16 J. Refugee Stud. 147 (2003)
The Politics of Refugee Hosting in Tanzania: From Open Door to Unsustainability, Insecurity and Receding Receptivity

handle is hein.journals/jrefst16 and id is 155 raw text is: Journal of Refugee Studies Vol. 16, No. 2 2003

The Politics of Refugee Hosting inTanzania:
From Open Door to Unsustainability,
Insecurity and Receding Receptivity
SREERAM SUNDAR CHAULIA
Maxwell School of Citizenship, Syracuse, New York
With the aim of understanding continuity and change in Tanzania's refugee hosting
policy, the first part of the paper examines the ideological, economic and political
underpinnings of German-British attitudes to immigrants. Pointers are provided as
to which of these tendencies were transformed and which carried over in the asylum
and refugee policy of the postcolonial state. The burden of history on independent
Tanzania's outlook towards refugees is highlighted. The second part discusses the
impact on asylum seekers of Pan-Africanism, Julius Nyerere's humanist philosophy
and the remoulding of Tanzanian state ideology after African socialism, and
considers the debate whether refugees are economically exploited in the
postcolonial setting. In the third part, Tanzania's abandonment of its Open
Door policy in the 1990s is analysed and linked to the economic liberalization
measures that have had a negative impact on the ability and willingness of the state
to host refugees. Finally, recommendations are made for reversing the alarming
trend of Tanzanian 'hosting fatigue' and significant conclusions drawn from the
broad historical survey conducted throughout the essay.
Introduction
Since independence in 1961, Tanzania has played host to populations displaced
from nearly one dozen countries,1 earning a reputation in international forums
for being a receptive host to fleeing Africans and a regional pioneer in effective
refugee settlement. Recognizing its sizeable contribution over the years and
praising his country's 'exemplary record', UNHCR awarded Tanzania's
Father of the Nation, Julius Nyerere, the Nansen Medal in 1983 and Refugees
International showered accolades on Tanzania for 'exceptional hospitality'.
For more than three decades, Tanzania was regarded as a beacon of hope and
a model host by the humanitarian world and Africa. In contrast to this
pedigree is the current-day lament that Tanzania has joined several others in
the list of 'fatigued host countries' (Mahiga 1997). As of 31 December 2000, the
United Republic of Tanzania hosted more refugees than any other country on
the African continent, a total of 543,000, one-sixth of all African refugees and
 Oxford University Press 2003

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