Tanzania, Development, Africa, British Empire, Colonialism in Africa


By focusing on the notorious Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme, this paper examines the evolution of British development policy in an East African colony throughout the pre-and post-war eras. I begin by detailing the historiography of writing on the Tanganyika Groundnut Scheme, connecting the shift in tone and focus of historians to broader trends in academia and perceptions of Africa, and then continue to provide an overview of pre-war colonial policy in Tanganyika. After laying out this framework, I highlight the profound impact of World War Two on British thought and the ways in which this translated to development policy, accounting for the general support for the Groundnut Scheme. Finally, this paper details the progressive breaks from Britain's previous approach to colonialism in Tanganyika while also addressing the persistence of conservative, regressive mindsets. Ultimately, this paper serves to highlight the contradictory nature of British colonial policy during the mid-twentieth century.