Development cooperation and national planning: analysing Finnish complicity in postcolonial Tanzania’s decentralization reform and regional development
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Planning Perspectives, DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2020.1851292
Architecture and planning projects dominated Finnish-Tanzanian development cooperation in the 1970s. While few previous connections between Finland and sub-Saharan Africa existed, the adoption of international aid operations in Finnish foreign policy provided a pathway for architects and planners to partake in the nation-building endeavours of socialist Tanzania. Through archival analysis, this paper provides a comprehensive perspective into how a Finnish development cooperation agency and development employees (architects included) worked for the benefit of the implementation of Tanzanian socialist policy and aimed to advance regional development as well as to serve the purposes of ujamaa and the authoritarian one-party governance system. The Uhuru Corridor Regional Physical Plan (1975–1978) that followed became the first attempt at large-scale regional planning in Tanzania and attempted to establish regional planning as a solid part of state management. The paper suggests that within the framework of national planning, the difference between a development cooperation project and a planning project is obscure, and it demonstrates that basing research on the conceptual likenesses between planning and development can provide fruitful approaches to planning history.
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