Friday, January 29, 2010

Dual versus African Citizenship

The Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs, Bernard Membe, has recently been quoted in the media as saying that the law to allow Tanzanian to hold Dual Citizenship should be enacted by the end of the year. In the wake of this turn of event we present an article that was written three years ago on the matter. The analysis therein is still relevant today.

Dual versus African Citizenship

Issa Shivji

In the just ended session of the Parliament, there were two questions asked. One related to dual citizenship, which has been in the air for some time now, and the Law Reform Commission apparently has worked on it and compiled a report. The other related to the debate on the formation of All Africa Government, which was discussed by the Heads of State at the last African Union (AU) Summit. Both these issues are very relevant and central to the question of African nationalism, political identity and the place of Africa in the world today. They are inseparably linked. Pan-Africanism and nationalism cannot be separated.

Yet, the issues have been hardly linked and virtually contradictory answers given to them. In his answer on dual citizenship, the Deputy Minister concerned answered that citizenship is a union matter and that there would be need of consultation between the two parts of the Union. That is true. In fact, dual citizenship raises some fundamental constitutional questions, which have not been raised, and discussed in the public debate. But today’s palaver is not concerned with that. Today’s palaver is interested in the rest of the answer of the minister.

The minister implied in his answer that ‘many’ Tanzanians are in favour of dual citizenship. Previously newspapers have reported that vocal Tanzanians, particularly those residing outside the country, have clamoured for dual citizenship. It seems that even people in authority are in favour of dual citizenship. Perhaps it is a matter of time before dual citizenship is legalised.

The question to ask is which Tanzanians want dual citizenship and how many are ‘many Tanzanians’ who want dual citizenship. It is clear, without taking a head count, that the ‘many’ Tanzanians in this case can only be members of the minute elite. It cannot be the majority Tanzanians, who live in their villages, and may have never travelled outside the country, perhaps not even to Dar es Salaam. Dual citizenship is squarely the demand of the elite. It matters little to the large majority of Tanzanians.

The next question is what does dual citizenship imply and who stands to benefit from it. At the time of their independence, many African countries maintained single citizenship. It was primarily a question of building nationalism and national loyalty. Immigrant minorities, for example, had to make up their minds where they belonged. Adopting the citizenship of their country of residence was seen as a test of their loyalty. Keeping two passports was not only a crime in law but attracted a moral and political stigma; it showed lack of loyalty to one’s country and nation.

Ironically, over forty years later, the whole debate on citizenship is conducted without reference to nationalism, African identity and political loyalty to the nation-state. Ironically, too, the issue of nationalism is not linked to the issue of pan-Africanism, which was so prominent in the nationalist debates of the 1950s and early 1960s. That brings me to the second question raised in Parliament.

In an answer to a question on Tanzania joining the African federation, the Deputy Minister concerned assured the House that there would be full consultation of the people as it was done on the proposal to fast track the East African federation. In the further elaboration of his answer, the minister seemed to repeat the position taken by Tanzania at the AU summit to form African federation step-by-step beginning with regional economic groupings and first resolve internal problems of poverty and conflicts.

In effect, the answers to the two questions demonstrate great readiness and enthusiasm for dual citizenship but lukewarm attitude and skepticism towards African citizenship.

At the time of independence, the first generation of African nationalists passionately discussed and believed in pan-Africanism. They realized that some fifty or so countries on their continent were an artificial creation of colonial powers. Nyerere said: ‘Since we were humiliated as Africans we had to be liberated as Africans.’ They affirmed their Africanness, rather than glorify their Ghanaian-ness or Tanganyikan-ness. They foresaw that as individual African states they would become pawns on the imperialist chessboard. That singly they would not be able to develop nor withstand the exploitative outside forces. Indeed, they would not even be able to defend their independence and freedom.

History, unfortunately, has proved them right. Forty years later Africa is more divided than ever before. Mother Africa is bleeding with civil strife while its resources are looted under the name of globalization. Africans are fighting Africans.

Mwalimu Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah were the two leading proponents of pan-Africanism. Both agreed on the goal, African unity, but they differed on how to achieve it. Nkrumah argued for political unity ‘now’ - Africa Must Unite, Nkrumah roared. Nyerere argued pragmatically for step-by-step approach. Whereas for Nkrumah political unity was the only way of achieving African unity, for Nyerere any type of unity was a step towards African unity. Mwalimu had logic and pragmatism behind him; Nkrumah had history and political economy to back him up.

