Nyerere brought these various elements together in the African context, reasoning that there could be no justification for social or economic inequities in Tanzania, given the value placed by traditional African culture on community and family.

The African extended family cultivated its fields together and shared its resources in times of need. Could not this communalism be applied at the national level, thereby avoiding large gaps between rich and poor? Nyerere chose the term ‘ujamaa’ (family hood) to describe his program,
and to emphasise the blend of eco-
nomic cooperation, racial and tribal
harmony and moralistic self-sacrifice
that he sought to achieve.

Nyerere gained widespread respect for his idealism, for his success in shaping a society that was politically stable and notably free of tribal rivalries, and for his contributions towards raising Tanzania’s literacy rate, which became one of the highest in Africa during his tenure. He also earned international acclaim for his commitment to pan-Africanism and his regional engagement, which he continued until his death in October 1999.

Despite criticism of his authoritarian style and economic policies, Nyerere was indisputably one of

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In his later years, Nyerere continued to be active as an elder statesman, taking a leading role in seeking a resolution of the Burundi crisis, and advocating increased African political and economic collaboration through multilateral organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African (Comesa).
Nyerere wrote numerous books, including ‘Uhuru na Umoja’ (Freedom and Unity), ‘Uhuru na Ujamaa’ (Freedom and Socialism) and ‘Uhuru na Maendeleo’ (Freedom and Development).
NOTE: The books are available by amazon.com

He also translated into Swahili two Shakespeare plays, The Merchant of Venice and Julius Caesar, as well as several books of Plato’s Republic. Many of Nyerere’s original manuscripts, as well as dozens of photos and other memorabilia from his era, are on display at the Julius K Nyerere Museum in Butiama.
Africa’s most influential leaders, and was almost single-handedly responsible for putting Tanzania on the world stage as one of the continent’s major players. He was widely acclaimed for his longstanding opposition to South Africa’s apartheid system, and for his 1979 invasion of Uganda, which resulted in the deposition of the dictator Idi Amin Dada.