After attaining independence, African leaders had a great task of nation building. The Africans had suffered economic exploitation, racial discrimination and lack of political representation. The situation could only be addressed through sound policies that would promote national development. Many African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo adopted various policies for development. However, the leaders lacked resources and had not been prepared for leadership.


After attaining her independence in 1961, Tanganyika embarked on an ambitious development programme. The significant political mileage was the union of Tanganyika (under Julius Nyerere) with Zanzibar (under Abeid Karume), forming Tanzania in 1964.

Describe/discuss the political developments in postcolonial Tanzania. (Assess the political developments in Tanzania since independence).

  • In 1961, Tanganyika attained her independence from British rule, with Mwalimu Julius Nyerere as President.
  • After Zanzibar’s independence from British rule, an Arab leadership headed by the sultan was imposed on the Africans. Soon after, Sheikh Abeid Karume of the Afroshirazi party came to power, deposing the sultan’s regime.
  • In 1964, there was a political union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. A new nation: the Union of Tanzania was formed, with Nyerere as President and Karume as First Vice President. According to the constitution of the Union, If the president of the united republic came from the mainland, the first Vice President came from the island and the second Vice President from the mainland. Later, due to some constitutional changes, the post of Prime Minister was introduced.
  • In 1967, the Arusha declaration was signed, laying down the principles for development. Tanzania adopted a Socialist policy in her development agenda. She also embraced the policy of nonalignment.
  • In 1973, Tanzania’s capital centre was transferred from Dar Es Salam to Dodoma to ease administration of mainland Tanzania.
  • Maintenance of the east African Community together with Kenya and Uganda was another political development. Although the community collapsed in 1977 due to policy difference among the three east African countries, more cooperation was realized in 1984, leading to eventual revival of the Community in 1993.
  • In 1977, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged their two parties: the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).
  • In 1978-1979, Tanzania was invaded by Uganda, but she drove back the Ugandan army and even had a hand in the overthrow of Uganda’s President: Idi Amin Dadaa.
  • President Nyerere made remarkable efforts in Tanzania’s growth. In 1985, Nyerere resigned as Tanzania’s President and Ali Hassan Mwinyi took over.
  • Tanzania offered material and financial support for African Liberation movements, for which she is well remembered, since the OAU liberation Committee was based in Dar Es Salam. Her role in African liberation movements brought independence to Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This strengthened Tanzania’s opposition to apartheid, which led to Namibia’s independence in 1990, followed by south Africa in 1994.
  • With the support of Ali Hassan Mwinyi but to the disappointment of mainland parliamentarians, Zanzibar decided on its own to join the African Muslim League, which threatened the Republic of Tanzania as a Union, but this problem was later diplomatically repudiated.
  • In 1995, Tanzania held her first multiparty elections and Benjamin William Mkapa was elected President of Multiparty Tanzania. In December 2005, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete became Tanzania’s fourth president in a peaceful transition.

What were the principles of the Arusha Declaration (1967)? (Describe the principles for Tanzania’s development as contained in the 1967 Arusha Declaration.)

  • Self-reliance I.E use of human and local resources for development.
  • Ujamaa (socialism) I.e. Communalism for collective responsibility, unity and national development.
  • Rejection of all forms of discrimination.
  • Nationalization policy I.E control of factories and means of production by the government.

Describe the major political developments that President Julius Nyerere will be remembered for in Tanzania.

  • Political union between mainland Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964.
  • Nyerere was pro-socialism and was opposed to Capitalist ideology.
  • Support for international organizations, particularly the Nonaligned movement, Organization of African Unity, United Nations Organization and the commonwealth.
  • Support for African Liberation movements, aimed at liberating African countries from colonialism. In fact, Tanzania was a member of the Frontline states: an organization or union of states that worked for liberation of Africans from the colonial bondage.
  • Merger of the Tanzania African National Union and the Afro-Shirazi Party in 1977. these two parties together formed Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), with Nyerere as President and Karume as Vice President.
  • Nyerere helped President Milton Obote of Uganda, who had been deposed by Idi Amin to reclaim power in Uganda in 1979.
  • Nyerere influenced the transfer of the capital city of Tanzania from Dar-Es-Salam to Dodoma.
  • As an example of good leadership, Nyerere retired as president of Tanzania in 1985 to allow new leadership in the country.

