Arusha Declaration

(1967)

Impact

The Arusha Declaration was initially very popular in Tanzania. Nyerere received praise in the public realm, where he was already highly regarded following the successful path to independence. One widespread complaint at the time concerned the loss of the country's wealth and resources to economic and political elites in Tanzania and abroad. Since colonial times, people often spoke of elites' exploiting their positions at the expense of the majority. The actions of those who drained the wealth of the people came to be referred to by a vivid popular idiom describing colonial relationships as literally draining the blood of the people. The declaration was intended to speak directly to these fears. Still, many people were concerned about the disparities between the ideals of Socialism and democracy as explained in the document and the implications of absolute state control—and some would experience the realities of alienation in the course of the nationalization campaign.

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