some reflections on the draft national land policy, 2016 by youjinbchung


Earlier this year, the Tanzanian government launched the review process for the National Land Policy (NLP), 1995. I have had the privilege of observing (from the backseat) the unfolding of this process, particularly the ways in which non-state actors were struggling for voice and space in civic engagement. Some of my colleagues have already provided some great insights on the draft NLP (see this, this, and this), but I want to share some of my raw reflections here.

1. Shady Statistics?  

Some of the statistics used in the draft NLP are questionable. On p. 24, it states: “About 80 percent of all villages in the country are surveyed". But elsewhere on p. 19, it says: “In general it is estimated that only 15 percent of land in Tanzania is surveyed”, and that "70 percent" of all land in the nation is village land. These statistics don’t add up.

Also, the '70% village land, 2% general land, 28% reserved land' thesis should be used with qualifications, especially given that these data are from two decades ago, and thus (probably) not reflective of the status quo. An unpublished 2012 report for the USAID states that the aim of the Tanzanian government is to transfer 17.9 percent of vilage land into the general land category (in how many years?) to allow for the commercial development in the Southern Agricultural Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). The SAGCOT Centre highlights that its aim is to turn "350,000 hectares of land into profitable production"by 203o. With such increasing commercial pressures to transfer village land to general land, the extent of involuntary displacement and resettlement will become more ubiquitous.

This brings me to the issues of valuation, compensation, and resettlement.

2. Whose and What Kind of Value? 

'Land value' in the context of the NLP strictly refers to the market value of land. By extension, it refers to the market value of unexhausted improvements on the land, such as permanent dwellings, structures, and perennial crops like fruit trees. What is excluded are common property resources, such as non-commodified indigenous trees, forests, bushes, grasses, water, dams, ponds,meadows, pasture, and etc.

These common property resources provide essential material benefits for local users, as sources of food, fuel, fibre, building material, medicine. At the same time, they carry immeasurable cultural values and knowledges which are passed on intergenerationally. The draft NLP makes note of how the current policy falls short of meeting the 'international best practice' on involutary resettlement. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), for instance, in its 'Guidance Note 5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement', states that the loss of common property resources "has been identified as one of the primary impoverishment risks associated with involuntary resettlement and requires careful mitigation" (p. 7). Yet, it is unclear to me how the NLP aims to address this issue. The discussion of common property resources (and their multiple uses and values for rural communities) is critically wanting.

3. Waiting in Limbo for Compensation?

The draft NLP rightly acknowledges that, at present, there is no administative appeal mechanisms for those aggrieved with compensation, and that there are significant delays in compensation payments (p. 22). This is precisely the condition I've observed in Bagamoyo; there are many people who have been, and still are, waiting for compensation and displacement to make way for a large-scale agro-industrial project, an economic processing zone, a port, a tarmac road, an airport, etc. According to national land laws, people are entitled to be paid within 6 months of compensation valuation, and if it is delayed, they should be paid interest (6 percent per annum) until compensation is paid in full. However, what is significantly lacking in the current policy and laws is stipulations on the maximum waiting period. In other words, there is no statement, to my knowledge, that talks about for how long people are supposed to wait for compensation. According my interview with a Tanzanian legal scholar and professional who has written about the human right to compensation: "The only thing people can do, unfortunately, is to wait" (4 August 2016). Wait they shall, but for how long? And under what conditions?

This is a significant oversight in the draft NLP, because people are often prohibited from making long-term improvements on their land or face other land use restrictions after compensation valuation. At least this is what I have observed in Bagamoyo over the past few years. As one might expect, if compensation/displacement is delayed for a long time, people are likely to incur significant opportunity costs, economically, socially, culturally, politically, psychologically, and emotionally.

4. Delayed/Unpaid Compensation x Revocation of Title? 

It is in this context that I am puzzled by policy statement 4.6.3 Acquisition and Revocation of Rights of Occupancy. It states that the Tanzanian government will "ensure that revocation process is not initiated within first ten years of tenure for non-development of land". How and in what ways did the ten-year grace period come about? What are its social implications?

What if, for instance, the acquirer of the land (whether domestic or foreign) has received the Certificate of Title; has 'valued' the local populations and their property; has promised them compensation within six months; but failed to obtain the necessary funds to develop the land and failed to pay compensation for over ten years; and for all those years, restricted the local people from making long-term improvements on their land? Where does the liability of compensation payment fall? The government that is the ultimate landlord/custodian of all land the country? The private individual or company that acquired the land? What are the modes and mechanisms of redress for the people who have had to wait indefinitely for compensation payments?

As I write this, I am reminded of a young man, who asked me in one inteview: "Imagine. If we take away your pen and paper now, what will you do? What if we take them away from you indefinitely?" (20 September 2016). This thought is anxiety-inducing to say the least for researchers like me, for whom the pen is indispensable for my livelihood. It's hard to imagine how farmers are expected to live with so many restrictions on their land, that is, their livelihood, with no end in sight.

5. Tackling 'Unplanned Urban Settlements'?

In the draft NLP, resettlement is often mentioned in reference to "Unplanned Urban Settlements" (Sections 2.19 and 4.19). I wonder: is this because those who are displaced and resettled from rural areas are expected to settle in urban fringes? Whatever the reasoning behind this may be, the draft policy seems to believe that the solution to the problem of informal settlements is to have more planned and orderly urban planning processes. This is needed eventually of course, but the policy eclipses a more fundamental issue: the structural causes of rural-urban migration and the (re)production of 'planet of slums'.

In my research, I have interviewed scores of migrants, who have left their natal villages in Tanzania's interior (as far as Kigoma and Kagera) to Dar es Salaam and then back to rural Bagamoyo. The primary reason? Because they failed to eke out a living in the city; they could not get a job, most of them being Standard 7 leavers, or with no education at all. In Dar, they lived in urban slums, such as Manzese, Mwananyamala, Mbagala, and Tandika--all of which would fall under what the draft NLP calls 'Unplanned Urban Settlements'. Many have left their natal villages in the first place due to lack of land--arising from increased land concentration and land grabbing by urban elites, investors, and even national parks. Yet, after having experienced abject poverty in the city, they ended up in rural Bagamoyo, through words of mouth, only to be faced with insecurity of tenure and the threat of (imminent) displacement due to a large-scale sugarcane project. Without tackling these structural issues first and foremost, planned settlements will soon again morph into a mosaic of ghettos.