Describe/discuss the political challenges/setbacks encountered by Tanzania since independence. (State three political challenges that Ali Hassan Mwinyi faced as President of Tanzania.)

Most of Tanzania’s political challenges were encountered during the reign of President Ali Hassan Mwinyi. As President of Tanzania, Mwinyi faced the following problems:

  • His decision to lead Zanzibar in joining the African Muslim League almost broke the Union of Tanzania.
  • By joining the league, Mwinyi made Tanzania an ally of the Arab World without wide consultations
  • He faced pressure to embrace multiparty democracy until the constitutional amendment of May 1992.
  • Corruption contradicted Ujamaa and African socialism.
  • The influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo was a threat to security.
  • Fear of political instability made Zanzibar threaten to break away from the union.

Describe the economic developments/successes/achievements in Tanzania since independence.

  • In 1964, Tanzania adopted the Arusha declaration, with emphasis on self reliance, Ujamaa (socialism) and Nationalization.
  • The Ujamaa policy and desire for Self Reliance boosted agricultural production.
  • Agro-based industries were established. Sisal-related factories and textile industries were set up. Cement, shoes, oil tobacco brewery and steel-manufacturing industries were also built.
  • Nationalization and Africanization encouraged African participation in economic development which enhanced trade and financial initiatives.
  • The construction of the Tazara line and the Tanzam Oil Pipeline, with financial assistance from China, which boosted Tanzania’s economy. The Tazara line linked Dar Es Salam in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia and helped in the transportation of copper.
  • Establishment of the East African Community in 1967, which increased trade.
  • Rapid expansion of some urban centers such as the port of Dar Es Salam, the new capital of Dodoma and Arusha, the headquarters of the revived East African Community.
  • Improvement of the banking and insurance sectors. Ø Increased mining of diamonds, Cobalt and Oil.

What economic challenges/setbacks has Tanzania encountered since independence? (State/discuss the factors that undermined economic growth in Tanzania since independence.)

  • Increased poverty levels.
  • A wider gap between the rich and the poor due to the rise of African enterprises.
  • Negative attitude towards Ujamaa, which resulted in use of force in its implementation. Because of this, agricultural production decreased.
  • The volume of imports outweighed that of exports, causing trade-imbalance, which was worsened by the collapse of the East African Community in 1977.
  • Foreign investors feared the economic slump and left for Kenya and Uganda.
  • Price fluctuations in the world market for crops such as tea, sisal and coffee, which negatively affected Tanzania.
  • Prolonged drought and diseases, which negatively affected the agricultural sector.
  • The fact that Nyerere did not believe in foreign loans for development. Donors did not accept the policy of nationalization.
  • Tanzania’s currency was devalued in addition to suffering inflation.
  • Corruption cropped up as Hassan Mwinyi made efforts towards adoption of liberal policies to jump-start the economy.
  • Tanzania’s mineral resources are not fully exploited due to poverty, lack of technical expertise and poor transport system.
  • The collapse of the east African Community, which denied Tanzania a large market for her goods.
  • Tanzania’s huge debts.
  • Failure of Ujamaa as a development strategy, which eroded the confidence of the leaders.

Analyse/assess the social developments in Tanzania since independence.

  • Educational facilities were expanded, with free education right from primary school level. Self reliance was emphasized according to the Arusha declaration. Agriculture and technical subjects were also emphasized. Adult education was highly valued.
  • Kiswahili was accepted, encouraged and used as a medium of instruction and a national language, which promoted unity in Tanzania.
  • Provision of health services was stepped up by establishing hospitals, health centers and clinics, especially in rural areas. More food was provided for better nutrition and improved health.
  • The role of women in society was and still is appreciated by offering them educational opportunities as are offered to men, employing and appointing them to senior positions in party and government activities.



