- Curriculum Development

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Topic 2: Independent Africa
How was independence realised in
Africa in the 1960s and 1980s?
Comparative Case Studies as
examples to illustrate the political,
economic, social and cultural
successes and challenges in
independent Africa: 1960-1980s.
(Comparative Essay Question)
Where in the world is Congo and Tanzania?
Where are Congo and Tanzania located in
The leadership
Mobutu Sese Seko
Julius Nyerere
Ideas that influenced the independent states
• African Socialism: Nyerere argued that there were no class
structures in traditional African society. African socialism
emphasised community and communal development rather
than the European idea of working class revolution.
• Capitalism: It is an economic system that is based on private
ownership of the means of production and the use of labour
and resources to make a profit.
• Democracy: A system of government by the whole population
or all the eligible members of a state, typically through
elected representatives.
• One-Party State: A political system where in only one party is
allowed in a country. No opposition is allowed and all
opposition parties are banned
What aspects of a country should be
compared in a comparative study?
• Political: relating to the government or the public
affairs of a country
• Economic: the choices made about who can create,
benefit from, have access to a country’s resources
and wealth
• Social: is the different ways that people organise
themselves and live together in groups and the
relationship which emerge (eg a class system)
• Cultural: is the characteristics of a particular group
of people, defined by everything from language,
religion, food, to social habits, clothes or music
What kind of State emerged?
Congo: supported by USA
Tanzania: non-aligned
• 1960: Gained independence
from Belgium (Kasavubu President, Lumumba - Prime
Minister) – multi-party
• Mineral rich region, Katanga,
seceded (Moise Tshombe)
• 1961 and 1965: military Coup
(supported by USA / CIA)
Mobutu established a military
• 1967: Abolished opposition
• Authenticité or Zairisation
• Mobutu’s Zaire characterised by
corruption, kleptocracy, elitism.
• 1961: Gained independence from
Britain – muti-party democracy
• 1962 – Nyerere became President
• 1963: Nyerere abolished all other
political parties. TANU became the
only legal party.
• 1964: Tanzania and Zanzibar
merged to form the United
Republic of Tanzania
• 1967: Arusha Declaration - stated
commitment to African Socialism
– introduced ‘Leadership Code’
and Ujaama.
• Attempted to remain non-aligned
politically and avoid economic
What types of leaders emerged?
Congo / Zaire
• Patrice Lumumba – 1960: 1st
Prime Minister of independent
(DRC). Leader of the Mouvement
National Congolais (MNC) – A
pan/multi-ethnic political party
to unify all Congolese into a
single nation
• Believed in ‘positive neutralism’
wanted DRC free from foreign
interference, initially non-aligned
but turned to USSR for support
when Katanga seceded.
• Arrested and executed with USA
/ Belgium support in 1961
• Joseph Mobutu – 1961 and
1965: seized power by military
coup (supported by the west)
• Ruled as a ruthless dictator until
his death in 1997.
• Julius Nyerere – 1961: 1st Prime
Minister of independenet
Tanganyika; President in 1962.
• Leader of Tanganyikan African
National Union (TANU).
• Called ‘Mwalimu’ (teacher) –
Remembered for his personal
• Believed in pan-Africanism and
equity. He rejected tribalism and
opposed neo-colonialism.
• He attempted to keep Tanzania
non-aligned during Cold War.
• Voluntarily retired in 1985
Economic Legacy of Colonialism
• Both countries were colonised by European
powers, Congo by Belgium and Tanzania by
Germany and then Britain, who exploited their
natural resources.
• At independence both countries had
underdeveloped economies - their wealth came
from agriculture and the sale of unprocessed
minerals. Neither country had industrialised or
had developed a manufacturing industry.
• The colonial powers only built infrastucture to
service the export of raw materials not to
promote internal trade.
Similarities between the economies
of Congo and Tanzania
• In both countries the majority of people were peasants (small scale farmers)
• Both countries struggled to develop a manufacturing industry after independence
• In both countries land and industry were nationalised. Mobutu nationalised most
mines (‘Zairinisation’ proved to be a total failure and he had to re-privatise most
mines); Tanzania also nationalised its industry and land but was forced to privatise
these in return for debt relief from the World Bank and IMF in the 1980s
• In both countries during the period 1960-1980s the majority of the people lived in
poverty and the countries faced economic crisis
• Both countries relied on the export of primary products. Congo is very rich in
valuable minerals: copper, industrial diamonds, cobalt, gold and zinc; Tanzania’s
economy is based on the production of cash crops such as coffee and tea. It also
mines a rare gemstone called tanzanite
• Both countries were badly affected by the drop in price for raw materials in 1970s
• Neither country had oil reserves so were negatively impacted by steep increases in
cost of oil (necessary for industrialisation and transport) in 1970s
• Both countries experienced extreme economic problems in the years after
independence and by the 1980s relied from loans from foreign countries (Congo –
USA) and institutions (Tanzania - IMF and World Bank) to avoid bankruptcy
Differences between the economies
of Congo and Tanzania
• Adopted a capitalist economic
model (after initial attempts at
nationalisation/ ‘Zairisation’)
• Relied heavily of foreign
investment and received
support from USA and West.
• Mobutu aimed to industrialise,
process its own raw materials
and develop an industrial
• Under Mobutu a very wealthy
elite emerged. Corruption and
cronyism led to greater class
• Adopted a socialist economic
model (although Nyerere had
to abandon this in the 1980s)
• Attempted to remain
economically independent and
avoid neo-colonialism
• Nyerere believed that
attempting to industrialse was
a mistake. He introduced
Ujaama, a villagisation policy
aimed to make the country
self-sufficient in terms of food
• Nyerere attempted to prevent
a new elite emerging with his
‘Leadership Code’
Social & cultural successes and challenges
• Clothing: inspired by ‘Maoist’
• Imposed ‘Abacos’ from (‘A
bas le costumes’ – that
literally meant ‘down with
the suit!’)
• All Africans encouraged to
discard their ‘European’
• State run schools were
established after
independence but Mobutu
did not divert sufficient
money to education and
Congo lacked qualified
• Clothing: inspired by ‘Maoist’
• Language: African-language
departments and research
centers were created in newly
founded universities
• Promotion of Kiswahili as a
unifying language
• Used education to promote a
national ethos, ideology and
philosophy, and principles of a
new society embracing a
concept of social justice;
• ‘Villagisation’: collective
villages (managed by locals inexperienced)