Development Implications of Labour Migration for Origin Societies: The Case of Manamba of Njombe District, 1900 - 1960s.

Edward Simon Mgaya


For decades, labour migration scholarship in Africa has focused on social-economic and political problems instigated by colonial labour migration in the origin societies. Very little is available regarding migrants’ transformational agency. This paper discusses the role that migrant labourers (manamba) played in economic development in Njombe district, Tanzania from 1900 to the 1960s. The paper argues that, apart from the apparent complications, labour migration also facilitated the development of the district in some ways depending on variations in the economic environment of the migrants’ homes and the areas they worked. Deriving from primary and secondary evidence the paper links labour migrants to cash crop production, agricultural innovations and entrepreneurial activities. It concludes that using the knowledge, experience and capital the migrants got in various workplaces, added with creativity, the labour migrants contributed considerably to the wider transformational process of bringing economic development to their places of origin.


Labour migration, Migrants, Manamba, Rural Development, Bena, Njombe.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.