The Democratic Republic of Congo was a Belgian colony. Previously known as Belgian Congo and then Zaire, after which it was named the Democratic republic of Congo, this country attained independence in June 1960, with Joseph Kasavubu as President and Patrice Lumumba as Prime Minister. The Democratic Republic of Congo immediately faced a military revolt by soldiers who demanded an end to Belgian domination in the army. There was a lot of chaos and the whole of the Democratic Republic of Congo was plunged into disorder, leading to the Congo Crisis.

Analyse/discuss the factors that fuelled/led to the Congo Crisis.

  • Africans in the army rebelled against white officers employed during the colonial era because of their opposition to the continuation of white men as army commanders.
  • Belgium sent its army to quell the revolt and to protect Belgian civilians and property.
  • The Belgian navy bombed the coastal town of Matadi. In response, angry African soldiers killed many Belgian citizens, which provoked a serious military engagement between the two communities.
  • Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and President Joseph Kasavubu broke relations between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Belgium.
  • In the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Moise Tshombe, with the help of the Belgians, was prepared to cut off Katanga from the rest of the country and establish his own independent state. This led to a rebellion in Kasai, which, like Katanga, wanted to cut itself off from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo appealed to the United Nations Organization for military support to put down the rebellion. The UNO sent some soldiers, but these were of no help since the UNO had a policy of not interfering in the affairs of a country.
  • Lumumba and Kasavubu opposed each other because Lumumba held radical views while Kasavubu belonged to the conservative group. This led to the murder of Lumumba in December 1960. As a result, Lumumba’s followers pulled out of government and retreated to the province of Oriental, where they formed their own government and started guerrilla training camps to overthrow Kasavubu’s government. Katanga, Kisangani and Kasai each had a government and army of its own, ready to fight the other.
  • At a National Leaders Meeting of 1961, a new National Coalition Government was set up under Cyrille Adoula. Antonine Gizenga (one of Lumumba’s followers) was to be Deputy Prime Minister. Katanga (which was under Moise Tshombe) was not represented at the meeting. However, there was peace and stability for a while.
  • There was another political rift between Gizenga and Adoula, but Gizenga was arrested and imprisoned. Once again, the government requested the United Nations Organization to help it against Tshombe, which the UNO readily provided in 1962. Tshombe was defeated and Katanga was integrated into the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • A new constitution was drawn whereby the DRC became a federation and each state had its own assembly. Adoula’s term of service ended in 1964. President Kasavubu invited Moise Tshombe to form a new government as a way of pleasing the Katangese. Tshombe therefore became the Prime Minister of the new government.
  • Because of previous problems, the Lumumba group, which was not pleased with Tshombe’s appointment, staged a rebellion against Kasavubu’s government in the city of Kisangani, where they formed the People’s Republic of Congo. There was war between the Tshombe government and the Kisangani rebels. To defuse the situation, Kasavubu forced Tshombe to resign on 3rd October 1965 and replaced him with Sylvester Kimba. But that government did not last long.
  • In November 1965, Joseph Mobutu, who was Commander of the armed forces, organized a bloodless coup and removed the civilian government from power. He then established a totalitarian regime.

Describe/discuss the political developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.

(Explain/analyse the political successes in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence. Or:

Explain/Identify the reforms adopted by Mobutu Sese Seko as President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.)  On becoming President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Mobutu (later Mobutu Sese Seko) adopted various reforms as follows:

  • He centralized power and became the head of state and government.
  • He banned all political parties, except his movement: Popular De La Revolution (MPR).
  • He nationalized industries and raised revenue for development.
  • He changed the constitution, stripping parliament of its powers. He abolished the federal system (including local assemblies).
  • He reduced administrative regions to eight. Civil servants were appointed by the central government.
  • On election in 1970, he declared himself life president.
  • He adopted the Authenticity programme to promote Congolese culture.
  • He changed the country’s name from Belgian Congo to Zaire to differentiate it from Congo Brazzaville.
  • He renamed major towns. E.G Leopoldville became Kinshasa while Elizabethville became Lubumbashi.
  • He dropped his name (Joseph) and adopted the names Mobutu Sese Seko. He advised the Zairians to drop their Christian names.