Forty years later, we can say that history has proved Nkrumah right. At the fortieth independence anniversary of Ghana in 1997, Nyerere admitted that the first generation of nationalist leaders had failed to achieve African Unity and African elites/rulers had become surrogates of imperialism. Nyerere confessed that the project of building nation-states, that is nationalism based on each individual country, failed. In his own words:

I reject the glorification of the nation-state which we have inherited from colonialism, and the artificial nations we are trying to forge from that inheritance. We are all Africans trying very hard to be Ghanaians or Tanzanians. Fortunately for Africa we have not been completely successful.

Indeed, not only we have failed to become fully Tanzanians, but are gleefully giving up the effort as our elites wallow in the desire to become citizens of Europe and America to get petty privileges. It is the same Europe and America under the Sarkozys and Bushes of this world, which is building racist immigration walls

Consider for a moment the irony that Africans from Togo in Ivory Coast are hounded out sparking off a civil war because they are not Ivorians; Africans from Nigeria are turned back at African airports; Africans from Somalia are turned over to fascist forces at Kenyan borders because they are not Kenyans – in fact they are not Somalis either; they are “terrorists”! So while we fight and kill each other because of our artificial identities within colonial borders and ‘petty’ nationalisms, we embrace dual citizenship, making nonsense of both our African-ness and nationalism. Truly, as Mwalimu said, African nationalism outside pan-Africanism is anachronistic, it is tribalism on world scale. In his 1997 speech Mwalimu made a clarion call:

A new generation of self-respecting Africans should spit in the face of anybody who suggests that our continent should remain divided and fossilized in the shame of colonialism in order to satisfy the national pride of our former colonial masters.

Africa must unite! This was the title of one of Kwame Nkrumah’s books. That call is more urgent today than ever before. Together, we the peoples of Africa will be incomparably stronger internationally than we are now with our multiplicity of unviable states. The needs of our separate countries can be, and are being, ignored by the rich and powerful. The result is that Africa is marginalized when international decisions affecting our vital interests are made.
Unity will not make us automatically rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to be disregarded and humiliated.

My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination, and carry it forward.

Is the current leadership in Africa, including Mwalimu’s Tanzania, worthy of picking up the flickering torch of African freedom and African citizenship, engrossed as it is in a petty debate on dual citizenship to access petty privileges?

© Issa Shivji

Saturday Palaver
The Citizen

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wosia wa Baba/The Father's Farewell!

"Not all of us will have the same concept of community, but all of us have a need to belong. However socially insensitive we may be, we have a need to belong to a community of fellow human beings. No human being can make it alone. Nobody is asking us to love others more than we love ourselves; but those of us who have been lucky enough to receive a good education have a duty also to help to improve the well being of the community to which we belong; is part of loving ourselves!” - Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Open University, 5 March 1998

'Si kila mmoja wetu atakuwa na dhana sawa kuhusu jamii, lakini sisi sote tuna hitaji la kuwa katika jamii. Hata kama hatuguswi na masuala ya kijamii sisi wote tunahitaji kuwa sehemu ya jamii ya wanadamu. Hakuna mwanadamu anayeweza kufanikiwa mwenyewe. Hakuna mtu anayetutaka tuwapende wengine zaidi ya tunavyojipenda wenyewe; lakini baadhi yetu tuliobahatika kupata elimu nzuri tunawajibika kuboresha ustawi wa jamii tunamoishi; hiyo ni sehemu ya kujipenda sisi wenyewe!' - Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Chuo Kikuu Huria, 5 Machi 1998

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Edinburgh Scotland - Here Are The Details For Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarships - Deadline April 1, 2010.

If This Is NOT For You, Please Send To Someone Else You Know Who May Benefit From This Opportunity And Let Him/Her Have The Information And Allow Him/Her To Make Up His/Her Own Mind. Do Not Simply Delete or Hide It In Your Own Mailbox. Just Take Two Minutes To Think And You Will Definitely Find Someone Who Potentially Qualifies And May Want To Apply.

Please apply if this interests you otherwise send this to any Tanzanian who is currently ordinarily residing in Tanzania and wants to apply. (Note that there are other scholarships from the University for other African candidates from other countries).

Simple 7 Useful Points For Those Who Are Seriously Interested in Getting Their Scholarship at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland:

  1. Apply directly to the University of Edinburgh for Admission in Your Chosen School, Your Chosen Course. You MUST get admission into your chosen course for you to be considered for the scholarship.
  2. Apply for the scholarship directly via online as explained here - Completed application forms must be returned to the Scholarships and Student Finance Office no later than 1 April 2010.
  3. Do not waste time sending queries to the University or TzECA members. All the required information is on this email and the link given.
  4. Follow the instructions to the last word, and do not make any assumptions. Read all the links in this email and pay attention to all the details.
  5. Apply more than one scholarship using the check boxes BUT ensure you have read the eligibility criteria for each award.
  6. For someone who has never applied before to such scholarships, don't shy from getting a trusted and perhaps senior to you as second pair of eyes to go through your application, spell check, etc, just make it the best quality you can, then you can leave the rest to the process, but you MUST do your part as perfect as you can. Don't think of competition as something to discourage you, just think that your application is the best ever and BELIEVE that is the case and deliver the Quality to the Best Standard Ever
  7. Don't wait to the last minute, give it plenty of time and start working on it NOW.
Feedback from last round of applications : (remember two Tanzanians were awarded their scholarships and now attending their courses)

