Historical conditions of underdevelopment of the Tanga seaport

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study on the historical conditions of underdevelopment of the Tanga seaport deals with the unequal development of the major East African seaports. It traces the ports' historical development from their early beginnings at the end of the 19th century up to the early 1980s. Particular attention is given to the development of the Tanga seaport which was the earliest seaport to undergo modernization in East Africa but now ranking third in importance from the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam respectively. The study therefore is aimed at probing into the conditions that have surrounded the underdevelopment of the Tanga seaport within the environment of the political economy of Tanzania. The work consists of five chapters,, namely: the Introduction; the Historical development of the Fast African seaports; the 'Development of the Tanga port; Analyses and Conclusions. The first chapter is an introduction to the whole work in general. It specifies the time span of the study and gives the reasons that surround the choice of that span. Despite the fact that the coast of E Africa is covered by many seaports of varying capacities, it is only the four major seaports of Mombasa, Tanga, Dar es Salaam and Mtwara that are dealt with in this work. The chapter explains also the reasons behind that choice. The first chapter attempts also to provide the theoretical basis of the conditions of underdevelopment of Tanga. Effort is made in specifying Tanga's place in Tanzania's underdevelopment and the world in general. The second chapter is an historical exposition of the historical development of the four major seaports of the region. The treatment of the facts in the chapter is specifically comparative with the basic aim of showing how historical and political developments have affected the: growth of the port of Tanga. The developmental stages of the ports are traced from the dhow traffic era to the latest specialized guayage era. A theoretical explanation on the theme of seaport development is provided so as to place this study on an international basis. Peculiarities in East African seaport development have been raised only to demonstrate the imperialistic nature of colonialism e.g. its expansionist nature to occupy new territories; its tendency to impose new values and domination of other peoples. In fact most seaports in their development become similar structurally because they tend to deal with the same traffic of international shipping lines. It will be noted that the latest development stages in seaport construction are the same. The third Chapter traces the historical development of the Tanga port. The chapter profiles the port's development almost through the same time span of the second chapter touching on the same developmental stages. The basic exception in this chapter is that it gives a magnified picture of Tanga's development and moreover there is more information from primary sources in the chapter than in the rest of the chapter. The chapter gives an historical setting to the port's development; it details the capacity and surveys the hinterland to the port. The organization of port working; export cargo traffic and import cargo traffic are also studied. Chapter four consists of my analyses of the findings. The chapter very much relies on the facts that are provided in the preceding chapters. Particular attention however, is paid to chapters two and three. There are four sections in the chapter: the general historical conditions of underdevelopment of Tanga; the specific conditions of underdevelopment of the port; the validity of those conditions and their effects. The first section is an attempt to identify the conditions that remotely affected the development of Tanga as they are provided by the sources used in the study. The second section deals with the specific conditions of underdevelopment of Tanga. The third section consists of analyses into the validity of the general and specific conditions of underdevelopment in Tanga. The effort here is to try to test the authenticity of those reasons given for Taga port's underdevelopment. And the final section analyses the effects of the conditions of underdevelopment to the Tanga seaport and its hinterland. Chapter five consists of my concluding remarks to the study. The chapter underlines the developmental snags in the country and evaluates some of the authoritative remedies suggested by a, host of scholars. And alongside the scholastic ideas that accompany my concluding remarks I have also tried to evaluate the interrelatedness of Tanga's underdevelopment to Tanzania's and worldwide.
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Tanga (Town), Harbours, History
Mandia, J. C (1987) Historical conditions of underdevelopment of the Tanga seaport, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )