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Title:African indigenous knowledge and social security of the elderly in rural Tanzania: the case of Bukoba rural district
Author:Kashaga, Frateline
Periodical:The African Review: A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs (ISSN 0856-0056)
Geographic term:Tanzania
indigenous knowledge
social policy
social security
rural society
Abstract:This article explores the possibility of utilizing the local knowledge in social policy development in Tanzania and its potential for improving the welfare of the elderly in Haya society in Bukoba rural district. Since independence in 1961 the development of social policy in Tanzania has marginalized and at times completely ignored the usefulness of the cultural and social fabric of indigenous societies. As a result, the policy framework of the country lacks much imput from rural grassroots communities specifically on issues around old age and social insecurity. Based on first hand ethnographical field data gathered in Bukoba rural district, this article demonstrates some of the cultural sensibilities and traditional practices preserved in Haya society like among so many other ethnic groups in Tanzania, thus identifying features of rural cultural heritage in order to emphasize the social underpinnings to improve Tanzanian social policy. By using an ideological theoretical approach the author revitalizes an experience from the historical period in which national-romantic ideas strongly influenced the creation of identities of a nation. According to the author, this is relevant since Tanzania misinterpreted its initial ideal efforts to build on its own heritage of Ujamaa, which partly drew some ideas from cultural heritage of indigeneous societies. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]