“THE HIDDEN WEALTH OF TANZANIA” is the book that narrates Tanzania’s Economic trajectory since independence and also intends to reveal to African youth the potential in them. The book in its chapter seven reminds young people of their hidden capacity. It encourages youth to sharpen their thinking capacity and discover their talents hidden in them. To do that the author uses Tanzania as a case study by taking its history since independence.
In the book the author takes us back to a recent past of Tanzania, then Tanganyika, to demonstrate the strength and patriotism of the dwellers of this land. Through Ntemi Mirambo and Mtwa Mkwawa, he exhibits the courage, intelligence, cooperation and other qualities of the Tanzanian people. He demonstrates as well how those attributes were destroyed during colonialism before being restored through independence and self-determination.
In the economic history of an independent Tanzania, the author takes us through the whole economic trajectory taken by Tanzania since independence; right through the relatively short period of Market economy, Ujamaa period, which marked the economy and its people significantly, and up until the neo-liberal age that appears to be influencing the country’s thinking today.
The economic epochs experimented in the country were well accompanied by economic development theories that were employed directly or indirectly by the state. Systematically, the author illustrates the success and limitations of modernization, dependency and neoliberal thinking. Modernization defined the brief market economy immediately after independence, whereas the dependency period informed the Ujamaa ideology and neo-liberalism informs the capitalist thinking.
The book reminds us that when the Ujamaa practices did not match with the plans, interior and exterior forces obliged the state to go into neoliberalism which at that time was perceived to be the saviour of the economy. However, neo-liberalism- the messiah, failed to save the day. Thus the search for the remedy continues as the state cannot and should not exist without identity.
In transition for the right remedy to address peoples’ development, the author reveals that Tanzania is neither socialist nor capitalist. The fact that the country lacks a defined ideology makes it difficult to be predictable and thus, to some extent, hinders the private sector from flourishing and thus limiting human development.
In the search for ideology, the author presents a number of models from which Tanzania can gain experience and learn. The author demonstrates to readers that the developmental state is the right model for Tanzania to tailor its own. Moreover, he proposes pragmatic action for a successful developmental state in case the state subscribes to the former.
Finally, the book concludes with a call for a total transformation of people’s thinking for development. The author argues that the true wealth of this nation is hidden and buried deep in each individual’s brain and thoughts. It is hidden in their ability to think correctly and transform their ideas into pragmatic innovations to improve life.