African socialism is a belief in sharing economic resources in a traditional African way, as distinct from classical socialism. Many African politicians of the 1950s and 1960s professed their support for African socialism, although definitions and interpretations of this term varied considerably.
As many African countries gained independence during the 1960s, some of these newly formed governments rejected the ideas of capitalism in favour of a more afrocentric economic model. Leaders of this period professed that they were practising 'African Socialism'.
Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Modibo Keita of Mali, Léopold Senghor of Senegal, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Sékou Touré of Guinea, were the main architects of African Socialism according to William H. Friedland and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., editors of the book African Socialism.
Common principles of various versions of African socialism were: social development guided by a large public sector, incorporating the African identity and what it means to be African, and the avoidance of the development of social classes within society. Senghor claimed that "Africa’s social background of tribal community life not only makes socialism natural to Africa but excludes the validity of the theory of class struggle," thus making African socialism, in all of its variations, different from Marxism and European socialist theory.
The first influential publication of socialist thought for Africa occurred in 1956 with the release of Senegalese intellectual Abdoulaye Ly's Les masses africaines et l'actuelle condition humaine.
The Concept or politic ideology of Ujamaa formed the basis of Julius Nyerere's autarkic social and economic development policies in Tanzania after Tanganyika gained independence from its colonial power Britain in 1961 and its union with Zanzibar to form Tanzania in 1964. The word Ujamaa comes from the Swahili word for extended family or familyhood and is distinguished by several key characteristics, namely that a person becomes a person through the people or community.
In 1967, President Nyerere published his development blueprint, which was titled the Arusha Declaration, in which Nyerere pointed out the need for an African model of development. That formed the basis of African socialism for Tanzania. The Arusha Declaration sparked international discussions and debates about African socialism in the academic and economic world.
However, according to the BBC, "while he united his nation and made major advances in the fields of health and education," Julius Nyerere's African socialist "Ujamaa" collectives "proved disastrous for Tanzania's economy".
The ancient Ubuntu philosophy of South Africa recognizes the humanity of a person through their interpersonal relationships. The word comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages. Ubuntu believes in a bond that ties together all of humanity and the fact that a human being is of a high value. According to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, A man with ubuntu is open and accessible to others, confirming of others, doesn't feel debilitated that others are capable and great, for he or she has a legitimate confidence that originates from realizing that he or she has a place in a more noteworthy entire and is decreased when others are mortified or reduced, when others are tormented or abused.
Harambee is a term that originated among natives, specifically Swahili porters of East Africa and the word Harambee traditionally means "let us pull together". It was taken as an opportunity for local Kenyans to self-develop their communities without waiting on government. This helped build a sense of togetherness in the Kenyan community but analyst state that it has brought about class discrepancies due to the fact that some individuals use this as an opportunity to generate wealth.
Socialism, Stanford University press, California, 1964.
The African Socialist International (ASI) is an organization set up by the African People's Socialist Party at that party's first congress, in 1981. The resolution for the organization's creation called for all African socialists to unite into one all-African socialist movement, with the eventual goal of one African state. The African People's Socialist Party considers the ASI to be its most important project.The African People's Socialist Party envisions the ASI to be a more revolutionary organization than the general Pan-African movement. One of the resolutions of the African People's Socialist Party's Third Congress in September 1990 stated that:
As distinguished from Pan Africanism, which has historically relied principally on the leadership of the African petty bourgeoisie as heads of organizations or illegitimate colonialist-created states for the accomplishment of its aims, the African Socialist International will rely on the social base of conscious Africans organized under the revolutionary leadership of the African working class.Arusha Declaration
The Arusha Declaration (Swahili: Azimio la Arusha) and TANU’s Policy on Socialism and Self Reliance (1967), referred to as the Arusha Declaration, is known as Tanzania’s most prominent political statement of African Socialism, ‘Ujamaa’, or brotherhood (Kaitilla, 2007). The Arusha declaration is divided into five parts: The TANU “Creed”; The Policy of Socialism; The Policy of Self Reliance; the TANU Membership; and the Arusha Resolution.
