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Aug 31

Julius Nyerere Underreported Panafrican Legacy

Posted by msiaclark in Africa

Msia Kibona Clark is an Assistant Professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. Originally from Tanzania, she has a Phd in African Studies from Howard University.

Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania, was one of Africa’s giants. He stood amongst leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Amilcar Cabral, and Patrice Lumumba as a revolutionary thinker who helped lead his nation to political independence. Nyerere was known for many accomplishments, but his two biggest legacies may have been in the areas of Pan Africanism on the international front, and nationhood building domestically. As a Pan Africanist, Nyerere took African liberation seriously. Under Nyerere, Tanzania was the head of the Frontline States (FLS); which was formed in 1970 to bring about majority rule in southern Africa, and to support liberation movements in the region. The FLS had its roots in the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA), which was formed in Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in 1958. Members of PAFMECSA would go on to form the FLS in the 1970s.

Nyerere provided land and resources to the African National Congress (ANC), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO), FRELIMO and the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). For many years South African exiles worked and organized in Tanzania. Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC, set up training camps in Tanzania in the 1960s. Many also arrived in Tanzania to study and work at the ANC’s Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO).

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