Analyse/discuss the socioeconomic developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.

(Describe the social successes in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence. Or:

Explain the economic achievements in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.)


  • The government supported social activities such as dance, music and sports.
  • Congolese culture was promoted.
  • The entertainment industry developed due to the country’s rich cultural heritage. Congolese musicians are internationally recognized. They send part of their profits back home.
  • Mobutu adopted the Authenticity programme to revive the Congolese culture. To achieve this, he encouraged the Africanization of names of people, the country and towns.
  • The government revised the education curriculum to suit the needs of the people.
  • Primary, secondary and university education were expanded.
  • Hospitals and dispensaries were built.
  • The government established a national medical insurance programme.


  • Roads and railways were built.
  • The port of Matadi was expanded.
  • Navigation on river Congo was improved.
  • Mobutu adopted economic reforms in which industries were nationalized.
  • The government established a pension scheme for workers.
  • Foreign investors were encouraged to invest in agriculture, which increased food production. Ø Lunga hydroelectric power station was built for industrial use.
  • Petroleum resources were developed.

Describe the political difficulties that the Democratic Republic of Congo experienced since independence.

(Discuss the political setbacks encountered in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence. Or:

State the political challenges/problems facing the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.)

  • The Democratic republic of Congo experienced political turmoil after six days of independence. The country’s multi-ethnic composition of about eighty tribes has naturally made unity a distant dream for political leaders.
  • The Belgians, who came to crash a mutiny, may have masterminded massive looting and destruction of property, making Congo ungovernable.
  • The Congo crisis culminated in the secession of Katanga under Moise Tshombe and the Kasai region under Albert Kalonji.
  • Political and ideological differences existed between the Prime Minister (Patrice Lumumba), who advocated centralization of power, and President Joseph Kasavubu, who favoured regional government.
  • After the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961, his supporters withdrew to Kisangani, almost causing disintegration of the country.
  • The Belgian and United Nations forces that came in during the Congo Crisis interfered with the running of the government.
  • In 1965, Joseph Desire Mobutu took over power from Kasavubu through a military coup.
  • Mobutu became a dictator, banning all political parties. He centralized power and suspended parliament.
  • The Shaba Rebellion (1977-1978) caused civil war.
  • The 1990s saw a rise in pressure-groups comprising civilians and soldiers who demanded multipartism.
  • Opposition groups rebelled against the government. Laurent Desire Kabila (a rebel-leader based in the then eastern Zaire) rose to power and overthrew Mobutu in 1997. Mobutu fled to Morocco, where he died shortly later.

Laurent Kabila was assassinated in January 2001.

Joseph Kabila (a son of Laurent Kabila) took over in 2001 but continued to face opposition from rebels under Ernest Wamba Dia Wamba and Eunice Ihinga. It was during the reign of his father Laurent that what was known as Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has faced hostilities from her neighbours such as Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Discuss the political challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.


                        Economic challenges

  • Failure to exploit her natural (mineral) resources due to political instability.
  • Over-reliance on foreign aid from Belgium and France, which created a debtrepayment crisis.
  • Misappropriation of donor funds, which aggravated the debt crisis.
  • Lack of trade policies, which gave rise to Black Marketeering.
  • Smuggling and corruption, which hindered economic growth.
  • Joblessness (Unemployment), which led to increased poverty levels.
  • Massive printing of the country’s currency on the directive of Mobutu, which caused inflation and weakened the economy.
  • Poor economic policies by Mobutu, which affected economic growth. Mobutu became a multibillionaire amidst angry and poverty-stricken citizens.
  • The nationalization policy failed, forcing Mobutu to return some nationalized assets to private investors.


