Africa's Freedom Railway

How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania


The TAZARA (Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority), or Freedom Railway, from Dar es Salaam on the Tanzanian coast to the Copperbelt region of Zambia, was instrumental in fostering one of the most sweeping development transitions in postcolonial Africa. Built during the height of the Cold War, the railway was intended to redirect the mineral wealth of the interior away from routes through South Africa and Rhodesia. Rebuffed by Western aid agencies, newly independent Tanzania and Zambia accepted help from China to construct what would become one of Africa's most vital transportation corridors. The book follows the railroad from design and construction to its daily use as a vital means for moving villagers and goods. It tells a story of how transnational interests contributed to environmental change, population movements, and the rise of local and regional enterprise.

  • Indiana University Press; March 2009
  • ISBN 9780253002815
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Africa's Freedom Railway
  • Author: Jamie Monson
  • Imprint: Indiana University Press