6. Commodifying 'Land Rights Under Water Bodies'? 

To me Sections 2.26 and 4.26 are the least thought out. The drafters of the policy were concerned about lack of legal procedures for allocating and administrating "land rights under water bodies" for emerging activities like cage fishing, fish farms, floating hotels, jetties (p. 32 and 55). This raises the specter of water/blue grabbing, which is inextricably tied to land grabbing. The negative environmental and social impacts of the Blue Revolution and other water/land-based extractive activities are not at all raised in the draft NLP. The Sections on Environment (2.27 and 4.27) are thin and frankly, disappointing. When the NLP states that water resources remain underutilized, it ignores the fact that many rural people depend on rivers, ponds, streams, and other water sources for drinking water,  washing clothes, bathing, fishing, collecting clay for making cooking utensils, and etc.

Without adequate regulations in place for high-density aquaculture like fish farms and cage fishing, how can land rights under public water bodies be effectively allocated and administered? Data is relatively scanty in my knowledge, but commercial aquaculture (depending on species) will likely have environmental impacts that are similar to those of intensive animal husbandry. Most evident is the accumulation of waste (feces and unconsumed feed), which may lead to eutrophication, and the associated depletion of oxygen and the proliferation of toxic algae. Combined with the use of pesticides and antibiotics required of large-scale, high-density fish farming, the local marine biodiversity will be adversely affected, and could possibly introduce some invasive carnivorous species. [If you haven't watched Darwin's Nightmare, I highly recommend you watch it]. And as it is in all food production value chains, post-harvest activities in aquaculture will also lead to further greenhouse gas emissions. Just like commercial agriculture, commercial aquaculture will be promoted for their 'job-creating' effects, but the questions we need to keep asking is: Jobs for whom and under what conditions?

7. Adding Women And Not Even Stirring? 

In the foreword, the Minister writes that one of the objectives of the policy is to ensure equitable access to land for all Tanzania "irrespective of gender or ethnicity" (p. 6). Why just gender or ethnicity? These are not standalone categories or separated realms of experience. Nor are gender and ethnicity isolated from other axes of power, such as class, race, age, marital status, (dis)ability, and etc. These categories are hatched together; and together they shape the complex identities and subjectivities that mediate the terms of land access, use, and control.

Section 2.28 sadly refers to women as a homogeneous group, and later talks about two sub-categories of women: widows and those "experiencing hardship and poverty". What about single women and mothers--unwed, separated, divorced, widowed, or raped--and their idiosyncratic challenges in land access, use, and control? And what about the plight of poor rural men vis-a-vis rich urban women?

Section 5.2.1 is slightly more satisfying, where the following statement appears: "Both women and men experience gender based insecurity of land tenure depending on ethnicity, rural or urban, education attainment, poverty status, age, tribe, and knowledge of the legal system". How intersectionality mediates (and complicates) access to/control over resources must come more front and centre, so as to avoid the pitfall of reducing the 'gender issue' in land tenure to merely an issue of 'women's access to land'.

Lastly, while gender is highlighted as a cross-cutting issue, more work needs to be done to demonstrate how and it what ways it crosscuts with other policy issues. I want to talk about one issue in particular: the gender dimensions of compensation valuation. In my study, I have found that when it comes to valuation, those who were registered by government valuers were essentially all men, as they are perceived to be the 'heads of households' and/or the de facto owners of land. Of course there were exceptions, such as widows, divorcées, and other 'women without men', who were responsible for finding food and caring for their families. This male-bias occurred even when the Chief Valuer and authorized land valuers are/were women. Promoting 'equal representation of both women and men in land administration' may balance the gender ratio in the workforce, but that won't necessarily transform patriarchal bureaucratic practices.


costs of arrested development by youjinbchung


"Tutapata utulivu lini?"(When will things quiet down? When will we be settled?)

— Mariam Juma, a 50 year-old woman, who was once dragged out of her home in the middle of the night, kicked, and tortured with water by EcoEnergy/Bagamoyo District militia for making charcoal in her homestead.


There are many moments of joy and fascination that accompany ethnographic fieldwork--the myriad social interactions you get to observe, and the type of connections you build with people through, what Clifford Geertz once described as, "deep hanging out." At the same time, there are many moments of frustration and dismay. Bearing witness to everyday injustice is perhaps the most compelling yet heartbreaking part of my work--and also one that sometimes makes me feel powerless in my position as a researcher.

Today, I want to share a piece about the type of violence I have been witnessing in the planned sugarcane project site here in Bagamoyo. For those who are unfamiliar with my research: I am basically trying to understand the kinds of contradictions that arise when a high-profile agricultural and rural development project doesn’t go as planned, or when it is delayed for nearly a decade. I am looking at how this prolonged, uncertain period between project design and implementation—which I am calling a state of ‘liminality’—is changing peoples’ claims to/relationships with the land, fragmenting the governance of the project, and altering people’s everyday life on the land.

I’ve been holding back posting this piece—as well as many others that are currently in draft form—for a long time, because I felt uneasy sharing something in the midst of an investigation, in the midst of confusion. But I am posting this particular piece, because in some ways, writing and sharing it helps me understand the chaos and confusion unfurling around me, and also helps me see what it is that I am missing, or failing to understand.


At the end of May, the Prime Minister of Tanzania announced that the long-delayed sugarcane project in Bagamoyo will be shelved after about a decade of arrested development. The rationale for this decision was supposedly based on environmental concerns, specifically the conservation of wildlife (and relatedly, water) in the adjacent (or rather overlapping) Saadani National Park. This reasoning is of course fraught with politics...a story for another time!

Since my return to the field in the last quarter of 2015, I’ve heard countless complaints from the local people about various kinds of disturbance/chaos (fujo) created by the wagambo (sg, mgambo). The wagambo are members of the paramilitary reserve force, or military-trained civilian militia, who are answerable to the police. They were deployed in the sugarcane project site in early 2014 by EcoEnergy, in cooperation with the district government.

From what I learned from an EcoEnergy employee, the stationing of the wagambo was essential to comply with one of the terms and conditions specified in the certificate of title: to take all measures necessary to protect the land. In other words, to make the occupation and use of the land exclusive to EcoEnergy. The wagambo were employed as well as a number of site closure workers between mid 2014 and mid 2015 to demarcate the boundaries of the project site, to block off passages for charcoal trucks, and to encourage people to move out of the project site—including both old and new residents, and itinerant charcoal producers.

From what people have reported to me, the wagambo violence increased when the site closure workers left the area; the workers left (presumably because of the financial constraints the company faced), but the security forces remained. Even after the Prime Minister’s recent announcement, there are no signs of the wagambo leaving the area.

