The colonial history of Tanzania (then known as Tanganyika) bears many similarities to the experiences of other African colonies. The primary intention of both the German and British colonizers was the extraction of raw materials to be processed and sold in Europe. But although the production of such cash crops as cotton, coffee, sisal, and peanuts was ultimately dependent upon low-cost African labor, there was very little reciprocal European investment in local food production, education, or public health. Overall, the colonial economy in Tanzania (as in most other African colonies) was created by Europeans to serve their interests and their profits, and for many decades Tanzania was a net exporter of goods and wealth to Europe.
When Tanzanians began to demand self-rule in the 1950s, they found a ready leader and eloquent spokesman in Julius Nyerere, known fondly as mwalimu, or teacher in the national language of Kiswahili. Nyerere was born in a small rural village in colonial Tanzania in 1922, and as a young boy, he is reputed to have walked twenty-six miles to attend one of the few primary schools established by British missionaries. His superior academic performance and hard work led to a scholarship to study at Makerere University in neighboring Uganda, and later he became the first Tanzanian to study at a British University (the University of Edinburgh). Graduating with an M.A. in history and economics, Nyerere left Britain and returned to Tanzania in 1952, where he taught for several years.
In the 1950s, Nyerere became increasing involved in the national struggle for Tanzanian independence. In 1954, he founded the Tanganyika Africa National Union (TANU), a broad-based political party that advocated self-rule through national unity and nonviolent protest. After a period of difficult and protracted negotiations, Britain agreed to grant Tanzania complete independence in 1961, and Nyerere was duly elected president in the nations first democratic elections. Serving four successive terms from 1961 to 1985, Nyerere emerged as one of Africas most popular, respected, and idealistic leaders. He was one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity, a leader of the international nonaligned movement during the Cold War, and an active opponent of racism and apartheid in colonial Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and South Africa.
Julius Nyerere, Socialism and Rural Development, in Freedom and Socialism: A Selection from Writings and Speeches 19651967, 33739, 340, 34548, 35152, 36466. Copyright 1968 Oxford University Press, Inc.
The only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi served in turn as prime minister between 1966 and 1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was the third of the country’s prime ministers and the first female to hold the position. Gandhi pursued many of the same policies as her father, supported the Non-Aligned Movement, and was especially concerned to promote the interests of the women and girls her nation and of the world,. This speech, delivered to students in a women’s college, reveals her concern to combine women’s rights with India’s drive for modernization.