Julius Nyerere

April 13, 1922
Date of Death
October 14, 1999
Place of Death

[Julius Nyerere] Biography

Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a Tanzanian anti-colonial activist, politician, and political theorist. Born in Butiama, Mara, he was the son of a Zanaki chief who studied in Makerere College, Uganda and Edinburgh University, Scotland before returning to Tanganyika to lead its independence struggle from the British Empire and become the country's first president. Influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, he preached non-violent protest and advocated for African nationalism and African socialism in the form of his own political philosophy Ujamaa, which saw banks and other major industries and companies nationalised and education and healthcare significantly expanded while placing emphasis on communal farms. His government provided training and aid to anti-colonialist groups fighting white-minority rule throughout Southern Africa and oversaw Tanzania's war with Uganda, resulted in the overthrow of Idi Amin. Although widely respected across Africa as an anti-colonialist, Nyerere's construction of the one-party state and use of detention without trial led to accusations of dictatorial governance, while he has also been blamed for economic mismanagement. He is held in deep respect within Tanzania, often referred to as the "Father of the Nation".

[Julius Nyerere] Notable Works

Arusha Declaration

[Julius Nyerere] Awards

Lenin Peace Prize

[Julius Nyerere] Achievements

• Elected as Tanganyika’s Prime Minister in 1961, and then its first President in 1962
• Secure independence for Tanganyika from colonial rule, and then oversaw its transition to a republic in 1962
• United Tanganyika with Zanzibar in April 1964 to form the new state of Tanzania
• Established a one-party system in April 1965, with the Tanganyikan African National Union (TANU) as the sole legitimate party
• Implemented Ujamaa (‘familyhood’), a rural development policy based on African traditions of communal production and ownership
• Established free and universal education for all, with a goal to promote ‘African socialism’ and create a healthy and educated population
• Launched a successful Green Revolution which saw agricultural production and output rise significantly
• Laid the foundations for modern Tanzania by prioritizing infrastructure projects such as road and railway construction to improve the economy
• Actively promoted international peace, justice and anti-imperialism at the United Nations and other international forums
• Helped to establish the Organisation of African Unity and the Non-Aligned Movement, and was greatly respected as a leader in African and international politics
• Promoted reconciliation and unity in Tanzania, and worked to build a spirit of patriotism and national identity in Tanzania.

More Details

 Educated at

  • Makerere University
  • University of Edinburgh


  • Politician
  • Writer
  • Teacher

 Founder of

  • Chama Cha Mapinduzi