Common types of violence reported include: verbal threats, intimidation, pilfering of people’s tools and farming implements, and physical beatings when farmers try to clear and/or expand their farms; plant permanent crops; build and repair their houses; put up temporary sheds on their farms; and make charcoal for household use and/or for sale. Not all wagambo bother people to the same extent, and they don’t go patrolling on a regular basis. But if you are unlucky and caught doing any of those things above by unscrupulous wagambo, you are threatened, and at worst, "beaten to near death," people say.

Local people who have been beaten by the wagambo seldom report their cases to the police, because they think that the police force and the wagambo are one and the same; birds of a feather flock together. They also believe that if they go to the police station, new charges will be fabricated against them by corrupt law enforcement authorities. But on a more basic level, many simply do not have the financial means to travel to and from town. Furthermore, in order for victims of assault to be treated, they must first report to the police and get what’s popularly known as a PF3 form: a medical examination report. Without this form, they cannot receive any medical assistance from government hospitals and dispensaries; they are forced to seek expensive treatment at private hospitals (see a related article in The Citizen). In short, people often remain with no evidence of wagambo violence—no police reports, no hospital records, so no bad deed done.


On Friday, 18 March 2016, I interviewed a 45-year old male farmer, Amos Maico, in one of the communities situated in the northwestern part of EcoEnergy project site. He had been severely beaten by the wagambo two days before my visit. Amos passed away on Tuesday, 24 May 2016.

Many stories can be written about how and why he died, because there is no police report or medical record that attests that Amos had been beaten by the wagambo. I have been unable to meet personally with Amos’ doctors, but according to what they told his family, he suffered from liver and spleen malfunction, and is assumed to have died from liver cancer. It is unclear to me if there was ever a thorough post-mortem autopsy. Amos’ family and fellow community members are adamant that he died because of the wagambo beatings; he was a healthy man, but his condition deteriorated rapidly after the assault. I haven’t been able to get a statement from EcoEnergy, but what I heard secondhand from other villagers is that the company denied any association with the death of Amos. I asked the Ward Councilor who is responsible for facilitating the relationship between the villagers and the district. His answer was: "What can we do? There is no evidence!"

I want to share an excerpt from my interview notes/transcriptions with Amos. The past few months, I have been agonizing over his death to the extent I dreamt about him. I have mulled over the cost he paid for trying to carry on his life and livelihood; the pain and suffering he must have gone through in his final days; the freakish nature of his death; and the seemingly unjust nature of it all. I reached out to legal aid offices, but in vain. The best I can do for Amos at the moment is to remember him, and to share his story as told by him. And I hope whoever is reading this will be able to see his experience as he lived it.

Friday, 18 March 2016.

Amos Maico, a lean middle-aged man, staggered towards me and sunk heavily onto the mat. He was wearing a light blue t-shirt and worn out jeans. We shook hands and exchanged greetings. He sat crouching across from me. His right eye seemed to have been bruised. I asked him to recount his story. 

"Whenever I try to explain about it [the beating], I am overwhelmed by grief. I used to have another shed, that one over there [points to a torn down shed across the valley], but the wagambo destroyed it. After seeing that they destroyed that one, I decided to build another one because that is my farm over there. You need to build a shed during the farming season to fend off monkeys and for shade. The monkeys are not afraid of the rains; they come rain or no rain. 

The day before yesterday (Wed, 16 March), I was supposed to shift over there to start preparing my farm. The wagambo saw me and they asked: who gave you the permission to build? So they told me to leave my farm and to come here [centre of the community, near the ten-cell leader’s house]. There were 5 wagambo. When I got there, they told me to sit down, facing the sun. It was around 3pm, the sun was still very strong. They forced me to lie down facing the sun. I refused to lie like that, because I thought they could destroy me. That’s when they started beating me around this part here [rubs his right ribcage down towards the abdomen]. They started beating me hard around the ribs. I don’t think I am okay inside here [cringes with pain]. I am marginally better with the painkillers my ten-cell leader gave me... It’s my first time being beaten. I had never been beaten in my life. Now, because of the pain, I cannot even work. My family depends on me… If the wagambo had not bothered me, I would have already started preparing the farm. That is my farm there. I don’t know why they are stopping us from farming. They are stopping us from expanding our farms, but our families are growing, so what can we do?"

I ask if he reported his case to the police, but the ten-cell leader interrupts: "The police has a lot of power. They are more powerful. Whenever you go to the police, new and unknown cases are fabricated against you, and you may serve time in jail for no reason. Sometime in February, some people from [this community] raided the wagambo camp over there, because they have had enough. To date, the wagambo have taken away people’s tools, destroyed people’s houses, uprooted people’s crops, and burnt people’s charcoal furnaces. The wagambo captured a few guys who raided their camp and put them in jail. Recently, when the wagambo saw Amos putting up his shed, they claimed that he, too, was an accomplice to the crime. Amos didn’t do anything wrong, and didn’t contribute to that raid in February, but he was scared to go to the police; he feared retaliation.”

Amos: "The police procedures and the government are no help to us. I remember there was another guy that was beaten. He went to the police, but nothing happened. I felt so bad, but what can I do? I was forcibly beaten. The wagambo and the police act like they are the owners of the country. What can you do? Even when the elected leaders—they come here and tell you ‘oh we are working on this and that’, but they have never come back and tell us what exactly they have done. For instance, the ward councillor came recently but nothing happened. We are only important to them during campaigns and elections; they needed us when they needed votes, but not now. We have been eaten by them."


I interview most households more than once, and I had planned to visit Amos again in June. I will never be able to see him again.

When I interviewed one of the witnesses of Amos' beating in June, I discovered that one of EcoEnergy's employees—who the local people refer to as "boss of mgambo"—was also present at the event. It is said that the employee even grabbed a baton and hit Amos in the knees, saying how he should stop whatever he is doing on the land and "take it easy."

RIP Amos.



a very belated update... by youjinbchung


When I started my fieldwork back in September, I told myself that I'd write regular blog posts, but as always, life got in the way and time has flown by since I moved to Bagamoyo in November. I've posted some mini-updates and fleeting thoughts on Instagram, but for some reason, it's been really hard to distance myself from fieldwork and actually sit down to write. Both because so much has happened, and at the same time, so little has happened. I suppose that is somewhat expected when one is trying to investigate a land deal that has been in limbo for many years. Mind you, I have been taking copious field notes, and even submitted a 15-page "progress" report to my advisors and the SSRC. Regardless, my thoughts are still tangled up in knots. I have this urge to sharply pull at them in the hopes of unpicking them, and finding clarity. But I am telling myself I need to be patient. Slow teasing of each knot of confusion will get me somewhere, hopefully, rather than nowhere... I've been in the field for 225 days as of today (yes, I am keeping count). My sense of time--and the movement of time--here has been clearly marked by sudden fluctuations in precipitation, subtle changes in the temperature, and the rhythmic flow of seasonal fruits in the local market.

A few words on fruits, since one of my greatest joys here is reveling in the bounty of tropical produce (often bought directly from my local farmer friends).


The watermelon, mango, and pineapple seasons have all past here in Bagamoyo much to my regret. I was utterly disappointed when my fruit lady told me her mango trees have stopped bearing fruits for the season in mid March. They were the juiciest mangoes I've ever tasted in my whole life, and the cheapest, too, at TSh 500 (≈20 cents) per piece. That's how it should be: locally and organically grown produce should be more affordable than mass-produced, blemish-free, and high-carbon footprinted produce in supermarkets.

The most common type of mangoes grown here in Bagamoyo is called maembe dodo (pictured above)--dodo literally meaning a big mango, although it also refers to firm breasts of a young woman. Swahili nouns are not gendered, as in French for instance, but the dodos are clearly coded feminine! Other common species of mangoes include maembe sindano, sindano meaning needle. These are oblong in shape, and are much smaller in size compared to the dodo. They are bigger than eggs, but much smaller than women's fists. They tend to be more sour than sweet, and have skins that are so soft and thin that you could easily tear them up with your teeth. They are "bite-sized" so to speak, and once you de-skin the fruit, you can pop the fruit in your mouth and suck on it, like you would do with a piece of candy. You know it's mango season when you see scores of sindano seeds scattered or littered along the roadside--most of the culprits being school children. These go for about Tsh 1-200. The healthiest and the most affordable snacks ever.


The long rainy season (masika) started about half a month later than usual in Bagamoyo. Farmers had been expecting the first rains to fall around 15 March, but it only came on 2 April. I know this exact date, because it was the day before I left for my recent vacation in Turkey. It rained cats and dogs, cutting the power supply for more than 20 hours, which meant that I had to pack and get ready for my trip in pitch-darkness. I also remember the day distinctly because it brought about a palpable change in the atmosphere. Since the power had gone out early that morning, I went to one of the generator-powered hotels along the beach to charge my computer and to work a little. I sat there for good two hours but on the third hour, trees began to sway like I had never seen before. Leaves started whirling in the sky, with a few landing directly on my keyboard. The air suddenly felt damp and cool. I looked up at the sky; dark ominous clouds were quickly gathering overhead. They hung low and heavy; I felt like I could touch them if I jumped a little, but if I touched them, I was afraid they would start shedding rainwater.

While I was away for a week enjoying the pleasant spring weather in Turkey, the long rains have really set in here. It has rained every single day since my return. Some days it feels like the sky--or at least my roof--is going to fall down. The roaring thunder and torrential downpour, combined with hours of power cuts (the other day, the power was out for 22 hours) means that masika, or vuli (short rainy season) for that matter, isn't the best time for conducting fieldwork.



Most of my days now are spent on transcribing interviews, which I've been putting off for weeks. I've spent a great amount of time the past few days reorganizing my data collection log, and cataloging and managing my photovoice data. I have been conducting photovoice with seven households to date, and together they've produced nearly 900 images. Of course, not all of these images are "usable" in the sense that they are too dark, blurry, and badly composed. And many are not directly related to the prompt of documenting their 'everyday life on the land'.

But these images have been so incredibly insightful. They opened by eyes to different gendered spaces on the land, which I had not fully grasped in previous years. When I couldn't drive into the communities near the river valleys due to the flash floods in February, the farmers showed me the extent of the damages on their farms and homes through their pictures. They were heartbreaking. Some had video-recorded political party meetings [dominated by men, no surprise there], allowing me to participate in them, albeit indirectly and belatedly. While I have yet to analyse the photographs more systematically (there will be a lot more photos by October!), what is evident thus far is that there are clear gendered patterns in how women and men perceive and register the prompt, ‘everyday life on the land’, and by implication, what kinds of things, people, events, activities, and themes they end up capturing...

a glimpse into uchaguzi mkuu 2015 by youjinbchung


I'm obviously not a political commentator nor a political scientist, but here are just some of my impressionistic observations... Since the day I arrived in Dar in early September, the atmosphere here has been tense, yet somewhat buoyant with hope. From school children to shop keepers to bajaji and taxi drivers to my key informants for my research, everyone seemed passionate talking about the future of their country, although I did get a sense of growing fatigue in the last few days leading up to the elections.

The 2015 general election is deemed important - commentators argue - because for the first time since the independence of Tanganyika in 1961, the ruling party, CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi), is competing against a formidable coalition of four main opposition parties, named UKAWA (Umoka wa Katiba ya Wananchi). It has significance for my research, because I get a sense that the fate of major development projects which are currently planned/stalled in Bagamoyo (e.g. agricultural, port, EPZ, etc.) will very much be determined by the election outcome.

Over the past few days, I have received many emails and messages that sketch out various doomsday scenarios, and others that provide a long checklist of things to do/don't do/stock up on before the election weekend. Indeed, it was pure madness at the grocery store yesterday. People swarmed all over the till not only to pay for stuff, but also to claim trolleys and baskets. There was no bottled water left at the shop; there were just a few bread loaves left at the bakery; toilet rolls were selling like hotcakes; and I had to go to four different shops to buy voucher for my mobile phone/internet. A retired professor from the University of Dar es Salaam, with whom I became quite close, said it was the first time ever that she and her husband decided to get away from Dar during election time for safety concerns...

FYI, just so you get a sense of the mood here, this is what someone posted on a Facebook group page the other day.


1. FOOD: Stock up on food and water (at least 1 week's supply) in case Markets and stores are not open or you can't go out. Prioritize non-perishable/dry food like those stored in cans over fresh food that takes time to cook and requires freezing (in case the power in your area is cut off).

Don't forget about cooking Gas!

2. FUEL: Stock up on enough fuel for your generator in case there is no electricity. Also make sure there is a full-tank of fuel in all of your vehicles.

*Note* Do not over stock fuel!!

3. CASH: Make sure you withdraw enough cash to keep in-hand in case there’s no working ATM near you so you have 1 less reason to go outside your house.

4. RALLIES: Stay away from Political Rallies, Gatherings and Protests as much as possible. If you must attend then be vigilant. Wait till you get to safety before updating your Social Media.

