Tanzania: Making a Graceful Exit

Nyerere's peaceful departure ends an era in African history

As the father of homespun African socialism, he has been one of the Third World's most prominent statesmen. But to the more than 20 million people of Tanzania, the nation he founded, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, 63, is best known simply as Mwalimu, Ki-swahili for "teacher." Although he has failed during his 24 years in power to create the prosperous, egalitarian society that he once envisioned, his policies will continue to shape the country--and the continent--for decades. This month Nyerere is scheduled to become one of the few African rulers ever to relinquish power voluntarily.

Nyerere's successor is Ali Hassan Mwinyi, 60,...

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