Tanzania Journal of Development Studies

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Civic Participation in the Democratisation Process in Tanzania

EP Niboye


Civic entities have long existed in Tanzania. Solidarity groups at family, clan, tribe, village and chiefdom levels were prevalent throughout Tanzania even before the advent of colonialism. The scope, size and focus of civic societies have increased and changed over time from being primary agents for social service delivery to a broad range of activities, which includes advocacy on human rights, good governance, political participation, empowerment of marginalised groups, and the promotion of gender equality and equity. This paper traces the development of civil societies in Tanzania, how they are related to the state and other stakeholders. It concludes that the civil society is an indispensable agent in the country’s democratisation process.

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