Part one of the Arusha Declaration, The TANU “Creed”, outlines the principles of socialism and the role of government:
That all human beings are equal;
That every individual has a right to dignity and respect;That every citizen is an integral part of the Nation and has a right to take an equal part in Government at local, regional and national level;
That every citizen has a right to freedom of expression, of movement, of religious belief and of association within the context of the law;
That every individual has a right to receive from society protection of his life and of property according to the law;
That every citizen has a right to receive a just return for his labour;
That all citizens together possess all the natural resources of the country in trust for their descendants
That in order to ensure economic justice the State must have effective control over the principal means of production; and
That it is the responsibility of the State to intervene actively in the economic life of the Nation so as to ensure the well being of all citizens and so as to prevent the exploitation of one person by another or one group by another, and so as to prevent the accumulation of wealth to an extent which is inconsistent with a classless society (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 1).The aims and objects of the Arusha Declaration are:
To consolidate and maintain the independence of this country and the freedom of its people;
To safeguard the inherent dignity of the individual in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
To ensure that this country shall be governed by a democratic socialist government of the people;
To cooperate with all the political parties in Africa engaged in the liberation of all Africa
To See the government mobilizes the resources of this country towards the elimination of poverty, ignorance and disease;
To see that the Government actively assists in the formation and maintenance of cooperative organizations;
To see that wherever possible the Government itself directly participates in the economic development of this country
To see that the Government gives equal opportunity to all men and women irrespective if race, religion or status;
To see that the Government eradicates all types of exploitation, intimidation, discrimination, bribery and corruption;
To see that the government exercises effective control over the principal means of production and pursues policies which facilitate the way to collective ownership of the resources of this country;
To see that the Government co-operates with other States in Africa in bringing about African Unity;
To see that the Government works tirelessly towards world peace and security through the United Nations Organization (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 2).Part two of the Arusha Declaration focuses on socialism and some key features of socialism which include a policy of receiving a just return for one’s labour and the necessity for the leadership and control of major resources, services and government, to be in the hands of the working class. In “a true socialist state no person exploits another, but everybody who is able to work…gets a his [or her] income for his [or her] labour” (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 3). The “major means of production”, which the TANU identify as those resources and services which a large section of the population and industries depend, are “under the control and ownership” of the working class (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 3). It follows that a democratically elected government of the people is an essential component of socialism (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967). The policy of socialism, the TANU posits, “can only be implemented by people who firmly believe in its principles and are prepared to put them into practice” as well as “live by the principles of socialism in their day to day life” (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 3-4).
Part three of the Arusha Declaration espouses the importance of national self-reliance and debates the nature of development. Asserting that “A poor man does not use Money as a Weapon”, the Arusha Declaration identifies the heart of economic struggle:"We have chosen the wrong weapon for our struggle, because we chose money as our weapon. We are trying to overcome our economic weakness by using the weapons of the economically strong – weapons which in fact we do not possess. By our thoughts, words and actions it appears as if we have come to the conclusion that without money we cannot bring about the revolution we are aiming at. It is as if we have said, “Money is the basis of development. Without money, there can be no development" (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 5).Secondly, no amount of money, whether it is accrued through taxation, foreign aid or private investment, will ever be enough to achieve the development targets and independence needs of a nation (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967). The essential and true nature of development is this: “The development of a country is brought about by people, not by money. Money, and the wealth it represents, is the result and not the basis of development.” In addition to people, the prerequisites of development are land, good policies and good leadership and the necessary condition and root of development are the hard work and intelligence of the people (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967).