Social challenges

  • Increased illiteracy as the school system collapsed.
  • Increased unemployment.
  • Low standards of living due to poverty.
  • Deterioration of the health sector due to lack of medical services.
  • Civil wars, which have caused a refugee problem.
  • Insecurity, which has hindered delivery of services in the refugee camps.
  • An increase in the number of orphans and widows due to war.
  • Destitution, which has led to the spread of HIV & AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections due to sexual abuse.


Sociopolitical challenges in Tanzania And the Democratic Republic of Congo

Whereas Tanzania has enjoyed unity and political stability, the democratic Republic of Congo has not had any peace despite her large mineral resource base that lies untapped. However, both countries encounter common sociopolitical problems such as:

  • Inadequate funds.
  • Poor infrastructure.
  • Natural calamities
  • Inadequate trained manpower.
  • Untapped natural resources.
  • Population explosion.
  • The refugee problem.
  • Environmental degradation.


By the beginning of the 21st century, all African countries had attained political independence. Some had made great strides in nation building. Different African nations adopted various approaches in the fulfillment of their dreams. The choice of political, economic and social ideology largely depended on the leadership that took over upon attaining independence. However, their attempts at nation building have been undermined by various challenges.

Social challenges

  • Poverty I.E low income per capita, which has meant low purchasing power, hence reduced economic growth. This frustrates virtually every development effort.
  • Illiteracy (low literacy levels), which characterize much of sub-Saharan Africa, especially in countries affected by conflict such as the Democratic republic of Congo, Chad, Somalia and Sudan. African countries inherited from colonial masters a segmented pattern of education, which makes their search for an education system that suits their development needs one of the biggest challenges.
  • Inadequate healthcare (lack of access to modern medical facilities) due to poverty and low levels of technology. Killer diseases like Malaria, HIV-AIDS and Cholera as well as the exodus of medics from various countries in search of greener pastures in the developed world has compounded the problem of inaccessibility of medical services, which has lowered economic growth.
  • Population explosion (the ever rising population), which has strained provision of essential services like Food, clean water, medicine, literacy and housing to the people, leading to rural-urban migration and unemployment.
  • Conflict (civil and international wars), which defines the interaction between communities as witnessed in Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cote D’ivoir and the Democratic Republic of Congo among others. Due to dwindling economic resources, different religious doctrines and authoritarian systems of government.
  • Crime, due to unemployment, which results from poor planning, inaccessibility to career training and shrinking economies. The easy access to fire-arms due to regional conflicts has led to increased armed robberies in cities and on major highways. This causes insecurity, which scares  away investors in some countries.
  • Terrorism, which has continued to be a cause of great concern to many African countries, especially those that have been hit by bombings like Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Libya and Egypt. Africa has been targeted by international terrorist organizations on suspicion that some countries have taken sides with the enemy.
  • The Refugee Menace (influx of refugees in some countries) as masses flee from civil strife in their homecountries, as is evident in the Great Lakes region, a situation that has overstretched refugee camps in the neighbouring countries.
  • Environmental pollution, especially in cities like Lagos, Cairo and Johannesburg due to poor environmental policies, a thriving industrial sector and rising population.

