Priya Lal is an Assistant Professor of History at Boston College. She is currently completing a book manuscript about Tanzania's socialist experiment, the ujamaa villagization program of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Popular Mobilization and the New Politics of Resource Sovereignty in Tanzania

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In 1972, a resident of Tanzania’s impoverished southeastern region of Mtwara penned an angry missive to the editor of a national newspaper. “In Tanzania, there are two groups of people,” he began. “Those in northern and central regions are the ones who enjoy the country’s fruits of independence and those in southern regions are left behind without any progress.” He cited the government’s geographically lopsided investment in infrastructure and industry as evidence of this inequality, and concluded by posing a poignant question that cut to the heart of the young East African country’s aspirations of national unity: “Why are the southern people ignored?”
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