The Momentous 1960s – Reflections on an African Decade

  • Lynn Schler ( Professor in African History in the Department of Politics and Government, Director of the Tamar Golan Africa Centre at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)


Throughout postcolonial Africa, processes of nation-building were inaugurated with socialist strategies for achieving economic development, but by the end of the first decade of independence, socialist development schemes had failed to produce anticipated benefits and were abandoned. The fate of these projects embodied many of the broader challenges facing postcolonial leadership in the 1960s. Kafuba and Kafulafuta were cooperative settlements established by Israelis in the Zambian Copperbelt and modelled on the Israeli moshav. These successful schemes became the flagship models of Kenneth Kaunda’s humanist ideology, but Kaunda cancelled the projects when they came into conflict with Zambia’s broader geopolitical concerns. This case study provides insights into how leaders negotiated between ideology and politics, and ultimately abandoned key aspects of their nationalist ideologies.

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How to Cite

Schler, L. (2019). Between Ideology and Policy: Dilemmas of Leadership in the Postcolonial 1960s in Zambia. Comparativ, 29(4), 30-47.