Economic challenges

  • Colonial hangovers, whereby many independent African countries never detached themselves but continued to seek loans from their former colonial masters, which they were unable to repay. Donor aid, loans and grants have brought about a dependence syndrome which explains the debt crisis many African states experience since independence.
  • Slow industrial growth due to acute shortage of vital industrial raw materials like iron, coal, steel and petroleum in many parts of Africa, largely because of over-exploitation of existing natural resources during the colonial period. Shortage of technical support and skilled manpower for industrial take-off has made the situation worse.
  • Unfavourable climatic conditions, which have greatly curtailed food production, particularly among agricultural communities, leading to severe famine.
  • Population pressure (rapid population growth) particularly in cities, where social and other services have been overstretched, particularly health, education and housing. The population is also characterized by a high dependence ratio as most of it is youthful, unemployed and dependent on a small working group.
  • Massive rural-urban migration puts more pressure on the limited resources in urban areas.
  • Poor infrastructure (lack of/inadequate transport & communication network) since the few that exist link the colonial sources of raw material, leaving other parts (especially dry areas) inaccessible, which explains the imbalance in economic development in many African countries.
  • Over-reliance on primary exports such as coffee, tea, rubber, cotton, copper, soda ash, bauxite ETX, which means low income to the exporting countries. The imports to African countries largely comprise ready-made highly expensive goods while the exports from the very African countries are raw materials subjected to price-fluctuations in the world market as, in most cases, such prices are determined by the buyers.
  • Corruption, characterized by bribery and mismanagement, whereby public funds are often embezzled, leading to collapse of public institutions and projects in such countries as Nigeria, Cameroon and the Democratic republic of Congo, whose economies lack the much-needed support. Rampant smuggling, black marketeering as well as lack of transparency and accountability in economic and political affairs cause donor agencies to suspend aid, thus frustrating trade and industrial growth in independent Africa.
  • Poor economic planning, whereby economic reform policies pursued E.G the Nationalization and Africanization policies in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda have destabilized economies and therefore kept foreign investors at bay. This left such countries with very weak economies, from which they have never recovered. Haphazard printing of money in some countries E.G in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo triggered financial crises due to inflation and high costs of living.
  • Unemployment due to decline of job-creation, which stems from economic mismanagement and structural adjustment programmes such as retrenchment.


                    Political challenges

  • Ideological differences based on the economic, political and social philosophies adopted by postcolonial African governments/leaders to guide development. In some countries such as Angola, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo, such differences exploded into civil strife.
  • The Cold war, during which various leaders supported either the Western or Eastern bloc for selfish motives in spite of Africa’s stated position of nonalignment. This left many African countries divided and locked in border conflicts that continue today, even though the cold war itself is over.
  • Coups D’itat (political instability) characterized by military take-over, which gripped several African states after independence and became the order of the day, particularly in the 1960s. The rise of military dictatorships led to insecurity and underdevelopment since Democracy, human rights, and the rule of law were stifled.
  • Strained international relations (personal/ideological differences between African leaders), with some ending in border closures, which greatly undermined international cooperation.
  • Conflicting interests, whereby many African governments have found themselves torn between serving their territorial interests and adhering to the interests of global and continental organizations like the African Union and the United nations Organization. For instance, Nigeria and Zimbabwe had to be expelled from the Commonwealth of Nations for alleged disregard for human rights and personal property.
  • Neocolonialism, whereby African states claim independence but continue to heavily depend on their former colonial masters. Most countries retained the colonial structures; E.G former British colonies still practice the Westminster parliamentary democracy, although they have difficulties in sustaining it.

Furthermore, the “Divide and rule” policies inherited by leaders of independent states have contributed to anarchy (lawlessness and disorder). The presence of multinational peace-keeping forces in parts of Africa has perpetuated Western influence, hence exposing Africa to economic exploitation.

  • Ethnicity (existence of different ethnic groups), which has contributed to severe interethnic wars as was the case in Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan and Nigeria, which have slowed down economic development apart from causing a rise in the refugee Crisis and heavy loss of human life.
  • Maladministration, whereby, at independence, the leadership in many African states was ill-prepared and inexperienced in administration. This led to political instability and often spurred rebel movements by groups that felt locked out in the sharing of the national cake. This was more so in Angola and Mozambique.


  1. Describe the social developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.
  2. Identify the economic achievements in the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.
  3. Identify the reforms adopted by Mobutu Sese Seko as President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  4. State the challenges facing the Democratic Republic of Congo since independence.
  5. State the principles of Tanzania’s development as contained in the Arusha Declaration of 1967.
  6. Explain the economic developments and challenges that Tanzania has witnessed since independence.
  7. Identify the major political developments that Julius Nyerere will be remembered for in Tanzania.
  8. State three political challenges that Ali Hassan Mwinyi faced as President of Tanzania.
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