Applications for the 2010-2011 Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarship:

Last year there were cases of Tanzanian students applying for scholarships other than the Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarship (such as the Southern African scholarship: but who were also eligible for the Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarship and, unfortunately, didn't apply for it. I am reliably informed that as of September applications can be made on a generic scholarship application form that will simplify the process by offering tick boxes for each of the different scholarships that applicants would like to apply for. This will help ensure that those Tanzanians who are eligible for the Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarship consider applying for it, and can do so more easily.

Another improvement for Tanzanians is that the Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarship will also be advertised through the British Council on their website and in the Dar es Salaam office. 

University of Edinburgh also now have a Desmond Tutu Scholarship for anybody who wants to study an M.Sc. on 'emancipatory' topics such as Politics or Religion. I don't know much about this Scholarship at the moment but I hope that more details will be available on the UoE Scholarships website soon.

Please note that TzECA ( does NOT offer any scholarship - so no need to send anything to anyone in TzECA. All applications must be directed to the University of Edinburgh as per online instructions.

If This Is NOT For You, Please Send To Someone Else You Know Who May Benefit From This Opportunity And Let Him/Her Have The Information And Allow Him/Her To Make Up His/Her Own Mind. Do Not Simply Delete or Hide It In Your Own Mailbox. Just Take Two Minutes To Think And You Will Definitely Find Someone Who Potentially Qualifies And May Want To Apply.

All the best and happy new year 2010.


Apollo Temu
Tanzania Edinburgh Community Association (TzECA)

Additional Details:

w: - Tanzania Edinburgh Community Association (TzECA)
f: - Tanzania Edinburgh Community Association (TzECA) on Facebook

Links and Some Photos, Courtesy of the University of Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336:

The following link on the celebration of the life of Julius Nyerere features on the front page of the University of Edinburgh's website, complete with a short film clip: 

Please do forward the link for the Julius Nyerere Master's Scholarship -  to any Tanzanians who you think might be interested:

If This Is NOT For You, Please Send To Someone Else You Know Who May Benefit From This Opportunity And Let Him/Her Have The Information And Allow Him/Her To Make Up His/Her Own Mind. Do Not Simply Delete or Hide It In Your Own Mailbox. Just Take Two Minutes To Think And You Will Definitely Find Someone Who Potentially Qualifies And May Want To Apply.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lugha za Kufundishia: Je, Sisi ni Sikio la Kufa?

Nilipomsikiliza Waziri wa Elimu na Mafunzo ya Ufundi Mheshimiwa Profesa Jumanne Maghembe akiwasilisha matokeo ya mtihani wa kuhitimu elimu ya msingi jana [10/12/2009], roho iliniuma lakini sikushangaa.

Najua nchi yetu inakabiliwa na changamoto nyingi katika utoaji wa elimu ya msingi kwa wote. Baadhi ya changamoto hizi ni za kawaida kama uchache wa rasilimali kulingana na mahitaji, lakini baadhi yake zinatokana na kutokuzingatia mapungufu yaliyojitokeza katika utekelezaji ya UPE ya kwanza, na mengine ni muendelezo wa historia hiyo hususani maandalizi ya walimu chini ya mipango ya UPE, MMEM na MMES.

Matatizo mengine ni kama ilivyo katika taasisi nyingine za umma: usimamizi mbovu, kukosa uzalendo kwa baadhi ya wasimamizi na watendaji kunakopelekea kuwepo kwa mazingira na mianya mingi ya rushwa na ufisadi; pamoja na walimu kuvunjika moyo kutokana na masilahi yao kutokuzingatiwa kwa wakati. Pamoja na matatizo haya na mengine mengi, lipo hili la lugha ya kufundishia.

Nalizungumzia tena suala la lugha ya kufundishia kutokana na kuwa mwaka huu kama ilivyokuwa kwa miaka ya nyuma, kiwango cha kufaulu somo la Kiingereza ni hafifu (asilimia 35.4), tofauti na Kiswahili ambacho waliofaulu ni asilimia 69.08. Na wizara yetu bado inang’ang’ania kufundisha masomo yote ya sekondari kwa Kiingereza!

