Neoliberalism, Economic Crisis, and Domestic Coffee Marketing in Tanzania

  • Ambrose T. Kessy
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks in IPE book series (PHIPE)


This chapter presents an analysis of the economic crisis of neoliberalism with a focus on the growth of the coffee industry in Tanzania. It explicates the economic and political crises of neoliberalism with a focus on the transformation of coffee industry and the reproduction of weak cooperative societies in Tanzania as opposed to the predictions of dispersal of the political and economic power of neoliberal transitions. At the center of this analysis is the critical issue regarding the effects of neoliberal policies on the rural economy, taking the coffee industry as a case study. The chapter first looks at the commencement of the private marketing and charts the transformation of the coffee industry in Tanzania. An extensive body of literature has shown that for the past few years the government of Tanzania has initiated some interventions in the country’s coffee industry, all aimed at fighting the grain of neoliberal market reform. The chapter then explains the impact of the subsequent economic crisis in Tanzania, which resulted in the decline of the coffee sector. It also describes these changes and locates them in the broader literature on neoliberal reforms in Tanzania and how neoliberal policies have affected cooperatives which were once the key agents for coffee marketing. The chapter concludes by showing how neoliberal crises in the form of economic crisis can create opportunities for reassessing the relationship between private capital and the state capital in revamping the coffee sector. Thus, exports of coffee contribute hugely to the growth of the Tanzanian economy.


  1. Bargawi, Hannah. 2009. Tanzania’s Agricultural Institutions in Flux: Lessons from Coffee and Cotton Producing Villages. In Working Paper NCCR Trade Regulation, Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research.Google Scholar
  2. Bond, Patrick, and George Dor. 2003. Neoliberalism and Poverty Reduction Strategies in Africa. Johannesburg: Regional Network for Equity in Health in Southern Africa (EQUINET).Google Scholar
  3. Brewin, David. 2019. Agriculture. Tanzanian Affairs, January 1. Business & the Economy, Issue No. 122. Available at Accessed 10 Sep 2019.
  4. Brooks, Murrell. 2007. Coffee, Liberalization, and Democratic Development in Tanzania. PhD, University of California.Google Scholar
  5. Brooks, Murrell, and Ambrose Kessy. 2017. Neo-Liberalism and the State: Lessons from the Tanzania Coffee Industry. African Review 44 (2): 1–28.Google Scholar
  6. Caffentzis, George. 2002. Neoliberalism in Africa, Apocalyptic Failures and Business as Usual Practices. Alternative: Turkish Journal of International Relations 1.
  7. Daily News Paper. 2013. Daily News, May 19.Google Scholar
  8. Economic Commission for Africa, ECA. 2011. Governing Development in Africa: The Role of the State in Economic Transformation. Addis Ababa.Google Scholar
  9. Furedi, Frank. 1994. The New Ideology of Imperialism. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  10. Harvey, David. 2005. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Cary: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hewison, Kevin. 2005. Neo-Liberalism and Domestic Capital: The Political Outcomes of the Economic Crisis in Thailand. Journal of Development Studies 41 (2): 310–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hilary, John. 2010. Africa: Dead Aid and the Return of Neoliberalism. Race and Class 52 (2): 79–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ikeno, Jun. 2007. The Declining Coffee Economy and Low Population Growth in Mwanga District, Tanzania. African Study Monographs 35: 3–39.Google Scholar
  14. Maghimbi, Sam. 2007. Recent Changes in Crop Patterns in Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania: The Decline of Coffee and the Rise of Maize and Rice. African Study Monographs 37: 73–83.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2010. Cooperatives in Tanzania Mainland: Revival and Growth. CoopAFRICA Working Paper 14. Series on the Status of Cooperative Development in Africa, International Labour Organization.Google Scholar
  16. Mhando, David. 2014a. Unstable Local Producer’s Institutions and Failure to Utilize Competitive Factor: The Case of Tanzania’s Coffee Industry. Journal of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences 3 (1&2): 61–74.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2014b. Conflict as a Motivation for Change: The Case of Coffee Farmers’ Cooperatives in Moshi, Tanzania. African Studies Monographs Suppl. 50: 137–154.Google Scholar
  18. Mhando, David Gongwe, and Juichi Itani. 2007. Farmers Coping Strategies to a Changed Coffee Market After Economic Liberalization: The Case of Mbinga District in Tanzania. African Study Monographs 36: 39–58. Scholar
  19. ———. 2008. Post-economic Liberalization Strategies After the Introduction of One Licence System in Tanzania: A Case of the Mantengo Coffee Growers in Mbinga District. Tanzania Journal of Population Studies and Development 15 (1&2): 41–58.Google Scholar
  20. Mhando, David, Twilumba Mbeyale, and Eva Ludi. 2013. Adaptation to Changes in the Coffee Value Chain and the Price of Coffee Among Coffee Producers in Two Villages in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. African Study Monographs 34 (1): 27–56.Google Scholar
  21. Moore, David. 2010. Neoliberal Globalisation and the Triple Crisis of ‘Modernisation’ in Africa: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa. Third World Quarterly 22 (6): 909–929. Scholar
  22. Munger, Edwin S. 1952. African Coffee on Kilimanjaro: A Chagga Kihamba: Economic Geography. Economic Geography 28 (2): 181–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Musiba, Elvis. 2000. Reforming the Business Environment in Tanzania. Tanzania Private Sector (TPSF). Available at Accessed 20 Oct 2019.
  24. Pirotte, Gautier, Geoffrey Pleyers, and Marc Poncelet. 2006. Fair-Trade Coffee in Nicaragua and Tanzania: A Comparison. Development in Practice 16 (5): 441–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ponte, Stefano. 2001. Coffee Markets in East Africa: Local Responses to Local Challenges or Global Responses to Local Challenges. CDR Working Paper 1 (5): 1–45.Google Scholar
  26. ———. 2004. The Politics of Ownership: Tanzanian Coffee Policy in the Age of Liberal Reformism. African Affairs 103 (413): 615–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Solomon, Baregu, Barreiro-Hurlé Jesús, and Maro Janet. 2013. Analysis of Incentives and Disincentives for Coffee in the United Republic of Tanzania. Technical Notes Series. MAFAP, FAO, Rome.Google Scholar
  28. Taylor, Boas, and Gans-Morse Jordan. 2009. Neoliberalism: From New Liberal Philosophy to Anti-Liberal Slogan. Studies in Comparative International Development 44: 137–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Temu, Andrew E. 1999. The Kilimanjaro Cooperative Bank: A Potentially Sustainable Rural Financial Institution Model for Sub-Saharan Africa. African Review of Money Finance and Banking: 49–76.Google Scholar
  30. Ueda, Gen. 2007. Economic Liberalization and Areal Differentiation of Livelihood Strategies in the Smallholder Coffee Production Area of the Arumeru District, Tanzania. African Study Monographs 35: 43–70.Google Scholar
  31. United Republic of Tanzania, URT. 1999. The Tanzania Development Vision 2025, Planning Commission, United Republic of Tanzania.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 2013. MAFAP Policy Brief No.14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ambrose T. Kessy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationUniversity of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania

Personalised recommendations