SANF 18 no 49 – by Raymond Ndhlovu
The Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School is being established in Tanzania to serve southern Africa in honour of the late founding President and former chairperson of the Frontline States.
The leadership college is a joint effort of six liberation movements from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), who are now governing parties, and whose countries gained independence with the support of Nyerere and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Liberation Committee that was hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania.
The six liberation movement parties are Tanzania`s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), and the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) of Namibia, the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO).
A colourful ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the school was held recently in Kibaha, Coastal Region, near Dar es Salaam. The parties were represented at the function by their respective secretaries-general who took up shovels to prepare the ground.
They will work together to establish the Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School, with support from China. The government of Tanzania provided the land.
President John Pombe Magufuli officiated at the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the college with the Head of International Liaison of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Song Tao.
The late Nyerere initiated relations with the People’s Republic of China through the first premier, Zhou Enlai, soon after Tanzania’s independence in 1961, just 12 years after China’s liberation.
This relationship led to China’s support for the liberation of southern Africa from colonial rule and apartheid.
President Magufuli cited the need for strong leadership in the region “who will obey leadership ethics and be able to bring economic development to the people.”
The Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School will offer training in leadership skills and political principles with the aim of strengthening unity and cooperation in liberating African economies.
The project will be carried out with Chinese financial support and built over the next two years by the China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company (CRJE) at an estimated cost of $45 million.
This is the same company that partnered the construction of the strategic Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) completed in 1976 to reduce dependence on the southern routes through then Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, and regarded as a symbol of China-Africa friendship.
Contemporary relations continue to be strengthened through the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) established by Africa and China in 2000, which has provided a more structured platform for deepening the ties between China and Africa in a broad spectrum of fields from political to economic areas.
The Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School seeks to achieve transformative leadership, by offering leadership educational courses which answer the need to improve regional concerns and integration.
This project comes as a significant milestone in the SADC region, in honour and remembrance of Mwalimu, who is known for sharing the values of integrity and commitment in leadership and the realisation of the liberation of the region.
The project comes as a strong gesture towards raising a well-informed and prepared young generation into influential leadership positions, towards a common future based on regional development.
The Mwalimu Nyerere Leadership School is expected to strengthen regional diplomatic relations and improve the yields of regional integration, accelerating economic development through informed curricula and inter-active discussions and lectures.
The project responds to the need expressed by SADC leaders to honour the legendary work of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, which has resulted in the naming in his honour of the African Union’s Peace and Security Building at its Addis Ababa headquarters.
Julius Kambarage Nyerere was born in Butiama, in northern Tanzania, on 13 April 1922 and died on 14 October 1999. Many visitors from the region and elsewhere make the journey to Butiama to visit his grave and to remember how he used his life to transform eastern and southern Africa. sardc.net