Julius Kambarage Nyerere

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Julius Kambarage Nyerere (käm´bərä´gā nī´ərā´rā), c.1922–99, African political leader, first president (1964–85) of Tanzania. Educated at Makerere College (Uganda) and the Univ. of Edinburgh, he taught in mission schools and founded (1954) the Tanganyika African National Union. Leader of the opposition (1954–60), he became chief minister after the 1960 elections. When Tanganyika attained independence (1961) he was prime minister and when it became a republic (1962), Nyerere was elected president. He brought Tanganyika and Zanzibar into a union as the republic of Tanzania (1964). Establishing a one-party state led by the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania (CCM), Nyerere authored a policy of African socialism characterized by economic self-reliance, egalitarianism, and local rural development, but it was ultimately unsuccessful economically. He engineered the ouster of Idi Amin in Uganda in 1979. Nyerere retired from the presidency in 1985 but remained chairman of CCM until 1990.

See biography by G. Leibenow (1987).

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Nyerere, Julius Kambarage (1922–99) Tanzanian statesman, first president of Tanzania (1964–85). In 1954, he founded the Tanganyika African National Union. In 1961, Nyerere led Tanganyika to independence. In 1964, he negotiated the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar that created Tanzania. He established a one-party state. In 1979, Nyerere sent troops into Uganda to destabilize Idi Amin. Under his autocratic but generally benign socialist government, Tanzania made progress in social welfare and education. Economic setbacks led to calls for greater democracy and he was forced to retire.