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In this essay, my focus will be on Julius Nyerere and his approach to the idea of African socialism. Julius Kambarage Nyerere was born on the 13thof April, 1922 in Butiama in then Tanganyika (Tanzania). As President of the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964; he had a difficult course to steer. He believed that the new states of Africa were one and that they faced the problem of rapid economic development and the creation of new ideas based on African experience and heritage. How to achieve these objectives according Nyerere was the greatest challenge of African leaders.

He came to the conclusion that socialism was the solution to the socio-political problems faced by African states and Tanzania in particular. He believed that development is liberation from the shackles of colonialism and that it was two ways, personal and social. Personal in the sense that the individual must develop himself, hence self-reliance. The foundation of Nyerere’s political philosophy was the principle of Ujamaa, derived from the Swahili word for extended family or ‘Family hood’, which was first articulated by Nyerere at Arusha popularly termed as ‘The Declaration of Arusha’ on the 5th of February,1967.

Here the term socialism was taken to mean basically ‘an attitude of mind’. To him Ujamaa was an expression of the natural African condition and that Africans need not be converted to socialism than we were taught democracy. He believed that Ujamaa was the natural path for the emancipated new African state to follow, a path that will ensure development because it is the African way of life, and the content of his mental disposition. The socialism of Nyerere laid stress on equal opportunities for all and the need to reduce social inequities.

As he stated: ‘The objective of socialism is to build a society in which all members have equal rights and opportunities; one in which all can live in peace with their neighbours without suffering or imposing injustice, being exploited; and one in which all have a gradually increasing basic level of material welfare before any individual lives in luxury’. By this he meant that the African society was poor before colonialism. There were no distinctions between rich and poor.

Wealth was shared equally according to our African values and wealth was not a deciding factor but what was important was the use to which it was put. In addition to raising the standard of living, he believed that socialism should aim at developing a particular quality of life which is people centered. It is only through the development of people rather than things such as roads, buildings and agricultural production that people’s true freedom and human dignity can be preserved. He said: ‘A new road extends a man’s freedom only if he travels upon it’.

Here Nyerere was talking about the fact that socialism was supposed to be some kind of service to mankind regardless of race, color, size, ability or skill, which he also extended to the participation of government, where development required the participation of the people in the planning and decision making process pertaining to their own development. He believed that exploitation is based on private ownership of the means of production by individuals which are evident in capitalist system of government, where there is a continual conflict between man and man.

In a nutshell, Nyerere conceived of development in terms of a more equitable distribution of wealth and the absence of exploitation. He saw development also as not confined exclusively to increasing economic production and productivity but includes all round development of the people in terms of their education, health, housing, childcare and the like and above all the achievement of a particular quality of life which is people centered.

In the area of achieving self-reliance by African states particularly Tanzania, Nyerere developed an educational philosophy which could be approached under two main headings; Education for Self-reliance and Adult education. His interest in Self-reliance shares a great deal with Gandhi’s approach to ‘Basic Education’. There was a strong concern to counteract the colonialists’ assumptions and practices of the dominant, formal means of education, which he saw as enslaving and oriented towards ‘western’ interest and norms.

It was designed to transmit the values of the colonizing power and to train individuals for the service of the colonial state. It induced attitudes of subservience, human inequality and individualism, and emphasized white-collar skills. The context of colonial education was largely alien and the entire system was organized by racial segregation. For Nyerere who was once a teacher himself, he believed that education had to work for the common good, foster co-operation and promote equality.

He asserted that the school curriculum should go hand in hand with de-emphasizing the import of formal examinations which merely assesses a person’s ability to learn facts. He said it was necessary for African states to abandon examinations that are geared towards an ‘international standard’ regardless of the country’s particular problems and needs. It should contribute to the integration of theory with practice, as well as the integration of mental with manual labour.

Management Question

Read the above case study and answer the following Questions:

1. Explain the Autonomous Decision Making that can be taken by managers in business organizations (150-200 words) 2 Marks
2. What are the reasons that many countries around the world are gradually shifting towards sustainable energy options? (150-200 words) 2 Marks
3. Elaborate the global agenda and technological challenges for creating a more sustainable environment. (150-200 words) 2 Marks
4. Why energy decision-making functions are occurred at various stakeholder levels, and how the decisions made by one stakeholder may affect others in the total energy system? (150-200 words) 2 Marks
5. What you have learned from this study and how it is beneficial for you as a management professional (150-200 words) 2 Marks.