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The TAZARA (Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority) or Freedom Railway stretches from Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast to the Copperbelt region of Zambia. The railway, built during the height of the Cold War, was intended to redirect the mineral wealth of the interior away from routes through South Africa and Rhodesia. After being rebuffed by Western donors, newly independent Tanzania and Zambia accepted help from communist China to construct what would become one of Africa's most vital transportation corridors. Drawing on first-hand experiences of engineers and laborers together with life histories of traders who used the railway, Jamie Monson tracks the railroad from its design and construction to its daily use as a passenger train that provided an important means for moving people and goods from one village to another. This engaging history reveals how transnational interests contributed to environmental change, population movements, the rise of local and regional economic enterprise, and one of the most sweeping development transitions in post-colonial Africa.
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 23rd February 2009
Publisher: Indiana University Press