Hivi tatizo ni nini hasa? Ni wanataaluma kushindwa kuwaelimisha wanasiasa kuhusu sayansi ya ufundishaji wa lugha za kigeni na jinsi ya kujenga mfumo na stadi za mawasiliano ya lugha mbili au ni wanasiasa, kudhani kuwa kwa kuwa tu nao ni wasomi hata kama si wa fani ya lugha basi wanayo tiketi ya kuisemea taaluma ya ufundishaji wa lugha na ukuzaji mitaala ya lugha kiasi cha kupingana na matokeo ya tafiti za wataalamu wa fani hiyo?

Kwa takribani miongo miwili sasa kumekuwa na malumbano kati ya wanataaluma wa lugha na wanasiasa kuhusu lugha ya kufundishia. Mimi niliufuatilia mjadala huu hadi ukanikirihi. Ushauri wangu kwa wanataaluma ya lugha ambayo pia ni fani yangu ikawa kuwa tujaribu kupambanua jinsi mfumo wa lugha mbili unavyojengwa.

Kimsingi, malumbano ya lugha ya kufundihia iwe Kiswahili au Kiingereza yanaficha ukweli kuwa, mtoto anaweza kujifunza na kutumia lugha nyingi kwa wakati mmoja. Kinachogomba ni jinsi lugha hizo zinavyofundishwa na kutumiwa katika mawasiliano. Kimsingi lugha ngeni inakuwa rahisi kujifunza kama una msingi mzuri wa lugha unayoitumia kwa mawasiliano ya kila siku, na lugha ambayo haitumiki katika mawasiliano nje ya darasa inapaswa kufundishwa kwa kutumia matini mengi yanayoasili au kuwakilisha mazingira halisi ya mawasiliano.

Kwa mfano, mazungumzo anuai yaliyonaswa katika kanda, matumizi ya redio, televisheni na vitabu vingi vya hadithi zenye maudhui yanayohusu nyanja mbalimbali za maisha na mazungumzo ya kawaida ya watu wa rika mbalimbali walio katika mazingira anuai yanaweza kutumika. Matini haya yanapaswa yasindikizwe na mazoezi mengi ya kusikiliza(uelewa), kuongea, kusoma na kuandika (ufasaha), kwa kutumia fani anuai za nathari, fasihi na wizani. Mambo haya hayazingatiwi vya kutosha katika ufundishaji wa Kiswahili na Kiingereza lakini tofauti na Kiingereza, Kiswahili kinatumika zaidi ndani ya jamii, hivyo wanafunzi wanatokea kukimudu zaidi.

Laiti wanasiasa wangewataka wanataaluma watunge mtaala mzuri wa matumizi ya lugha mbili, na kuwahakikishia kuwa katika mtaala huo mhitimu atamudu vizuri mawasiliano kwa Kiingereza na Kiswahili bila kujali ni lugha ipi kati ya hizo inatumika kufundishia, nadhani mustakabali wa elimu yetu sio katika lugha tu, bali masomo yote ambayo ni vigumu kuyaelewa kama lugha ‘haipandi’ kama vile hisabati na masomo mengine ya kinadharia ungekuwa bora kuliko ilivyo hivi sasa.

Wenzetu katika Ulaya ya kale walifanikiwa kufanya mapinduzi makubwa katika sayansi na teknolojia pale tu walipoanza kutumia lugha za kinyumbani badala ya Kiyunani na Kilatini katika fani zote za kisanaa na kisayansi—kipindi hiki walikiita ‘renaissance’ (mwamko). Vivyo hivyo mafanikio ya hawa ‘Duma’ (Tigers) wa Asia ya Kusini Mashariki tunaowasifia sana yaliambatana na uhamishaji wa matini ya taaluma zote kuwa katika lugha zao na kuzitumia lugha zao kufundishia hadi vyuo vikuu.

Hii haina maana kuwa Wanazuoni wa Ulaya hawakuendelea kuzamia na kubobea katika Kiyunani na Kilatini au ‘Duma’ wa Asia katika Kiingereza na lugha nyingine za Ulaya, la hasha. Hii ndiyo maana ya ‘bilingualism’ kama mfumo wa lugha mbili unavyojulikana kitaaluma. Ingefaa wataalamu wetu wa ufundishaji wa lugha za kigeni wachukue muda wa kutosha kuulewesha umma na hususani umma wa wanasiasa jinsi ‘bilingualism’ inavyojengwa.

Lakini kama wasemavyo Waswahili, sikio la kufa halisikii dawa. Je, sisi ni sikio la kufa?

Kazi kwenu wazalendo maana mwenye macho haambiwi tazama!

© Demere Kitunga, 11/12/09

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