oa Africa Insight - Ujamaa villages - an approach to rural development in Tanzania

Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Much of today's literature on rural development, particularly that of the Western world, implicitly assumes the inevitability of growing income differentials in the rural sector. For instance, the present diffusion and extension theory indicates that increasing inequity is a normal consequence of the adoption process. De Wilde expresses this phenomenon when he writes: ""Development almost inevitably results in greater disparities in income"". The validity of these statements based on empirica, results cannot be doubted. But the problems resulting from this development are not to be underestimated. In fact, there is a growing concern about it today. In the light of this concern, it is justified to evaluate any attempt to achieve a more balanced development. The Ujamaa policy in Tanzania is one such example of attempts to stimulate development while, at the same time, focussing on the conservation of a more egalitarian type of social structure. The short time that has elapsed since the introduction of this policy in Tanzania does not permit a comprehensive answer. But the experience gained so far may indicate problems involved and give some idea of the chances of success. Background and achievements of the Ujamaa policy are discussed in this article, based on the information currently available.

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