The role and impact of leadership in the rural sector: the case of village government

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University of Dar es Salaam
At Independence, Tanzania found itself with a majority of its population living in the rural areas. So in order to tackle the problem of raising the living standard of the majonty of the people; it had to address itself to the rural question. Tanzania has since then adopted, and persued different rural development policies; with the aim of raising the living standards of the people. Most of the early policies were persuade without a clearly stated ideological position. By the Arusha Declaration, Tanzania decided to follow a socialist oriented path to development. On the side of rural development a policy paper socialism and rural development was published in 1967. It aimed to enhance the ideas laid down in the Arusha Declaration. In order to successfully carry out this policy, villagization programme was launched, by the Musoma resolution, and the village and Ujamaa Villages Act 1975 was passed. By this Act the Village Government came into being. This Village Government provided an institutional framework which could spearhead the socialist revolution in the rural sector. But despite the provision of this institutional framework, the pace of transforming the rural area, and the village in particular to a socialist unit has been slow and frustrating. This study, thus goes out to analyse the village government: its characteristics and its relationship with outside forces. This study has limited itself, in looking at the village and its relationship with the Central Government and the Party under the Decentralization Act of 1972. In this way then, the study has not looked at the Village Government and its relation with the recently formed local government. This is because the local government has not yet come into full operation. The study is divided into six chapters. The first chapter gives the theoretical framework of the study. This chapter includes: statement of the problem, background to the problem, literature review, specific objectives, the hypothesis and the significance of the study. Chapter two deals with a historical analysis of the rural development policies, and their related administrative structures. It starts from the colonial period to the time of the introduction of socialism and Rural Development Policy, and the Village Government. In chapter three research design has been explained in detail and chapter four; gives the analysis of field data and hence major findings as regards; the important features of the Village Government. In the first place age, education and training of the village leaders is discussed. Second, the class position of the village government is discussed and its implication. Third, the researcher discusses technological dependence of the village government. In chapter five the researcher analyses and discusses the influences of the external forces in the village Government. Finally chapter six gives a brief conclusion and offers a suggestion for further research.
Villages, Local government, Management, Tanzania
Meshack, M V. (1985) The role and impact of leadership in the rural sector: the case of village government, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (