Julius Nyerere

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Julius Kambarage Nyerere

In office
October 29 1964 – November 5, 1985
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi

Born April 13 1922
Butiama, Tanzania
Died October 14, 1999
London, United Kingdom
Political party CCM
Spouse Maria Nyerere

Julius Kambarage Nyerere (April 13, 1922 - October 14, 1999) was President of Tanzania, and previously Tanganyika, from the country's founding in 1964 until his retirement in 1985. Born in Tanganyika to a local Zanaki chief called Nyerere Burito, Julius Nyerere was known by the Swahili name Mwalimu or 'teacher' because of his profession before becoming active in politics.


[edit] Education

Nyerere began attending Government Primary School in Musoma at the age of 12 where he completed the 4 years program in 3 years and went on to Tabora Boys Government Secondary School. He received a scholarship to attend Makerere University, (at that time it was the only tertiary education institution in East Africa), where he obtained a teaching Diploma. He returned to Tanganyika and worked for 3 years at St. Mary’s Secondary School in Tabora, where he taught Biology and English. In 1949 he got a scholarship to attend the University of Edinburgh (he was the first Tanzanian to study at a British university and only the second to gain a university degree outside Africa) where he obtained his Masters of Arts Degree on Economics and History in 1952. In Edinburgh, partly through his encounter with Fabian thinking, Nyerere began to develop his particular vision of connecting socialism with African communal living.

[edit] Political career

On his return to Tanganyika, Nyerere took a position teaching History, English and Kiswahili, at St. Francis’ College, near Dar es Salaam. It is at St. Francis’ College that he founded TANU. His political activities attracted the attention of the Colonial Authorities was forced to make a choice between his political activities and his teaching. He was reported as saying that he was a schoolmaster by choice and a politician by accident. He resigned and continued with his work on his goal to bring a number of different nationalist factions into one grouping which was achieved in 1954. Nyerere travelled throughout the country speaking to common people and tribal chiefs, trying to garner support for movement towards independence. He also spoke on behalf of TANU to the Trusteeship Council and Fourth Committee of the United Nations in New York. His oratory skills and integrity helped Nyerere achieve TANU goal for an independent country without war or bloodshed. The cooperative British governor Sir Richard Turnbull was also a factor in the struggle for independence. Nyerere entered the Colonial Legislative council in 1958 and was elected chief minister in 1960. In 1961 Tanganyika was granted self governance and Nyerere became its first Prime Minister on December 9 1961. A year later Nyerere was elected President of Tanganyika when it became a Republic. Nyerere was instrumental in the union between the islands of Zanzibar and the mainland Tanganyika to form Tanzania, after a coup in Zanzibar in 1964 toppled Jamshid bin Abdullah, who was the Sultan of Zanzibar.

[edit] Government Positions Held

  • 1954 A Founder Member of TANU
  • 1958-1960 Member of the Legislative Assembly in the first elections in which Africans were allowed to vote.
  • 1958 Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
  • 1960 Chief Minister of the first Internal Self-Government Administration.
  • 1961 Prime Minister of the first Government of Independent Tanganyika
  • 1962 Elected President of Tanganyika when it became a Republic.
  • 1963-1970 Chancellor of the University of East Africa.
  • 1964-1985 President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • 1970-1985 Chancellor of University of Dar-es-Salaam.
  • 1977-1990 Chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi which was formed by a merger between TANU and the Afro-Shiraz Party of Zanzibar. CCM was born in Zanzibar on February 5, 1977.
  • 1984-1985 Chancellor of Sokoine University of Agriculture.

1985: Retired from Presidency. 1999: Died of leukemia in London.

[edit] Economic Policies

Symbolic mixing of Soils from Zanzibar and Tanganyika in 1964

When in power, Nyerere implemented a socialist economic program (announced in the Arusha Declaration), establishing close ties with China, and also introduced a policy of collectivization in the country's agricultural system, known as Ujamaa or "familyhood". Although some of his policies can be characterized as socialist, Nyerere was first and foremost an African, and secondly a socialist. He was what is often called an African socialist. Nyerere had tremendous faith in rural African people and their traditional values and ways of life. He believed that life should be structured around the ujamaa, or extended family found in traditional Africa. He believed that in these traditional villages, the state of ujamaa had existed before the arrival of imperialists. All that needed to be done was to return to this state and capitalism would be forgotten. He believed that Africans were already, recently, socialists, all that they needed to do was return to their traditional mode of life and they would recapture it. This would be a true repudiation of capitalism, since his society would not rely on capitalism to exist. This ujamaa system failed to boost agricultural output and by 1976, the end of the forced collectivization program, Tanzania went from the largest exporter of agricultural products in Africa to the largest importer of agricultural products in Africa. With the realisation that the Tanzanian economy did not flourish and being unwilling to lead Tanzania using an economic model he did not believe, Nyerere willingly announced that he would retire after presidential elections in 1985, leaving the country to enter its free market era under the leadership of Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

Nyerere was instrumental in putting both Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Benjamin Mkapa in power. He remained the chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (ruling party) for five years following his presidency until 1990, and is still recognised as the Father of the Nation.