5. HOME: In the case of civil unrest, keep yourself and your family indoors at all times and keep your homes locked down. Ensure that all windows and doors are secure.

6. VEHICLES: Park your vehicles in secure areas, preferably within the walls of your compound and well away from the main roads.

7. CONTACTS: Remember emergency numbers and the numbers for the Medical Emergency Services and Fire Services. Notify them in the event of any emergency (Note: Please do not post tweets and ask that others RT till it gets to the authorities, in the time it takes a tweet to circulate life could be lost or assets damaged).

8. MOVEMENT: Know at least 2 routes to your office and back to your home. You can confirm the safety of routes via updates and reports on social media.

9. FAMILY: Make sure all your family members (especially those living with you) know the numbers to call in case of any emergency. Discuss with them about what to do in case of an emergency or in case you get separated for any reason.

10. EQUIPMENTS & NECESSITIES: Ensure you stock up on equipment such as flashlights, batteries, candles, medical supplies (e.g. First Aid Boxes), recharge cards (or add sufficient credit to your phone), etc.

11. MORE TIPS: Don't keep late nights. Make sure you tell your family exactly where you are going to, anywhere you are be alert. Pick every call because the person might want to tell you what will save your lifeEat or drink only at trusted peoples house. Pray before you enter a bus and be sensitive even when in it. Don't be a political thug once you sense fight is about to start, pick your things and run. Don't get involved inn student protest (at least for now). Night parties are extremely dangerous for now

12. CONCLUSION: In addition to these tips, remember that no need for any unnecessary movement on Election Day . You can expect anything, even Rallies leading up to the Elections so stay tuned Social Media pages for news and information about the dates, times and locations of rallies so you can plan ahead.

On the other hand, here is what the British authorities have been giving out, ha!

1. PUT THE KETTLE ON Sit down and have a nice cup of tea. Remember, put the milk in first. Flick through an old copy of Good Housekeeping or Country Life - the world will feel better afterwards.

2. EMERGENCY SUPPLIES Dads, don't forget to stock up on Hamlet cigars, you'll want to look the part if things go tits up. Mums, it's gin. Make sure you have downloaded at least three episodes of The Archers omnibus podcast.

3. THE GOLDEN RULE If it all starts to resemble the dining room scene in Carry On Up The Khyber, just remember: Keep Calm And Carry On.

In the past month and a half, I probably met/rode with over 40 bajaji drivers and dozens of taxi drivers. The overwhelming majority of bajaji drivers (i.e. young men) were keen to vote for Edward Lowassa, the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, CHADEMA (Chama Cha Demokrasia Na Maendeleo). There was only one guy, who said he was going to vote for CCM; he even gave me an extra CCM poster to hang on my wall...! There was another driver who clearly seemed like he belonged to CCM; he was wearing a CCM cap, a CCM t-shirt, and matching green track pants. What I found amusing was that he wasn't even going to vote for CCM; the clothes were given out for free at some rally. My impression from talking to many young bajaji drivers over the past seven weeks is that they don't always have a clear rationale on why they want Lowassa to be the next president of Tanzania (Union). Most of them referred to how they wanted change, and by change, they seemed to want something simply other than CCM. Many referred to how CCM has been reigning for too long (56 years), but seldom did they speak in depth about the presidential candidates themselves - their biography, competency, experience, campaign promise, etc. The taxi drivers on the other hand (who are generally older than bajaji drivers), seemed to either want to vote for CCM at any cost; vote for Magufuli despite themselves not being part of CCM (because they can't afford to see Lowassa win); or to not vote at all. I had very limited interaction with Tanzanian women (of all age groups) in Dar, which makes me quite curious as to for whom they will cast a vote and why.

On the day of the general election, I followed my housemate, Mkunde, to a school in Mikocheni A. We arrived an hour before the polls opened, but there was already a long queue. I was quite impressed. There were maybe 4-5 soldiers on duty, but with no weapons in sight. Voters had to find their names on the rosters and line up at the place where they saw them. Most people who showed up early were men. The bajaji driver who took us to the school said he was no. 2 at his poll; someone was holding his spot while he was making his ends meet. Most of the people that were in line were men. Mkunde was supposed to meet with two of her girl friends, but they showed up late, because they had to prepare chai for their children and take care of a few things in the house. As it drew closer to 7 am, more women showed up. Many in colourful kangas and kitenges -- I assumed many of these women would be heading to church afterwards. Elderly, disabled, and lactating women were given priority. There were some delays in setting up the booths (I think), and the first person went into cast his vote around 7.15 am. Mkunde was done by 8 am. By then, the queue had grown longer to an extent that I had to use a panorama mode on my phone to capture the scene. The early hours of election day was rather peaceful in my neighbourhood. I am hoping it will stay like this the next couple of days...

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

The joys (?) and tribulations of becoming a permanent resident in TZ by youjinbchung


Oh where do I begin. 18 Sep 2015: On this day, I made my first trip to immigration services (Uhamiaji House) in Kurasini to apply for my Class C permanent residence permit. An immigration officer, whom I will call E, advised me to come back after 12 days. When I was submitting my application though, E gave me a hard time for having paid the $500 fee in advance; she said the fees are paid only when the applications get officially approved. I was discombobulated -- what she told me was contrary to the information posted on the immigration services website. According to Government Notice No.262 of August 03, 2012, the the $500 fee for Class C Permit (researchers) should be deposited through direct banking, which I did. The website also indicates: "Services are provided after the customer's presentation of the Bank Slip to the respective office where the service is sought" (Part 2 of the website). E took my documents anyway and gave me a receipt acknowledging my application, but she wasn't convinced that the accountant would accept my deposit slip...

6 Oct 2015: I made my way to Uhamiaji House early in the morning, already stressed out after having spent so much time and energy haggling over the taxi fare with dishonest drivers, and having been stuck in traffic for I don't know how long. *Oh, also just a word of caution, there is a dress code at Uhamiaji House -- no skinny jeans, or "skin jeans" as they call them here. A woman in front of me was stopped at security point; she eventually had to drape a kanga over her legs. It doesn't make sense though, because the security officers didn't say anything about guys who wore jeans that were as tight or that were practically sliding off their asses, ugh.*

Anyway. I went directly to counter no. 13, which serves Class C permit applicants. I showed the officer on duty, whom I will call M, my acknowledgement receipt from September. She told me to wait - her expression impassive. After having waited half an hour or so, officer E appeared at the counter. She told me the same thing she did back in September: it was wrong that I paid the fees in advance. This time, I had a printed copy of the immigration services website. E acquiesced to my surprise: "Oh, well... maybe the weakness is on our part". She took me across the ground floor to the accountant. Having examined my deposit slip from NMB Bank, he told to go up to the 3rd floor to the Revenue Office so that they can verify that my $500 had in fact been deposited. I did what I was told, and brought the verified (signed and stamped) deposit slip down to the accountant. He now told me to go across the street to get a photocopy of the slip and come back. To the closest stationery store I went -- only to realise that there was no power. I walked further down the road to another shop, which charged me five times the usual price, because of the generator. I walked back to Uhamiaji House, waited in a long line under the scorching sun, went through the security point again, and went back to the accountant with my photocopy. The accountant kept the original and he told me to give the photocopy to the officer in the next counter. I waited and waited...

About half an hour later, the officer who took the photocopy called me over and asked why I had given it to him. What was I supposed to say other than "I did what the accountant told me to do"!? The accountant called me over again; he told me to go across the hall and find E. It took me an hour to find E. When I did find her, she said I needed to pay $50 extra dollars for a "re-entry fee". She said without it, my permit will terminate if I leave the country temporarily within the two years of my residency. I was baffled why she hadn't told me this earlier. She took me back to the accountant, who told me to go to another counter across the hall to pay the additional $50. I was getting exasperated. I had spent three hours at this place already; been dragged from counter to counter, from floor to floor; put up with people pushing and cutting in front of me in line; and the heat. When I went to the payment counter, there were just SO many people and no space to even stand and wait. I was trying really hard to be patient and stay positive, but I couldn't stop the tears that were starting to cloud my vision. I choked up.

When I was wiping the tears away with my handkerchief, I locked eyes with officer M. I was pretty embarrassed. She kept looking at me - still impassively - and it just made me cry even more. I swiftly wiped my tears, blew my nose, and took a deep breath, reciting "Om Mani Padme Hum" silently in my head. When I locked eyes with M again, she called me over to her counter. I didn't know what to do, because I was starting to make progress, albeit slow, in this long queue to pay; I didn't want to lose my spot. She was insistent that I come see her. I eventually relinquished my spot in line and went up to M. She asked: "What's wrong?" I wish she hadn't, because my tears started gushing out. Once I regained my composure, I told her I was just getting flustered with the lack of clarity with this whole process, all the back-and-forthing, and the hours of waiting. Her look was still impassive, but she told me to wait; somehow, she had managed to expedite my $50 payment. I was beyond grateful. She told me to take the payment receipt back to the accountant, who then told me to go outside again to make two photocopies. It was the same process again -- overcharged photocopying bill, long queue under the sun, security check, and more waiting to see the accountant. I got an official receipt of payment from the accountant when I came back. I was so hopeful I would be able to get my permit on the same day. Instead, I was told to go back home, wait, and return after 10 working days. Inshallah!

*Update* 22 October: I waited 10 working days and went back to Uhamiaji House; I left my house at 7 am to beat the morning traffic and arrived just before 8 am, when the offices opened for business. When I brought my receipt to counter no. 13, the officer, without saying a word and without even looking at me, pointed to the next window (no. 14), at which there was no one. There was really no point in me arriving early, because no one showed up to serve counter no. 14 until around 9.30 am.

I imagined this trip to Uhamiaji House to be my very last one. And because I thought everything would go smoothly and quickly this last time (I mean, what could go wrong?), I hadn't brought anything to read... I hadn't expected to wait for so long...

When the officer finally arrived at counter no. 14, I showed him my receipt. I could see that he was typing my name on the keyboard. He typed my name over and over. Frown lines appeared between his eye brows. I started to panic. He said, "It's not ready. Come back tomorrow and check." No explanation as to why it was not ready. My heart started racing, my blood started simmering. There was no way I was coming back here. There was no guarantee that my permit would be ready tomorrow. "Come back tomorrow and check"!? I sat down and mulled over my course of action, while trying to suppress the tears of frustration. I think I sat there for another hour. My head was blank. I should have asked my friends for help; I knew at least three friends, who either new people working at Immigration, or people who could help expedite my application. I observed the world go around me. I saw so many people (mostly men) holding other peoples' passports; filling out other peoples' paperwork; and quietly exchanging words (and cash) with officers in corridors and stairwells...

A petite Indian Catholic nun sat next to me. She grinned at me and I returned a meek smile. She gently touched my arm and asked if everything was okay. I vaguely told her my situation. She whispered in my ear: "Don't worry. I'll take you to an "officer"". It was a bizarre situation. I felt quite uneasy, and yet somewhat hopeful. After she received her permit (she submitted her application 3 weeks after I had, and she had already gotten her permit!), she took me to a room on the first floor, where a heavy-set man in a navy blue uniform sat. The nun went into his office, shook his hand vigorously, and said thank you repeatedly. Then she introduced me to him, as "a sister needing help". Without any question, he asked for a copy of my receipt, and told me to wait downstairs. I asked for his name, and he said I didn't need to know his name. Just "Officer", or "Ofisa". I left the room, and the nun stayed with Bwana Ofisa. For a fleeting second, I thought of attending mass this Sunday and reviving my foregone Catholic beliefs...

I waited for another hour. At this point, I was bored, I was hot, I was vexed. I didn't know for how much longer I could wait. Then a male officer called me at counter no. 13. He said they were now going to process/print my permit, and that I should wait for an hour. Of course I waited more than an hour. Exactly 5 hours and 30 minutes after my arrival, I received my Class C permanent residence permit. I can now legally reside in Tanzania for the next 12 months...!

So, I've written this post to both let off steam and to help other researchers in the future. I succeeded in doing this immigration business under my own steam (well, except for the unexpected help from the nun and Bwana Ofisa), at the cost of completely running out of steam. As frustrating as it was, I did learn something about Tanzanian bureaucracy.

Weber once said:

"The nature of bureaucracy, which is welcomed by capitalism, develops the more perfectly the more the bureaucracy is 'dehumanized,' the more completely it succeeds in eliminating from official business love, hatred, and all purely personal, irrational, and emotional elements which escape calculation" (see Weber, M. 1946. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, pp. 215-6).

On one hand, I observed and experienced many "human" aspects of the Tanzanian immigration system. The application process is non-automated; there are heaps of manual files stacked on officers' desks; the receipts are hand-written; and the overall process is based on direct, face-to-face interactions. And yet, this human interaction, as I experienced it (as a foreigner), was very "dehumanising", in the sense that it was emotionally offensive. In many instances, I felt ignored, disrespected, "othered", helpless, powerless, and the list can go on. But on the other hand, the pervasiveness of middlemen, personal favours, and petty corruption, all seem to successfully reproduce the bureaucracy... And what alarms me is how these practices are naturalised and rationalised. Many of my Tanzanian friends/colleagues/acquaintances acknowledge the adverse nature and extent of petty corruption in the country, and yet, they all partake in it, because it saves them time and energy. Tanzanian bureaucracy seems to reproduce itself in spite of - or thanks to - its inherent contradictions. It is impersonal yet personal, and irrational yet rational.

Applying for a research permit in Tanzania by youjinbchung


One of things that worried me the most about starting my fieldwork was obtaining a research permit from the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). I have heard so many nightmarish stories about the research clearance process -- how it's so difficult to get in contact with COSTECH, how the overall process is unclear, how there's so much bureaucratic red tape, etc. There's actually a lot of information about the research clearance process floating on the web -- some useful, some not useful...  I'll just write about my own experience here (while my memory is still fresh), with the hope that it will help other researchers in the future.

Here's what I did:

1. Apply for a research associateship with the University of Dar es Salaam

As I was conducting my pre-dissertation fieldwork (2013-2014), I spent a lot of time building relationships with local academics and researchers. In summer 2014, I established an informal affiliation with the Department of Geography at UDSM through a faculty member, with whom I had shared research interests in land/resource politics. I got in touch with her again around May 2015 (once I had secured my fieldwork funding) and asked if she could serve as my local advisor in support of my formal affiliation at UDSM (the affiliation is officially called 'research associateship').

Here are the documents required for applying for a research associateship at UDSM:

  • Application Form (let me know if this link doesn't work)
  • Research Proposal (one page in length, 4 copies)
  • CV
  • Names and Addresses of 2-3 Referees
  • Photographs (no specific size requirement, 2 copies)
  • Invitation letter from a local advisor

I sent these documents via email to Noela, the administrative assistant at the Vice Chancellor's Office for Research, on 11 July 2015, and mailed a hard copy to the following address the next day:

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Research University of Dar es Salaam P.O. Box 35091 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

I heard from my local advisor about a month later (18 Aug), who said I needed to transfer the $200 application fee. The Bank details for UDSM can be found in the application form. I transferred the funds online through Bank of America; it went through in about two days (N.B. BoA charged me $35 fee for international transfers). About three weeks later (9 Sep, two days after arriving in Dar), I was informed by Noela that my research associateship was approved.

A week later (16 Sep), I met with my local advisor who handed me a packet of documents to take to COSTECH to apply for an official research permit. The packet included a letter from UDSM introducing me to COSTECH, and the other documents I had submitted to the university back in July (i.e. one copy of the photograph, one copy of my research proposal, CV and references, invitation letter from my local advisor).

2. Apply for Research Permit at COSTECH

I saved some time by depositing the research permit fee ($300) before going into the COSTECH offices. If you want the bank account details, let me know and I can share this information with you. You just need to go to any National Bank of Commerce (NBC) branch, fill in the cash deposit slip, and deposit the fee in US dollars. Remember to keep the receipt!

Once you arrive at COSTECH, you will sign a guest book at the entrance of the building. The building itself isn't really welcoming, and the offices are not signposted. Walk up to the the second floor, go through the corridor on the right, and enter room number C1. There was one lady processing the documents and one man (Mr Mushi); I don't know his exact title, but he is the one who has the authority to issue the research permits on behalf of the Director General (I think). They were both very lovely -- speaking Swahili helped a great deal. After reviewing my documents, Mr Mushi directed me to go downstairs to room B6 to submit the receipt I got from NBC. This took maybe 5 minutes. Once I came back with my receipt, my research permit was all ready to go! I was given three documents:

  • Research Permit
  • Cover Letter from COSTECH to Immigration Services
  • Tanzania Immigration Department Residence Permit Datasheet

I need to take all these documents to Immigration Services Department HQ in Dar (Kurasini) to apply for my Class C Residence Permit. I'll more about this later...

In sum, the research clearance process isn't so complicated as long as you have a good institutional affiliation, have a lot of patience, pay the fees in time, and try to do things face-to-face once you are in the country (and speak Swahili as much as you can!). Another important tip is to bring a lot of US$ with you for the initial months. It doesn't sound so safe to be carrying thousands of dollars, but a lot of these official documents require fees to be paid in US$, and the ATMs here charge a lot of fees (BoA charges something like $11 every time I withdraw cash).

Packing for dissertation fieldwork by youjinbchung


While packing light is key, knowing what you definitely need/don't need, and what you can/cannot live without is also important! Packing for 12 months in less than 50kg:

Clothing & Shoes:

  • Lightweight, breathable summer clothes + long-sleeves for chilly mornings and evenings, and for preventing mosquito bites
  • Light scarves and kangas (they serve multiple purposes!)
  • One or two nicer outfits for professional meetings (just in case)
  • Light rain jacket
  • Comfy walking shoes (slip-ons, trainers, and sandals)
  • Waterproof flipflops
  • Wellies for the rainy season

Electronic Equipment:

  • Nikon D90 DSLR camera, 50mm and 18-200mm lenses, strobe light, and multiple battery packs
  • Vivitar point-and-shoot cameras and plenty of AAA batteries for photovoice
  • SD card reader
  • Apple Lightning to USB cable
  • USB hub
  • Audio Recorder (I use this one from TASCAM) and mini tripod (I use this one from JOBY)
  • Good over-ear noise-canceling headphones for interview transcriptions (...and for blocking out noise coming from dogs, bars, and mosques)
  • Portable bluetooth speaker
  • External hard drive
  • Various chargers, universal adapters, and extra cables
  • Internet modem/router (*it turns out that the Vodacom dongle I bought back in 2012 is no longer compatible with OS X Yosemite, so I purchased a new one yesterday -- the Wifi router (below) is actually pretty neat as I can connect up to 10 devices wirelessly, TZS 70,000; US$33)

Vodacom Wifi Router

Basic and Emergency Medication & Personal Care:

