Back to the Roots
A New Social Policy Agenda for the Welfare of the Elderly in Rural Tanzania
Kashaga Frateline Mlashani
Accordingly, indigenous livelihood options and traditional social safety nets, which have sustained rural African communities for years, have suffered greatly. This is a result of policy formulations, exclusively based on alien culture in relation to local people in villages. Most of these social policies have tried for several decades to implement the modernization project which has marginalized all forms of traditional practices and local knowledge since its inception in western countries. The main intention of the project is to modernize the rural African communities for poverty eradication and to improve socio-economic development. Yet the situation of rural African societies has deteriorated greatly and villagers are stuck in a cycle of abject poverty, which defies the logic of many years of development aid and the efforts of aid workers from western countries. The rural African elderly have suffered the most. Numerous studies have been carried out to learn about the predicament of rural peasants in Africa, yet the situation leaves much to be desired. This is partly attributed to the fact that, most of the studies have used perspectives, which view African societies largely from the western frame of reference. As a contribution to the body of knowledge of rural studies in contemporary African societies, the author of this PhD thesis uses the African perspectives of rural studies and provides a different theoretical perspective rooted in indigenous African cultural sensibility of welfare programs for the elderly. The author of this thesis is Frateline Mlashani Kashaga, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. His research interests are in Rural Development in Africa, Social & Public Policy and African languages & Philosophy. Apart from being a researcher, Frateline is an Assistant Lecturer in Development Studies at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE), which is the Constituent College of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.