[edit] Foreign Policy

Nyerere was one of the African Leaders during the Pan-African movement that swept the continent in the 1960's. He was a larger-than-life person, a seemingly uncorruptable individual and a committed Pan-africanist. Nyerere was also one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity in 1963. Nyerere provided a home for a number of African liberation movements including the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan African Congress (PAC) of South Africa, FRELIMO when it sought to overthrow Portuguese rule in Mozambique, and ZANLA (and Robert Mugabe) in its struggle to unseat the white regime in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). From the mid 1970s, along with President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, he was an instigator and leader of the "Front Line States", which provided uncompromising support for the campaign for Black Majority Rule in South Africa. In 1978 He led Tanzania into war against Uganda, then under the dictatorship of Idi Amin, resulting in the defeat of Uganda and the exile of Idi Amin. He also was instrumental the coup in Seychelles that brought France-Albert René to power. Nyerere's foreign policy emphasized neutrality in the Cold War, and under his leadership, Tanzania enjoyed friendly relations with both the West and the East.

[edit] After the Presidency

After the Presidency, Nyerere remained the Chairman of CCM until 1990 when Ali Hassan Mwinyi took over. Nyerere remained vocal about the extent of corruption and corrupt officials during the Ali Hassan Mwinyi administration. He also blocked Jakaya Kikwete's nomination for the presidency, citing that he was too young to run a country. Nyerere was instrumental in getting Benjamin Mkapa elected (Mkapa had been Minister of Foreign Affairs for a time during Nyerere's administration).

In one of his famous speeches during the CCM general assembly, Nyerere said in Swahili "Ninang'atuka", meaning that he was pulling out of politics for good. He moved back to his childhood home village of Butiama in western Tanzania. During his retiment, he continued to travel the world meeting various heads of government as an advocate for poor countries and especially the South Center institution. Nyerere travelled more widely after retiring than he did when he was president of Tanzania. One of his last high-profile actions was as the chief mediator in the Burundi conflict in 1996. He died in a London hospital of leukaemia on October 14, 1999.

[edit] Positions Held after Presidency

  • 1985-1990 Chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi
  • 1987-1990 Chairman of the independent International South Commission.
  • 1990-1999 Chairman, South Center, Geneva & Dar es Salaam Offices.

[edit] Beatification inquiry

In January 2005, the Catholic diocese of Musoma opened a cause for the beatification of Julius Nyerere. Nyerere was a devout Catholic who attended Mass daily throughout his public life and was known for fasting frequently.

[edit] Honorary Degrees

[edit] Awards

  • Nehru Award for International Understanding, 1976
  • Third World Prize, 1982
  • Nansen Medal for outstanding services to Refugees, 1983
  • Lenin Peace Prize, 1987

[edit] Publications & Literary Works

  • Freedom and Socialism. A Selection from Writings & Speeches, 1965-1967, Dar es Salaam: Oxford University Press. This book includes "The Arusha Declaration"; "Education for self-reliance"; "The varied paths to socialism"; "The purpose is man"; and "Socialism and development". (1968)
  • Freedom & Development, Uhuru Na Maendeleo, Dar es Salaam: Oxford University Press. Includes essays on adult education; freedom and development; relevance; and ten years after independence. (1974)
  • Ujamaa - Essays on Socialism, London: Oxford University Press. (1977)
  • Crusade for Liberation, Dar es Salaam: Oxford University Press. (1979)
  • Julius Kaisari (a Swahili translation of William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar)
  • Mabepari wa Venisi (a Swahili translation of William Shakespeare's play - The Merchant of Venice)
Preceded by:
Prime Minister of Tanzania
Succeeded by:
Rashidi Kawawa
Preceded by:
President of Tanzania
Succeeded by:
Ali Hassan Mwinyi

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Beatification

[edit] References

Famous Proponents: Kwame Nkrumah · Julius Nyerere · Malcolm X · Muammar al-Gaddafi · Molefi Kete Asante · Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia · Cheikh Anta Diop · Marcus Garvey · Henry Sylvester-Williams · Walter Rodney · Abdias do Nascimento · Ahmed Sékou Touré · W.E.B. Du Bois · Frantz Fanon · Bob Marley · Patrice Lumumba · George Padmore · Runoko Rashidi · Steve Biko · Thabo Mbeki · Jomo Kenyatta

Philosophies and Concepts: United States of Africa · African code · Afrocentrism · Kwanzaa · Pan-African flag · Négritude · African nationalism · African Century · Africanization

Organizations and Movements: African Union (preceeded by the Organization of African Unity) · Uhuru Movement · UNIA-ACL · AllAfrica.com · African Unification Front · African diaspora

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Julius Nyerere

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