Book Launch in Dar es Salaam
With great delay the book ”Independent?” about development and challenges in Tanzania since Uhuru was launched at a presentation in Dar es Salaam at the end of February. The book, written by the Danish writer and journalist Knud Vilby, was published in Danish several years ago.
The english edition is a collaboration between the Nordic Africa Institute and the Tanzanian publisher E & D Vision Publishing. The book was printed in Mauritius, but ran into all the practical problems that are part of African reality. The printing on Mauritius was delayed and when the books finally arrived in Dar es Salaam they ”disappeared” in a harbour characterized by near breakdown. It took almost a year to get them out of the harbour.
The book ”works” despite the delays, was the unanimous message at the launch in Dar es Salaam. The main speaker was professors Issa Shivji, form the University of Dar es Salaam, who focused on discussing environmental problems in Tanzania and in Tanzanian agricutlture that has risen exponentially since independence, because the governments of Tanzania always – contrary to their rhetoric – have neglected agriculture.
The book is based on interviews with wellknown and unknown Tanzanians, who provide personal narratives of the development of Tanzania since Uhuru. A number of the interviewees took part in the launch, including the secretary for many years of President Nyerere, Joseph Butiku, Professor Marjorie Mbilinyi and consultant Japhet Makongo.
Among the speakers was the Danish Ambassador to Tanzania, Bjarne Sørensen, who mentioned that Danida, which has financed the English edition, also has donated 1750 copies of the book to all public libraries in Tanzania.
”Independent?” is a book about dreams and about the reality in relation to dreams and visions. It describes the peaceful, but anyway turbulent development and the huge problems the country is facing today.