The word Ujamaa is Swahili word meaning togetherness. It a modern type of African traditional farming where everyone helps and is helped by a society where they live. It is a voluntary productive society under co-operative system based in social ownership and means of production that is labour, capital and land.
The system was started in Tanzania in 1967 by Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere who was then the president. Under this system the government attempted to change agriculture and make peasants from Ujamaa villages.
By 1975, the government had succeeded in resettling 3.5 million Tanzanians in 7500 villages. This was possible by the aid from the US of $29 million spent on rural improvement, education and literacy programmes management training and bookkeeping.
The villages were engaged in projects like afforestation and re-afforestation, road construction, preparation of new fields and many others.
Before the system was introduced, Tanzania depended on subsistence agriculture with few crops being grown and most of the establishments owned by the German and British. In 1967, Ujama system brought a change in the form of economic and social development and helped to eradicate other problems like inequalities within the local communities, ignorance and poverty as well as exploitation of man which had been encouraged by the colonialists thereby dividing the people.
AIMS OF SETTING UP UJAMAA VILLAGES
To establish a self governing community/society for general development of the country.
To organize the efforts of the people more effectively. This was meant to make better use of the rural labour by bringing the scattered people under shifting cultivation together so that they could grow enough food and each crops to improve the economy of the country.
To increase agricultural production by having all means of production under the control of the peasants.
It was also aimed at changing the educational programme in the country through setting up schools and institutes where people could be introduced to the ideas of the Ujamaa system.
To eradicate the exploitation of man as was heavily practiced by the German and the British in the land. To improve on the standards of living of the people through the provision of the social infrastructures like tap water, electricity, roads, hospitals and many others.
To improve the security system of the nation especially within the local community by using villages as part of the military organization.