Part four of the Arusha Declaration, TANU Membership, stresses the importance of leadership’s commitment to the principles and objectives of the TANU and that “above all, the TANU is a party of Peasants and Workers” (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 19). This good leadership principle bleeds into Part five of the Arusha Declaration which states the role of government in this ideology to take action and steps to “implement the policy of Socialism and Self-reliance” (Publicity Section, TANU, Dar es Salaam, 1967, p. 20).Autarky
Autarky is the quality of being self-sufficient; the term is usually applied to political states or their economic systems. Autarky exists whenever an entity can survive or continue its activities without external assistance or international trade. If a self-sufficient economy also refuses all trade with the outside world then it is called a closed economy. The term "closed economy" is also used technically as an abstraction to allow consideration of a single economy without taking foreign trade into account – i.e. as the antonym of open economy. Autarky in the political sense is not necessarily an economic phenomenon; for example, a military autarky would be a state that could defend itself without help from another country, or could manufacture all of its weapons without any imports from the outside world.
Autarky as an ideal or method has been embraced by a wide range of political ideologies and movements, especially left-wing creeds like African socialism, mutualism, council communism, Swadeshi, syndicalism (especially anarcho-syndicalism) and leftist populism. It has also been used in temporary, limited ways by conservative, centrist and nationalist movements, such as the American system, Juche, mercantilism, the Meiji Restoration, social corporatism, and traditionalist conservatism. Fascist and far-right movements occasionally claimed to strive for autarky in platform or propaganda, but in practice crushed existing movements towards self-sufficiency and established extensive capital connections in efforts to ready for expansionist war and genocide while allying with traditional business elites.Autarky may be a policy of a state or other entity when it seeks to be self-sufficient as a whole, but also can be limited to a narrow field such as possession of a key raw material. For example, many countries have a policy of autarky with respect to foodstuffs and water for national security reasons. By contrast, autarky may be a result of economic isolation or external circumstances in which a state or other entity reverts to localized production when it lacks currency or excess production to trade with the outside world.Authoritarian socialism
Authoritarian socialism refers to a collection of political-economic systems describing themselves as socialist and rejecting the liberal democratic concepts of multi-party politics, freedom of assembly, habeas corpus, the Right to keep and bear arms and freedom of expression. Several countries, including the Soviet Union and Maoist China have been described by journalists and scholars as authoritarian socialist states. However, neither state used the term "authoritarian socialist" to describe themselves—these states declared themselves to be proletarian or people's democracies. Authoritarian socialism also encompassed ideologies like Arab and African socialism.BAMUTA
Baraza la Muziki la Taifa (BAMUTA; Swahili for "National Music Council") was a national council created in 1974 by the government of the newly independent Tanzania. Its purpose was to regulate the music business in the country, in the context of a wider programme intended to create a solidified national identity. This, in turn, was a crucial element in Ujamaa, President Julius Nyerere's version of african socialism. Similar institutions were founded to rule over other aspects of the nation's culture, including the nationwide adoption of Swahili language (promoted by Baraza la Kiswahili la Taifa) and the development of Tanzanian art (Baraza la Sanaa la Taifa) (BASATA). The overall idea was to build a new popular culture for the workers and peasants of the country, free from the heritage of colonialism and bourgeoisie culture.
BAMUTA was responsible for the establishment of national music policies, which sought to control musical imports and issued disco and club licenses. BAMUTA called for strict government planning as well as control over the popular music in Tanzania. For example, import of foreign music was generally banned with the exception of music from Zaire.
Under such restriction, and due to government promotion of musical creativity, many bands formed and new African music styles emerged, most notably in the muziki wa dansi (dance music) business.
In 1984, BAMUTA was merged into BASATA.Garveyism
Garveyism is an aspect of black nationalism that refers to the economic, and political policies of UNIA-ACL founder Marcus Garvey. The ideology of Garveyism centers on the unification and empowerment of African-American men, women and children under the banner of their collective African descent, and the repatriation of African slave descendants and profits to the African continent. Garvey was fought by the African-American establishment in the U.S. An investigation by the Justice Department, directed by J. Edgar Hoover, led to Garvey's arrest on charges of mail fraud in January 1922, and his projects collapsed.
