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Title:Ripple effects: the groundnut scheme failure and railway planning for colonial development in Tanganyika, 1947-1952
Author:Bourbonniere, Michelle
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:development planning
rail transport
colonial policy
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00083968.2013.832628
Abstract:This paper explores the landscape of development in post-war Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania) and the fluid boundaries between projects to demonstrate how the fate of one project could determine the shape of another. The groundnut scheme is an exemplary case of worst practices in development planning. While the reasons for the failure of the scheme by the end of the 1940s are well understood, its effects on colonial development in the country are not. Drawing from the voluminous paper trail that development planning leaves in its wake, this paper traces the effects of the groundnut scheme demise on a contemporaneous plan to build a railway across Tanganyika to the Northern Rhodesian copperbelt. Tensions arose among the railway planners - civil servants, politicians, and consultants from Britain, Africa, and the United States - when, midway through the planning process, the scale of the groundnut scheme collapse became public. The author demonstrates how this revealing crisis prompted planners to eschew the project's production-oriented impetus and embrace a welfare-oriented conclusion. By demonstrating the interlinked nature of development projects, this paper proposes a new angle for studying the history of development in an era characterized by the rapid proliferation of projects. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]