Critical Evaluation of African Socialism, with Regards to Ujamaa Policies

1919 Words Mar 12th, 2010 8 Pages
In 1960s when African states gain independence, many leaders felt that they can not celebrate their victory if they continue using the economic-political system that has been established by colonizers such as capitalism. They perceived capitalism as the bearer of social inequalities, and ignorance that exists within societies. They wanted a unique economic and political system with no resemblance of outside influence. African Socialism was then a unique political ideology and identity of Africa. Julius Nyerere was one of the leading proponents of African socialism “African traditional way of life” (Hyden, 1980: 200). African socialism as an ideology has its own successes and also its own criticism. Therefore, this essay will critically …show more content…
Ujamaa is based on Arusha declaration of 1967 the first political effort to fight the accumulation of capital resources in hands of elites which ends in class divisions and struggles. Nyerere proposed three important assumptions beneath traditional Ujamaa living: the recognition and respect of one another, common ownership and the elimination of class divisions (Cameron 2007: 130-132).

African socialism failed to deliver its promises and saved people from the aftermaths of colonialism. Many African leaders failed to put in practice policies that they preached during the African socialism adoption, they also lacked proper planning. Therefore, African socialism seemed as the mislaid philosophy idealism, worthless development with broken political promises which contained so many contradictions that then hindered its successfulness. Ujamaa policies shared the same basis and fallacy of development that has propelled and inhibited successive development initiative in Africa. This is objectification of African peasants and rural settlers as the hopeless sufferers of colonial era who were supposed to be lifted to higher levels of social and material well being. Thus, Ujamaa’s dedication to modernization paradigm ended in a condition where improving well being of peasants perceived as alienating them from their cultural and social realities to the reinvented colonial practices (Cameron, 2007: 116).

The main problem of African socialism was the…