Edinburgh Global

Julius Nyerere centenary

On Monday 7 November 2022, the University of Edinburgh had the privilege of hosting a series of events paying tribute to the centenary of Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s birth. The first president of the Republic of Tanzania, Nyerere remains one of the University’s most renowned and accomplished alumni, working tirelessly for the independence of Tanzania and against oppressive regimes such as Apartheid.

As part of the festivities, the University of Edinburgh welcomed Her Excellency Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania to the UK & Republic of Ireland, Professor William Anangisye, Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar-es-Salaam, and Professor Ng’wanza Kamata, Nyerere Biographer and Senior Lecturer and included an exhibition of our Special Collections, containing official photographs of Nyerere, as well as his graduation certificate and other letters.

Prior to the celebrations, the University of Edinburgh honoured this link by signing a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the University of Dar-es-Salaam, indicating the intention to work together on partnership activities together in the future.

Nyerere as a leader and Pan-Africanist

Nyerere stood for freedom, unity and peace. A patriotic leader who put his country’s needs before his own, and who influenced the region to unite against apartheid and colonialism.

Video: Nyerere at 100 - Nyerere the leader and Pan-Africanist
Video from the Nyerere at 100 event.

He was somebody who was very determined, patriotic, and somebody who was somebody who wanted to see the nation and the region successful. He put his nation first before his own personal interest. For today's generation we have a lot to learn of his way of leadership.

Zamda Geuza, Lecturer at University of Dar es Salaam and PhD Candidate at University of Exeter

Nyerere’s legacy

A remarkable yet humble man, Nyerere’s focus on education particularly for women, his philosophical outlook, and political service helped to shape the Republic of Tanzania.

Video: Nyerere at 100 - Julius Nyerere's Legacy
Video from the Nyerere at 100 event.

Education for self-reliance and education as a tool for service, not privilege.

Her Excellency Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, High Commissioner of Tanzania to the UK & RoI

Celebrating Nyerere’s life on the centenary of his birth

One hundred years since his birth, the event highlighted not only the international impact that his life had, but also provided an opportunity to reflect on work within Edinburgh relating to the African continent.

Video: Nyerere at 100 - Celebrating the life and legacy of Julius Nyerere
Video from the Nyerere at 100 event.


Nyerere helped to lay the foundations for a positive relationship with Tanzanian universities and often advocated for Tanzanian scholars to study abroad.  The Nyerere Scholarship fund is perhaps Julius Nyerere’s most enduring legacy at the University of Edinburgh, helping to fund Tanzanian students seeking to follow in his footsteps, enriching no only their lives, but the global community at the University as a whole.

Swahili language at Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the only UK universities offering Swahili language courses. During the events, Pepita Mwange, a Nyerere Scholar, performed a poem she wrote, alongside her fellow Nyerere Scholars, Judymart Bagenda and Hilda Tizeba. The poem was also translated into English by three students, who are studying Swahili.

Video: Nyerere at 100 - Mwalimu, Heri ya 100 (Swahili poetry reading)
Poem title: Mwalimu, Heri ya 100 Poet: Pepita Mwanga Translation: Seline Okeno Swahili version performed by (from left to right, on screen): Pepita Mwanga, Judymart Bagenda, and Hilda Tizeba English version perfromed by (from left to right, on screen): Meret Grabenhorst, Nara Mohyeddin, and Seb Woodhouse

Future engagement with African continent

The day also highlighted the positive engagement the University has in the African continent and the recognition that continued partnership, development, scholarship, and teaching and learning links are needed.

Video: Nyerere at 100 - Our future engagement with Africa
Video from the Nyerere at 100 event.

“In the next 50-100 years, the majority of the world's population will be living on the African continent... There aren't enough universities in many African countries to meet the demand of people wanting to study at higher education. We do have a role to play there. Doing that in partnership is key to enable us to think about how we're positively contributing to Africa’s development in the future, it's imperative that we engage in partnership with African universities.

Nick Rowland, Africa Regional Director

“Tanzania, Tanzania!”: Celebrating through song

A highlight of the day was the choir of Tanzanian national students joined by Dr Asha-Rose Migiro singing ‘Tanzania Nakupenda Kwa Moyo Wote’, a patriotic song in Swahili language.

Video: Nyerere at 100 - Tanzania Tanzania
Video from the Nyerere at 100 event.

Julius Kambarage Nyerere remains one of the University of Edinburgh’s most renowned and remarkable alumni.