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TUTAFIKA: Imagining our Future - Tanzania

Imagining our future: the stories In perspective

Yale Yale assumes that things won’t change. However, change is inevitable and turning away from it may only make things worse. By ignoring the challenges we face, we may allow unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of us, capturing our land and resources for private use, rather than shared benefit. This is the economy of Big Thieves, the Mibaka Uchumi. Finally, we could be forced to create a different future for Tanzania, one that is based on the many strengths of our social networks and the natural world around us. This is Amka, Kumekucha. It is a hard world that is shaped by extremity. But it is also one that can be created by our shared ability to respond with imagination and boldness.


Yale Yale

Mibaka Uchumi

Amka Kumekucha

State of the union?

  • A decaying union with weak legitimacy
  • Muafaka number 7 signed in Zanzibar
  • No political change
  • Zanzibar is a conduit for extraction of wealth
  • Federal Republic of Tanzania. New Federal constitution forms the basis for unity between the regions
  • Zanzibar is an active part of the federation in Mkoa Mashariki.
  • Nature of government?

  • Centralized and powerless
  • Weak and selectrive enforcement of the law
  • Vulnerable to financial pressure from outside the country
  • Captured
  • Coopted
  • Corrupted
  • Compromised
  • Smart, facilitative and adaptive with a professional civil service.
  • Predictable legal system
  • Effective local government
  • Quality of politics?

  • Avoids accountability
  • A culture of blame
  • Selfish and confrontational
  • Based on wealth and personality
  • Money talks, money walks
  • Competitive, open, accountable and slow
  • Local priorities dominate
  • Nature of the economy?

  • Economic activity is dominated by informal, small-scale subsistence farming and trading
  • Formal economy controlled by local elites and foreigners
  • All economic activity dominated by Mibaka and their agents
  • Tanzania’s mineral resources are exported and cash crop production takes place on large, private plantations.
  • Economic activity controlled through joint ventures between local communities and domestic or foreign partners
  • Resource-based production and trading with profits re-invested in the local economy.
  • Relationship with the world?

  • Tanzania is for sale and at the full mercy of global forces
  • Donors provide diminishing support to the state
  • Tanzania is sold and open for exploitation
  • Donors focus their support primarily on their investors
  • Social justice is left to the charities
  • Tanzania is not for sale
  • Donors identify and support local priorities and initiatives - by invitation.
  • Nature of the relationship between our ethnic, racial, religious, social communities?

  • Simmering confrontation and conflict
  • Relationships marked by stress, anxiety and envy.
  • Mibaka manipulate the divisions between communities for personal gain
  • Simmering popular discontent
  • Competitive
  • Negotiated compromises
  • Unpredictable and vibrant relationships
  • How do people survive?

  • On their wits (ujanja)
  • Through handouts, favours and patronage from the Mibaka
  • Through their ethnic, racial, class, religious connections (the utu net).
  • Who benefits (winners)?

  • The urban elite with marketable skills, and access to capital and contacts.
  • Selected politicians and big businessmen (the Mibaka)
  • Those with marketable skills and access to the Mibaka network
  • People with connections and skills broker successful relationships between different communities
  • Communities that learn and adapt quickly to opportunity.
  • Who suffers (losers)?

  • The urban and  rural poor, with poor education and skills and no patronage or capital.
  • Those with little schooling, untrained, unskilled and with no access to patronage or capital.
  • Communities with low levels of trust, unable or unwilling to learn, negotiate, innovate
  • Our natural heritage?

  • The environment is ignored, ravaged and plundered indiscriminately.
  • The environment is exploited and depleted in an organized, systematic way
  • Economically marginal areas used as dumping grounds.
  • The environment is protected where it is recognized as a source of livelihoods
  • Some areas are degraded.

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