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Changing World; Tanzania: The Quiet Revolution

16mm film transfer reel 1/2 Approximate date: 1965

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Changing World
Tanzania: The Quiet Revolution
Series Description

Series release date: 1965

Program Description

Also known as: Some of Our best Friends are Non-Aligned: A Report from Tanzania From original 1966 program data sheet:

“As nations go, Tanzania is in its infancy. It was born in April 1964 of a union of Tanganyika, a former British colony, and Zanzibar, tiny islands off the East Coast of Africa which were formerly Arab dominated. This program explores many of the problems facing this struggling nation - poverty, sickness, education, and lack of trained manpower. Beyond this, the program focuses on Tanzania’s policy of non-alignment in the Cold War and its willing acceptance of foreign aid from both free world and communist bloc countries.

A program portrait of Tanzania reveals that it is the biggest East African nation with a population of about 10 million. Its poverty is visible in the savannahs, arid dry plains where famine and pestilence strike about every four to six years, where wealth is measured in cattle, and where the people continue to barter, subsisting virtually without money. Tanzania is principally an agricultural nation with bulk of its produce in coffee, cotton, cloves, and sisal, a plant used for hard fiber cordage.

The head of Tanzania’s government is President Julius K. Nyerere, an imaginative innovator and champion of his country’s non-alignment policy. He envisions his country as a young nation with big problems. He favors an African socialism that allows for private enterprise, democracy, non-racism, and free elections.

Mr. Nyerere calls the lack of trained manpower among his people the most pressing national problem and pictures education as the answer to the crisis. To this end, the government has given priority to education, with scholarships to all students attending institutions on the secondary level or above.

The program reports on many of the programs underway in Tanzania to raise the standard of living. One of these is the establishment of settlements, a bold and expensive government experiment on land reform and housing and a major test for Mr. Nyerere’s government.

But despite the government’s ambitions, Tanzania is both young and poor. It must depend on foreign countries - both East and West - to support its economy and development, at least half of which is financed by foreign loans and aids.

The program notes that the one percent, non-African population controls most of the industry and commerce in Tanzania, and that President Nyerere, therefore, has called for non-racism to insure continued non-African investments in his country. Mr. Nyerere is seen at democractic political rallies and the program reports on the 1965 national elections in Tanzania which amounted to a vote of confidence in the the President’s administration.

An undercurrent of caution is reported in the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, noticeable in the many concessions, which observers feel, Mr. Nyerere has made to maintain the alliance. While the Tanganyika mainland holds 97 percent of the population, half of Tanzania’s military strength is on Zanzibar which also controls one-fourth the seats in the National Assembly.

The Tanganyika state on the mainland, the program points out, is Western oriented from its British inheritance while Zanzibar is Eastern oriented from its Arab ancestry and its history of trading with the Far East. Much of Zanzibar’s foreign aid comes directly from Communist countries; East Germany, for instance, has poured nearly a million dollars into a housing project on the island and the army on Zanzibar is trained and equipped by Russians and Red Chinese. In contrast, the mainland forces are trained by Israeli and Canadian advisors and many schools are taught by Americans.

President Nyerere’s dream that one day all African nations will be united is seen as a reflection at the attempts to reconsile the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Moreover, Tanzania is the host nation for member countries of the Organization of African Unity and a haven for exiles and expatriates of other African nations.

In addition to comments by President Nyerere, there are program interviews with leaders in Tanzania’s government, foreign investors, and American teacher, a United States Peace Corps volunteer, and a local doctor and students.”

Copyright at end of program: 1965 by the National Education Television and Radio Center. Produced and written by Henry Morgenthau, narrated by William Cavness.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Morgenthau III, Henry (Producer)
Chicago: “Changing World; Tanzania: The Quiet Revolution,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 22, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6B530F37A4D844818AC21CD2DD3EA7A0.
MLA: “Changing World; Tanzania: The Quiet Revolution.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 22, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6B530F37A4D844818AC21CD2DD3EA7A0>.
APA: Changing World; Tanzania: The Quiet Revolution. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_6B530F37A4D844818AC21CD2DD3EA7A0
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