Top economies borrowed Arusha Declaration philosophy

Dr Ngowi, the Book Author
The Arusha Declaration, whose principles on the economy are largely considered outdated, can not be written off completely as its tenets proved useful in dealing with the global financial crisis of the 2008, a Tanzanian economist has cautioned.

Dr Honest Ngowi of the Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Business School says in his new book that most of the world’s top economies borrowed a leaf from the document whose proclamation in 1967 ushered in socialist policies in Tanzania. “Different countries took several measures after deterioration of the economy from the last quarter of 2008.

The major efforts undertaken are in line with doctrines of the Arusha Declaration and the teachings of the economist, John Keynes,” Dr Ngowi says in his book titled “The Economic Crisis of the 2000’s and Beyond,” that was launched in Dar es Salaam last week.

The book traces the economic crisis in the last four years which started in the US before spreading globally and according to the academic, the globe has not completely recovered from the crisis. The Arusha Declaration doctrine conforms to the Keynesian school of thought that calls for government intervention to the economy because of inadequacy and unreliability of the market forces.

Dr Ngowi said Tanzania founding president, Julius Nyerere who was the architect of Arusha Declaration, was a follower of Lord John Maynard Keynes, the founder of Keynesian school of thought. “During financial turbulence in capitalism, many countries, even the capitalist ones, reverted to and embraced Arusha Declaration philosophy to avert the crisis,” he says in the book.

“These have been evident endeavours undertaken by different countries to tackle the economic crisis and its effects. Among those are mastermind of capitalism in the world led by US. Many countries...were left with no option but to buy shares and even nationalise companies, especially banks and other financial institutions.

They have to bailed out banks, lest they collapse,” the book titled “The Economic Crisis of 2000s and Beyond: Analysis and Perspectives in the Tanzanian Context,” shows. The author elaborates how big economies such as China and US offered programmes to boost labour and purchases incentive as a way to push up supply and demand when private sector dodging it.

According to the World Bank’s Global Financial Development Report of 2012, the global financial crisis has given greater credence to the idea that active state involvement in the financial sector can help maintain economic stability, drive growth and create jobs. The Matokeo Publisher and Printer, Dr Charles Sokile said the book was timely, relevant and merit in accordance to the country’s economic situation.

“I was also touched by the findings on chapter 31 and 32 that show the titans of the world economy borrowed a leaf from Arusha Declaration,” Dr Sokile said. The Guest of Honour, former prime Minister Edward Lowasa said, “this is a must read book...as the crisis is not over yet...”

He pointed out, however, that the book did not touch on the area of how many jobs were lost in Tanzania during the crisis. Mr Lowasa said during the crisis apart from taxes and revenue the government lost from the hardest hit area like agriculture, mining and tourism, where about 40,000 people lost their jobs. He said the book was an eye opener for the nation to start thinking about value addition of its exported raw material and creating internal demand of goods and services.

University of Dar es Salaam Institute of Development Studies, Dr Colman Msoka apart from praising the good job done by the author said there were areas that needed further analysis. “Its time for celebration, not criticising...but I would like the author to further look at how Africa was affected and mitigation used to bail out the continent,” Dr Msoka, who was a book critique, said.

The former EAC Secretary General, Mr Juma Mwapachu, said the book was very relevant as it would help scholars and bureaucrats to understand the crisis to come up with better solutions. “(Why) because the global financial crisis has become the new norm (of the world),” Mr Mwapachu said when delivering votes of thanks.

Scholars, publishers, government officials, leaders from the private sectors and the civil society organisations, representatives from development partners and the media attended the launching event.

Dr Ngowi said the book will be translated into Kiswahili in near future. He has written over 50 major academic works and 100 newspapers and magazine articles in the areas of Foreign Direct Investments, international trades, macro and micro economics, economic impact of HIV/Aids, among others.
Source: The Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza in Dar es Salaam
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