Garvey put forward his dreams in response to the marginalization and discrimination of African Americans in the United States and the Caribbean at the time with the hopes of inspiring black Americans to proactively establish infrastructure, institutions and local economies rather than expecting such from the heavily prejudiced post-reconstruction American government. The movement had a major impact in stimulating and shaping black politics in the Caribbean and in parts of Africa.Julius Nyerere
Julius Kambarage Nyerere (Swahili pronunciation: [ˈdʒuːliəs kɑmˈbɑɾɑgə njɛˈɾɛɾɛ]; 13 April 1922 – 14 October 1999) was a Tanzanian anti-colonial activist, politician, and political theorist. He governed Tanganyika as Prime Minister from 1961 to 1962 and then as President from 1963 to 1964, after which he led its successor state, Tanzania, as President from 1964 to 1985. A founding member of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) party—which in 1977 became the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party—he chaired it until 1990. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, he promoted a political philosophy known as Ujamaa.
Born in Butiama, then in the British colony of Tanganyika, Nyerere was the son of a Zanaki chief. After completing his schooling, he studied at Makerere College in Uganda and then Edinburgh University in Scotland. In 1952 he returned to Tanganyika, married, and worked as a teacher. In 1954, he helped form TANU, through which he campaigned for Tanganyikan independence from the British Empire. Influenced by the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, Nyerere preached non-violent protest to achieve this aim. Elected to the Legislative Council in the 1958–59 elections, Nyerere then led TANU to victory at the 1960 general election, becoming Prime Minister. Negotiations with the British authorities resulted in Tanganyikan independence in 1961. In 1962, Tanganyika became a republic, with Nyerere elected its first president. His administration pursued decolonisation and the "Africanisation" of the civil service while promoting unity between indigenous Africans and the country's Asian and European minorities. He encouraged the formation of a one-party state and unsuccessfully pursued the Pan-Africanist formation of an East African Federation with Uganda and Kenya. A 1963 mutiny within the army was suppressed with British assistance.
Following the Zanzibar Revolution of 1964, the island of Zanzibar was unified with Tanganyika to form Tanzania. Nyerere placed a growing emphasis on socialism and national self-reliance. Although his vision of socialism differed from that envisioned by Marxism, Tanzania developed close links with Mao Zedong's Marxist-governed China. In 1967, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration, which outlined his vision of ujamaa. Banks and other major industries and companies were nationalised; education and healthcare were significantly expanded. Renewed emphasis was placed on agricultural development through the formation of communal farms. These reforms hampered food production and left Tanzania dependent on foreign food aid. His government provided training and aid to anti-colonialist groups active throughout southern Africa. Nyerere oversaw Tanzania's 1978–79 war with Uganda, resulting in the overthrow of Ugandan President Idi Amin. In 1985, Nyerere stood down and was succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who reversed many of Nyerere's policies. He remained chair of Chama Cha Mapinduzi until 1990 and later served as mediator in attempts to end the Burundian Civil War.
Nyerere was a controversial figure. Across Africa he gained widespread respect as an anti-colonialist and in power received praise for ensuring that, unlike many of its neighbours, Tanzania remained stable and unified. His construction of the one-party state and use of detention without trial led to accusations of dictatorial governance, while he has also been blamed for economic mismanagement. He is held in deep respect within Tanzania, where he is often referred to by the Swahili honorific Mwalimu ("teacher") and described as the "Father of the Nation".Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda (born 28 April 1924), also known as KK, is a Zambian former politician who served as the first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.
