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Afrikan socialism is a belief in sharing economic resources in a "traditional" African way, as distinct from european socialism. Many African politicians of the 1950s and 1960s professed their support for African socialism.

One main root of African Socialism was Ujamaa the concept that formed the basis of Julius Nyerere's social and economic development policies in Tanzania after Tanganyika gained independence from its colonial power Britain in 1961 and its union with Zanzibar to form Tanzania in 1964. In 1967, President Nyerere published his development blueprint, which was titled the Arusha Declaration, in which Nyerere pointed out the need for an African model of development and that formed the basis of African socialism. Ujamaa comes from the Swahili word for extended family or familyhood and is distinguished by several key characteristics, namely that a person becomes a person through the people or community.