How Tanzania Can Escape a Poverty Trap: Lesson from China

Migeto Zakaria


Today, the success story of china’s great leap from weak socialist state to hegemonic world producer and great USA and Africans countries creditor astonishes a lot of scholars. In 1980 china’s GDP per capital was only 193 US dollar which similar that of African countries like chad and Malawi and Asian like Bangladesh. Translating this GDP per capital, at that time china’s average food consumption fell below basic nutritional standards. Chinese people did not eat more or better food prior 1980s. Politically, China’s CCP regime was extremely dictatorial ushered two major economic upheavals; the so called the great leap forward of 1958-1961 where to accelerate economic production by political demand china enacted a policy scheme which was a disaster. Thirty years later china became the world’s second economies and her GDP grew from USD 193 to USD 6,091 by 2012 leaving other countries like chad, Malawi and Bangladeshi far behind. What happened during this thirty years of china’s great leap and what lesson does it give to African countries like Tanzania? This article tries to see some useful hints that made china great as she is now and what lesson can African countries like Tanzania learn from this transformation “great leap process”. The reason beyond this success story owes not to good governance as a prelude to development nor history as a factor for underdevelopment, coevolution between the state and society was a vital force. The article provides a suggestion on Tanzania to develop must first have industrial and agriculture societal based policies. This article also based solely on Yuen Yuen Ang literature on how china escaped poverty trap.

DOI: 10.7176/JPID/54-01

Publication date:May 31st 2020

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