Kaunda is the youngest of eight children born to an ordained Church of Scotland missionary and teacher. He followed his father's steps in becoming a teacher. He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from British rule. Dissatisfied with Harry Nkumbula's leadership of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress, he broke away and founded the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party. He was the first President of the independent Zambia. In 1973 following tribal and inter-party violence, all political parties except UNIP were banned through an amendment of the constitution after the signing of the Choma Declaration. At the same time, Kaunda oversaw the acquisition of majority stakes in key foreign-owned companies. The oil crisis of 1973 and a slump in export revenues put Zambia in a state of economic crisis. International pressure forced Kaunda to change the rules that had kept him in power. Multi-party elections took place in 1991, in which Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, ousted Kaunda.
Kaunda was briefly stripped of Zambian citizenship in 1999, but the decision was overturned the following year. At 94, he is currently the oldest living former Zambian president.Kenya African Democratic Union
The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) was a political party in Kenya. It was founded in 1960 when several leading politicians refused to join Jomo Kenyatta's Kenya African National Union (KANU). It was led by Ronald Ngala who was joined by Moi's Kalenjin Political Alliance, the Masai
United Front, the Kenya African Peoples Party, the Coast African Political Union,Masinde Muliro's Baluhya Political Union and the Somali National Front. The separate tribal organisations were to retain their identity and so, from the very start, KADU based its political approach on tribalism.. KADU's aim was to defend the interests of the so-called KAMATUSA (an acronym for Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu ethnic groups) as well as the British settlers, against the imagined future dominance of the larger Luo and Kikuyu that comprised the majority of KANU's membership, when it became inevitable that Kenya will achieve its independence. The KADU objective was to work towards a multiracial self government within the existing colonial political system. After release of Jomo Kenyatta,KADU was becoming increasingly popular with European settlers and, on the whole, repudiated Kenyatta's leadership. KADU's plan at Lancaster meetings was devised by European supporters, essentially to protect prevailing British settlers land rights.Kenya African National Union
The Kenya African National Union (KANU) is a Kenyan political party that ruled for nearly 40 years after Kenya's independence from British colonial rule in 1963 until its electoral loss in 2002. It was known as Kenya African Union (KAU) from 1944 to 1952.KAU was banned by the colonial government from 1952 to 1960.It was re-established by James Gichuru in 1960 and renamed to KANU on 14 May 1960 after a merger with Tom Mboya's Kenya Independence Movement.Melanesian socialism
The concept of Melanesian socialism was first advocated by Father Walter Lini of the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), who became the country's first Prime Minister upon its independence from France and the United Kingdom in 1980. Lini's views on socialism were inspired by Julius Nyerere's experiments in African socialism in Tanzania.
Lini believed that socialism was inherently compatible with Melanesian societies and customs, including the emphasis on communal welfare over individualism and the communal ownership and working of land. In this, Nyerere's influence is perceptible as the latter stressed the similarities between socialism and traditional African ways of life.
Father Lini was an Anglican priest and believed that socialism held close similarities with Christian values and sought to combine the two as part of a Melanesian way. In this sense, socialism was not to be revolutionary, but instead fully in line with ni-Vanuatu tradition.
Although he admired Nyerere and his government sought rapprochement with countries such as Cuba and Libya, Lini believed that socialism should not necessarily entail an alliance with the Soviet Union or the Eastern bloc. Indeed, he preferred for Vanuatu to remain non-aligned and to develop closer ties with its fellow Melanesian nations (such as Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands). In 1982, he expressed hopes for an eventual Melanesian federal union and spoke of the "renaissance of Melanesian values", including "Melanesian socialism".
Lini also noted that in traditional Melanesian societies "'[g]iving' was based on one's ability to do so. 'Receiving' was based on one's need".
In New Caledonia, the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), an alliance of pro-independence parties, advocates the implementation of socialism along with accession to sovereignty. Independent Melanesian nations (most notably Vanuatu) have expressed support for the FLNKS.Modibo Keïta
Modibo Keïta (4 June 1915 – 16 May 1977) was the first President of Mali (1960–1968) and the Prime Minister of the Mali Federation. He espoused a form of African socialism.Nkrumaism
Nkrumaism (sometimes Consciencism) is an African socialist political ideology based on the thinking and writing of Kwame Nkrumah. Nkrumah, a pan-Africanist and Marxist–Leninist served as Prime Minister of the Gold Coast (later Ghana) from 1952 until 1960 and subsequently as President of Ghana before being deposed by the National Liberation Council in 1966.People's Republic of Angola
The People's Republic of Angola (Portuguese: República Popular de Angola) was the self-declared socialist state which governed Angola from its independence in 1975 until 1992, during the Angolan Civil War.Planned liberalism
Planned liberalism is an economic policy followed in Cameroon since the 1960s that aims to merge the best concepts of capitalism and socialism.
In 1965, Cameroon changed from its previous economic philosophy, African socialism, under the guidance of its first president, Ahmadou Ahidjo. Under planned liberalism, the state began regulating and managing natural resources and guiding foreign investment into specific economic sectors or geographic areas. In the process, the government has partnered with foreign firms to set up various parastatal enterprises. Meanwhile, it has encouraged private enterprise and investment and the operation of market forces.Critics claim that planned liberalism has failed due to widespread corruption, overwhelming government bureaucracy, and ill-advised government backing of certain foreign investors. These faults became evident during the economic crisis of the mid-1980s. Cameroon under Paul Biya has since increasingly turned to privatisation of state-owned industries to stimulate its economy.Third International Theory
The Third International Theory, also known as the Third Universal Theory (Arabic: نظرية عالمية ثالثة), was the style of government proposed by Col. Muammar Gaddafi in the early 1970s, on which his government, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, was officially based. It was partly inspired by Islamic socialism, Arab nationalism, African nationalism and partly by the principles of direct democracy.It has similarities with the system of Yugoslav municipal self-management in Titoist Yugoslavia, and the Yugoslav Third Way during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s as developed by Edvard Kardelj. It was proposed by Gaddafi as an alternative to capitalism and communism for Third World countries, based on the stated belief that both of these ideologies had been proven invalid.
The Higher Council for National Guidance was created to disseminate and implement this theory, and it found partial realization in Libya. By 2011 the fall and death of Gaddafi had seen his system dis-established and replaced by the National Transitional Council.Third World Socialism
Third World socialism was a variant of socialism proponed by Kwame Nkrumah, Modibo Keïta, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Fidel Castro, Julius Nyerere, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Michel Aflaq, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Juan Perón, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sukarno, David Ben-Gurion, Muammar Gaddafi, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Buddhadasa, Walter Lini and other such socialist leaders of the Third World who saw a non-Soviet version of socialism as the answer to a strong and developed nation. It could be argued that the new "turn to the left" leadership in Latin America (see socialism of the 21st century), with its anti-Americanism, connection with less developed Eastern Europe, sense of undeveloped countries/developing countries unity and pro-Arabism/pro-Islamism, is a new kind of Third World socialism. It may be described as an ideologically specific form of Third-Worldism and it is made up of African socialism, Arab socialism, Nasserism, Peronism, Nehruism, Labor Zionism, Islamic socialism, Buddhist socialism and Melanesian socialism.Uhuru Movement
The Uhuru Movement (Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom.) is a socialist movement centered on the theory of African Internationalism, which provides a historical material explanation for the social and economic conditions of African people worldwide. The Movement has been led by the African People's Socialist Party (APSP) whose chairman is Joseph Waller. He founded the movement in 1972.
The APSP has formed several organizations, each with specific tasks and purpose. Affiliated organizations include The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), African Socialist International (ASI), UhuruNews.com, African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC), Uhuru Solidarity Movement (USM), Burning Spear Productions, Uhuru Foods, Uhuru Furniture, All African People's Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), and African People's Education and Defense Foundation (APEDF).Ujamaa
Ujamaa ('familyhood' in Swahili) was the concept that formed the basis of Julius Nyerere's social and economic development policies in Tanzania after it gained independence from Britain in 1961.