n Journal of Public Administration - Achieving good governance and development in Tanzania : is leadership the missing link?

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The paper examines whether leadership, since pre-independence days, has contributed to improvements in the quality of governance and development in Tanzania. The paper interrogates the role of leadership in governance, development and social transformation both in Tanzania and in Africa more widely. The presented assessment suggests that the Tanzania polity (both state and society) during the colonial period and in much of the period since independence had a narrow conception of leadership in which leaders were understood merely as persons who hold positions that are linked to power. A different example of leadership was set, however, by Mwalimu Nyerere, a philosopher king figure, who had a vision for transforming the country using and charisma to sway the people and move with them. Even so, Tanzania is a large country, and Nyerere and the limited number of his converts were too few to reach all corners of Tanzanian society.

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