.

'See Technical Supplement No, 4, City Form and Content,Chapter iV.C, for an outline of how the Cell concept shouldbe expressed in physical housing planning and design.

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Copyright: Project Planning Associates Limited, Toronto, Canada, directed by Mr. Macklin Hancock and recipient "The Government of Tanzania, Capital Development Authority under the auspices of Mr. George Kahama.".