A Long Way to Dodoma: Deconstructing Colonial Legacy by Relocating the Capital City in Tanzania

Reginald E. Kirey


The decision taken by the Tanzanian government to relocate its capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma in 1973 and the subsequent attempts to implement it is an important event that has not been thoroughly discussed by historians.  Most of the knowledge of this event is in the form of the reports prepared by town planning experts during the 1970s. This paper addresses this lacuna by reconstructing a comprehensive history of the event in question.  It examines, among other issues, the extent to which the decision to move the capital to Dodoma after independence was justified by the concepts of socialism (Ujamaa), national identity and the colonial legacy. An attempt is made to piece together the disjointed accounts from the various sources of information on the decisions and measures that were taken to move the capital after independence. This paper, unlike other studies, traces the idea of relocating the capital to the colonial period. It makes intensive use of archival information gathered from London and Dar es Salaam, and also benefits from the vast amount of information collected from newspapers and parliamentary records.


Capital, Relocation, Ujamaa, Legacy and Identity

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