  • Probiotics
  • Multivitamins
  • Acetophenone (Tylenol)
  • Expectorant and cough suppressants (Mucinex DM)
  • Antihistamines (Benadryl and non-drowsy kind, like loradine)
  • Nasal spray for year-round allergies (Flonase)
  • Atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone)
  • Contraceptive pills (primarily for lightening/skipping periods while in the field)
  • Antidiarrheals (Imodium; it's never really worked for me, but just in case)
  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Ciprofloxacin for travelers' diarrhea
  • Band-Aid
  • Neosporin
  • Hydrocortisone 1% ointment
  • Anti-itch bug bite roll-ons
  • Insect Repellent, 30% Deet (I like this product by Sawyer)
  • Contact lenses (biweekly ones and spare daily ones)
  • Contact lens solution (also sold in pharmacies in big cities like Dar, usually for TZS 25,000 or US$12).
  • Eyedrops for dry eyes (I got some sodium hyaluronate drops prescribed by my ophthalmologist; it's supposed to be much better/healthier for the eyes than over-the-counter products)
  • Other prescription ointments for inflammatory skin conditions
  • Sunscreen SPF 50+ (for sensitive skin, buy products that have Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as active ingredients!)
  • Nail clippers, nail file, cuticle oil

Other things:

  • Lots and lots of passport-sized photos (you need multiple copies for various permits)
  • Granola and protein bars (essential for long days out in the field!)
  • Electronic mosquito trap (thank you, mum!)
  • Duct tape (for fixing everything!)
  • Safety pins (also for fixing everything, esp. big holes in mosquito nets!)
  • Microfiber cloth (for all that dust... but this can be easily bought in local supermarkets in Dar)
  • Baby wipes (a cheaper alternative to wet wipes! pretty cheap in TZ, too)
  • Hand sanitizers (also can be bought locally)
  • Feminine hygiene products (they are still so much more expensive in TZ!)
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Outdoor sun hat
  • Water bottle
  • Exercise band
  • Travel yoga mat (this one I use is SUPER lightweight)
  • iPad with lots and lots of e-books, music, and movies
  • Guitar

A very brief history of the East African Coast by youjinbchung

The East African coast was in contact with civilisations of the Persian Gulf, India, and even China through trade across the Indian Ocean for at least two thousands years prior to 1500. As Jean-François Bayart argues, when considered in a view of history over the longue durée, Africa has never ceased to exchange both goods and ideas with the rest of the world. To this, one must add the exchange of human beings via slavery and the plantation system. Whereas West Africa came under direct European influence in the 1500s through the transatlantic slave trade that fuelled mercantile capitalism, East Africa, particularly the coast, first became commercially important to Arab traders around 1200 for its strategic position between the Middle East and the ports of present-day Mozambique, which exported the gold of Rhodesia. The Portuguese took control of the East African coast in the 1500s, but they were eventually wiped out by the end of the next century due to rising local insurrections and the seizure of Kilwa – a small island off the coast of present-day Tanzania – by mariners and mercenaries from Oman in the Arabian Peninsula.

Oldest map of Bagamoyo from 1870


In the 1770s, Kilwa exported ivory, slaves, hippo-teeth, tortoise-shell, cowries, wax, gum, and indigo, and imported textiles (from India), arms, and ammunition. Kilwa was abandoned in 1840, as the Sultan of Oman moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar. In the 1800s, Bagamoyo, a coastal town in present-day Tanzania and the closest mainland port to Zanzibar, flourished as the main terminus for ivory and slave caravans coming from the interior. The name Bagamoyo (bwaga meaning “to throw down/ to let fall” and moyo meaning “heart”) originally connoted a place where the caravanserai could rest their bodies and minds after travelling long distances. On the other hand, it meant a place a despair for slaves: a place where they lost all hope for life as they awaited their onward journey to Zanzibar. The caravan porters were financed by Arab traders, and they were mostly Nyamwezi people of the central plateau (Central Zone of present-day Tanzania). According to Frederick Cooper, Abdul Sheriff and other historians, about 20,000 slaves were shipped to Zanzibar from Bagamoyo per year by the 1860s. In contrast to the strong male bias of the transatlantic slave trade, female slaves accounted for over 50 percent of all slave exports from East Africa. In addition to being sold to French sugar plantations in Mauritius and the Réunion Islands, female slaves were forced into domestic servitude, concubinage, and agricultural labour on Arab clove plantations in Zanzibar and on sugar plantations on the Pangani river basin. 

By the 1880s, Europeans were closing in for the control of East Africa. And it was under European colonialism that the region, for the first time, became fully, forcibly, and on highly unequal terms, integrated into the capitalist world-economy. Germany was not a major colonial power at the time, but with the fear of being excluded by France and Britain from trade with West Africa, Bismarck convened a conference of the European Powers in 1884 to lay down their ‘spheres of influence’ in Africa. In 1885, Germany claimed German East Africa – the territories encompassing present-day Burundi, Rwanda, and mainland Tanzania. The seizure of German East Africa was based on twelve treaties a German explorer and founder of the Society for German Colonisation, Karl Peters, had signed with local chiefs, who had supposedly ceded their territories and rights to the Society. Once the Germans arrived on the continent, however, they had to adopt military warfare in order to crush the powers of dominant classes in the territory, including slave-owning landlords, chiefs, kings, and merchants. It is estimated that over 80 wars of resistance were fought on the local terrain against the Germans up until early twentieth century.

In 1891, Germans started building a railroad from the coast to the northeast (from Tanga to Moshi). Land was confiscated from local populations, and the most fertile lands were opened up for white settlement and plantation agriculture. As soon as the territories were acquired, the German (and later the British) colonial government imposed hut taxes upon Africans to increase revenue for the metropole’s treasury. The economy of German East Africa became increasingly centred on large-scale agriculture. There was also mining of gold, mica, diamonds, and other minerals, but it never replaced agriculture as the major source of export and wage employment. By 1910, sisal had become the most important export crop, followed by cotton. However, much of the early attempts to compel African peasants to grow cotton had failed or resulted in major bloodshed. Particularly brutal was the Maji Maji Rebellion of 1905-1907, which historian John Iliffe called an “explosion of African hatred of European rule”. African peasants not only showed resistance through physical force, but also through everyday practices and knowledges, like deliberately preventing cotton from germinating by boiling its seeds.

Despite their resistance, subsistence in the countryside became increasingly dictated by the cash nexus. The need to pay taxes in cash instigated an exodus of men from the countryside for wage employment in plantations and mines. Male labour migration became a cornerstone of the political economy of colonial Africa. In addition, feminist scholars such as Deborah Bryceson and Marjorie Mbilinyi argue that the imposition of hut taxes was a mechanism through which European powers instilled the ideology of the modern, nuclear family upon Africans. Men, as the assumed heads of households, were held responsible for earning wages to pay taxes; on the other hand, women were forced to remain in the countryside fulfilling stringent minimum acreage requirements and caring for their families.

Tanganyika Territory became part of the British Empire in 1920, and it officially became a British League of Nations Mandate by 1922...

Bagamoyo c. 19th century

Bagamoyo c. 21st century