Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

The Dar Es Salaam Declaration on Academic Freedom and Social Responsibility of Academics

19 April 1990, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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We are living in momentous times, ridden with crises but full of hope.

The stringent conditions of the international Shylocks have begun to put a squeeze on education in a dramatic fashion. Tanzania, like the rest of the African continent, finds itself entangled in a web of socio-economic crises. As budgetary allocations for education become minuscule, education is threatening to become the preserve of a minority of the wealthy and influential in our society.

The state has become increasingly authoritarian. Authoritarianism is being further reinforced as the crisis-ridden government fails to offer palpable solutions. Witness the increasingly greater, deeper, and more frequent encroachments on academic freedom and freedom to pursue truth and knowledge, particularly at the universities and other institutions of higher education.

These are times of crises. But they are also times of hope. As People’s free and independent existence is in question, they are beginning to question the existence of unfree and right-less polities.
We, as academics, intellectuals, and purveyors of knowledge have a human obligation and a social responsibility towards our People’s Struggle for Rights, Freedom, Social Transformation, and Human Emancipation. Our participation in the struggle of our people is inseparably linked with the struggle for the autonomy of institutions of higher education and the freedom to pursue knowledge without let, hindrance, and interference from persons in authority.

In 1984, for the first time since independence, the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania was amended to include a Bill of Rights. The Constitution provides for the right to education and the right to opinion and expression which include academic freedom.

Tanzania subscribes to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has ratified the International Covenants (1966) and the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, and is a Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. These instruments unambiguously declare for the right of education and freedom of opinion, expression, and dissemination of information.

But rights are not simply given; they are won. And even when won, they cannot endure unless protected, nurtured, and continuously defended against encroachment and curtailment.

NOW THEREFORE, WE the delegates of the Staff Associations of Institutions of Higher Education in Tanzania, meeting in Dar es Salaam, this 19th day of April, 1990 do Solemnly Adopt and Proclaim this Declaration.



Chapter One: Education for Human Emancipation

1. Every human being has the right to wholesome education. Education shall be directed to the full development of human personality.

2. Access to education shall be equal and equitable.

3. Education shall prepare a person to strive for and to participate fully in the emancipation of the human being and society from oppression, domination, and subjugation.

4. Education shall enable a person to overcome prejudices related to gender, race, nation, ethnicity, religion, class, culture, and such like. Education shall inculcate in every person respect for all human culture developed by humankind.

5. Education shall develop critical faculties, inculcate the spirit of scientific enquiry, and encourage the pursuit of knowledge and the search for the whole truth in the interest of social transformation and human liberation.

6. Education shall be secular. Religious instruction shall be separate from secular education and imparted to those wanting to partake of it voluntarily.

7. Education shall make every person conscious of ecology and the need to protect the environment.

Chapter Two: Obligations of the State

8. The State should guarantee to every resident equal, equitable, and wholesome education without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic condition, physical or mental disability, birth or other status.

9. The State should make available an adequate proportion of the national income to ensure in practice the full realization of the right to education. The State shall bind itself constitutionally to provide a nationally agreed minimum proportion of the national income for education.

10. The State should take affirmative action where necessary to redress historical and contemporary inequalities in access to education based on national, racial, social, or gender differences or arising from physical disabilities.

Chapter Three: Rights and Obligations of Communities

11. In the exercise of the right to self-determination, nationalities, communities, and like collectivities shall have the right to provide education. Such education shall be in conformity with the Basic Principles and other provisions of this Declaration.

12. It will be part of the obligation of a non-governmental organization involved in the provision of education to contribute towards affirmative actions in conformity with the spirit of article 10.

13. It will be part of the obligation of a community or a nationality to struggle against prejudices, attitudes, and beliefs which in any form or manner prevent or discourage its members from partaking of education on an equal basis.



Chapter One: Rights and Freedoms

14. All members of the academic community have the right to fulfil their functions of teaching, doing research, writing, learning, exchanging and disseminating information, and providing services without fear of interference or repression from the State or any other public authority.

15. Civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights of members of the academic community recognized by the United Nations Covenants on Human Rights shall be respected. In particular, all members of the academic community shall enjoy freedom of thought, enquiry, conscience, expression, assembly, and association as well as the right to liberty, security, and integrity of the person

16. All members of the academic community shall enjoy freedom of movement within the country and freedom to travel outside and re-enter the country without let, hindrance, or harassment. This freedom may be restricted only on grounds of public health, morality, or in circumstances of clear, present, and imminent danger to the nation and its independence....

17. Access to the academic community shall be equal for all members of society without hindrance. On the basis of ability, every resident has the right, without discrimination of any kind, to become part of the academic community as a student, researcher, teacher, worker, or administrator without prejudice to any necessary affirmative action in that behalf.

18. Teaching and researching members of staff and students, directly and through their democratically elected representatives, shall have the right to initiate, participate in, and determine academic programmes of their institutions in accordance with the highest standards of education and the Basic Principles.

19. All members of the academic community with research functions have the right to carry out research without interference, subject to the universal principles and methods of scientific enquiry. In particular, researchers shall not be denied information or permission to do, or hindered in any way from doing, research on any ground except for reasons of public health and morality, or, in circumstances of clear, present, and imminent danger to the nation and its independence....

20. All members of the academic community with teaching functions have the right to teach without any interference, subject to the generally accepted principles, standards, and methods of teaching.

21. A member of the academic community shall have the right to demand and receive explanation from any organ, official, or administrator of the institution on its/her/his performance affecting her/him or the academic community at large.

22. Save where it is contrary to morality or principles of democracy, all members of the academic community shall enjoy the freedom to maintain contact with their counterparts in any part of the world as well as the freedom to pursue the development of their educational capacities.

23. All students shall enjoy freedom of study, including the right to choose the field of study from available courses and the right to receive official recognition of this knowledge and experience acquired. Institutions of higher education shall aim to satisfy the professional and educational needs and aspirations of

April 19 2001