Julius Nyerere, in full Julius Kambarage Nyerere, also called Mwalimu (Swahili: “Teacher”) (born March 1922, Butiama, Tanganyika—died October 14, 1999, London, England), first prime minister of independent Tanganyika (1961), who became the first president of the new state of Tanzania (1964). Nyerere was also the major force behind the Organization of African Unity (OAU; now the African Union).
Nyerere was a son of the chief of the small Zanaki ethnic group. He was educated at Tabora Secondary School and Makerere College in Kampala, Uganda. A convert to Roman Catholicism, he taught in several Roman Catholic schools before going to Edinburgh University. He was the first Tanganyikan to study at a British university. He graduated with an M.A. in history and economics in 1952 and returned to Tanganyika to teach.