What attracted me to the cause of a free society – Isack C. Danford


From 1967 up to 1985 Tanzania had adopted socialist policies dubbed 'Socialism and Self Reliance' under which most of economic activities were planned by the central government. People were forced to leave their homes and were relocated to the so called 'Socialist Villages'. Individual rights were not valued and freedom of expression was completed banned. Tanzanians lived under this system for more than eighteen years, until economic hardships, inefficiency on the part of the public sector and increased scarcity of necessary goods like sugar made the government to do away with socialism policies and adopted the free market ideologies in mid 1985.


Tanzanian women cultivating at one of the socialist community villages 


I was born in 1986, barely one year after Tanzania had adopted Free Market Economy so I grew up in a society that was trying to do away with the remaining tyrannical tendencies among government officials who were sympathetic to socialist system and at the same time trying to cope with corrupted officials who sought to use fraud, theft and bribery in the name of free market system to enrich themselves. The end result is that cronyism has been the order of the day ever since Tanzania adopted capitalism ideologies, a situation which has made most Tanzanians to refer to the ‘Socialist Era’ as far better.

Now, here is where I see the problem. We have leaders who practice a very strange brand of capitalism, which doesn't respect rule of law, property rights, or freedom of exchange. Leaders have manipulated this system to their own ends, to squander public resources because they have only adopted some of the principles for a free society and abandoned those, which are not in line with their selfish interests. Most of former and present government leaders are untouchable and considered to be above the law; most of them are also businessmen something which creates unfair competition with normal citizens when it comes to business dealings.

Because of such a reality I decided to initiate a movement called Tanzanian Students for Liberty with the aim of equipping the next generation of leaders with the basics for achieving a free society by familiarizing them with principles such as economic freedom or entrepreneurship, social freedom or basic individual rights, and intellectual or academic freedom by creating a forum for them to learn and give out their views on these principles by writing essays, articles and books. I believe in the theory of ‘Social Change’ and that the youths of this great nation are the ones who will do away the old system of doing things both in the government and the private sectors. This new generation will not tolerate corruption, inefficiency, or buffoonery. It is what professor George Ayittey calls, the ‘The Cheetah Generation’.


Cheetahs from the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy (TIA)


Now, my main task is to identify and train these future leaders and to help them establish pro-liberty groups within their respective campuses so as to spread those ideas to other students in those campuses. Also, I provide them with access to trainings, books, and forums, like conducting speaker’s events, leadership forums, conferences, debates, incursion trips, etc. I'm doing all this because I want to bring about Social Changes within my community towards a more freer, prosperous and peaceful Tanzanian society. And this is what has attracted me to the cause of a free society.

A Libertarian tells his tale in Tanzania