Discussion Papers

No.746 Ideological Orientation of the Educated Youth in Tanzania: A Literature Review

by Machiko Tsubura

March 2019


Since the political and economic liberalisation in the mid-1980s and the early 1990s, Tanzania has witnessed a combination of liberal and socialist values and practices in the public sphere. It has influenced political views of Tanzanians, including the youth who do not have the lived experience of the socialist period led by the founding president, Julius Nyerere. This study examines the ideological views of Tanzanian educated youth, and their interactions with national politics to deepen our understanding of contemporary Tanzania. As the first step of the study, this paper provides a brief literature review on three themes: 1) ideology/ideologies and socialism in general and in sub-Saharan Africa; 2) the historical background of Tanzania with a focus on President Nyerere and his socialist ideology, ujamaa; and 3) the re-emergence of ujamaa as moral principles in post-socialist Tanzania. The reviewed literature suggests that Tanzanians, including the youth, have incoherent ideological views today, which may be a result of the deliberate silence on the ideological aspects of Nyerere and ujamaa by the political elite in public debates.

Keywords: ideology, socialism, youth, Tanzania

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