20. African Liberation Heritage Sites

As mentioned briefly in the entry about the FRELIMO office in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania was host to the liberation movements from many of the neighbouring countries not yet independent in the 1960s. In fact, heritage sites of the liberation struggle of especially ANC from South Africa, have been documented in a project by the Tanzanian Division of Antiquities, part of which was published in 2010[1].

The former Organization of African Unity (OAU) led a Liberation Committe based in Dar-es-Salaam from 1963, with objective to coordinate, unify and provide aid to the liberation movements of the neighbouring countries. The Liberation Committee was closed in 1994 after South Africa finally held democratic elections.

The heritage identified and documented by the Department of Antiquities in a project from 2007 covering the Dodoma and Morogoro regions, include the ANC headquarters, training bases or freedom fighting camps, and educational facilities of different kinds. The Kongwa Liberation Movement Military Training Area in Dodoma region, was used by liberation movements from South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe and includes a residence for the first Mozambican president Samora Machel. At the moment the site is used as a community secondary school with 520 students. In the same district you can find the Samora Machel Trench, constructed in 1967 for military training. There is also a graveyard for freedom fighters from different countries and an airstrip.

Documentation of sites in other regions of Tanzania and development of legal protection for the heritage sites are among the next steps in the project which is part of a larger capacity building programme of heritage management in the Antiquities Division by the Government of Tanzania with Swedish assistance.

[1] All information in this post from ‘Identification and Documentation of African Liberation Heritage Sites in Tanzania: Morogoro and Dodoma Regions’, Cultural Heritage Development and Communication Section, Division of Antiquities, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Dar-es-Salaam, May 2010


About Silje

Architect and PhD Candidate based in Copenhagen, Denmark, but working mainly with heritage conservation and urban development in Ilha de Moçambique 2011-13. You can contact me on macutiblog at gmail dot com
This entry was posted in History, Monuments and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 20. African Liberation Heritage Sites

  1. Pingback: 19. Moz heritage in Dar | Macuti

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