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This introductory chapter explores links between Lake Tanganyika, East Africa, and the wider Indian Ocean World in history and historiography. It does so firstly by stressing the peculiarities of Lake Tanganyika’s shape and environment in the East African context. It then draws on a wider historiography of lakes and oceans in world history, and it argues that doing so necessitates taking on perspectives from the wider Indian Ocean World. But, far from being a place where patterns from the wider Indian Ocean World replicated themselves, Lake Tanganyika was a ‘frontier’ where phenomena traditionally associated with the macro-region (including e.g. Islam, boating technologies, and fashions) were negotiated and reimagined in particularly robust ways. This applies especially to the period c.1830–90, during which coastal and Great Lakes populations encountered each other in significant numbers for the first time, caused by the expansion of the global ivory trade.
Drought is a complex phenomenon with a long-lasting global impact on human society and natural ecosystems suggesting the need for greater attention to its underlaying causes. Here, we evaluated drought conditions in ESK (Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya) countries of East Africa during 1964–2015. We evaluate the severe droughts that occurred during 1973–1974, 1984–1985 and 2010–2011 in ESK, based on the drought severity levels. Results show that the drought characteristic parameters of drought duration and intensity increase over time, but drought frequency does not. Higher spatial drought trends were observed in large areas of the ESK countries with mean trend values of 0.0064, 0.0028, 0.00064 and -0.00095 yr–1 for SPEI-1, SPEI-3, SPEI-6 and SPEI-12, respectively. The total land area of the ESK under drought was 38–43, 46–80 and 25–46 per cent during 1973–1974, 1984–1985 and 2010–2011, respectively. Dire drought impacts have affected northeastern and southern Ethiopia, eastern Somalia and northeastern Kenya during the drought years. The spatial drought pattern analysis suggests an increase in drought in vulnerable areas which calls for better drought management strategies to reduce the risks on the natural and human systems.
This article examines the means by which perceived threats of sleeping sickness epidemics were used to justify extensive population resettlement through the formation of ‘concentrations’ in Ulanga District, Tanganyika, between 1939 and 1945. Underlying this specious spatial reordering of communities were ulterior motives that interpreted and pushed broader colonial development agendas of social engineering. The prominent role of leading colonial officers, notably A. T. Culwick, is emphasised and reexamined, especially in relationship to paternalism and the coercive aspects of closer settlement. This article explores the nature of legitimised coercion, contested meanings of the League of Nations mandate, and tensions within the administration. Local resistance to concentration challenged colonial hegemony and the self-fashioned form of benign autocracy constructed by officials like Culwick, who relied on a projection of prestige for political authority in his district and among his peers. Concentration was therefore a contested and contingent process with dissent evidenced both against and within government.
The underlying theme of this essay is how intelligence was gathered and expertise dispersed in an emerging colonial environment in Africa, and how that knowledge was captured, credited and distributed between local Africans and (largely) itinerant Europeans. It sets that discussion within a more recent debate on the mechanics of European exploration during the wider nineteenth century. The expanded population of Europeans (officials, merchants, missionaries) that arrived in the later part of that century to consolidate the colonial enterprise in German East Africa often moved with initial uncertainty through the landscape, triggering a demand for topographical knowledge to become commodified and commercialised, to become less dependent on the knowledge of individuals. This demand fuelled the production of an innovative series of standardised grid maps. At a time when slavery was still legal, when the local workforce was increasingly discussed in colonial circles in terms of unskilled plantation labour, our essay explores two case studies that demonstrate how certain African experts came to exert key technical and management influence within long-term scientific and commercial projects unfolding in the southeast corner of what is today Tanzania. The matter of water flows through this essay, and does so with deliberate intent.
To evaluate the potential of products made out of underutilised fruits and vegetables for closing seasonal nutritional gaps among rural and urban consumers in East Africa.
The multinational analysis combines sensory testing and experimental auctions to assess consumers’ perceptions and willingness to pay (WTP) for 6 different fruit and vegetable products.
Open markets in rural and urban areas in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
There were 939 male and female adults who were at least 18 years old.
Tobit models for each product show that besides sensory perception, similar socio-demographic characteristics influence consumers’ WTP for these products in all 3 countries. The products are especially liked among younger, male and urban consumers.
We conclude that there is demand and a potential market for processed fruit and vegetable products based on indigenous raw material in East Africa. The products, thus, have promising potential to improve nutrition, especially during off-season conditions when access to fresh produce is limited.
This article proposes that there is a gap in our current understanding of the globalising and deglobalising dynamics of mid-twentieth-century East Africa, one that might be addressed by consolidating and taking forward recent developments in the historiography of decolonisation. Recent work by international historians has recovered the connected world of the 1940s to 1960s: the era of new postcolonial states, the ‘Bandung moment’, pan-African cooperation, and the early Cold War. Yet East Africa is less prominent in these histories than we might expect, despite the vibrancy of current work on this period in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Bringing these two fields into dialogue, through an explicitly regional East African framework and with a particular focus on individual lives, expands our understanding not only of the ‘globalisation of decolonisation’ but also of the deglobalising dynamics of the following decades that are frequently reduced to a history of global economic crisis.
Beginning in 1856 and ending in 1876, Portuguese colonial authorities in Mozambique registered almost 55,000 enslaved and freed Africans (libertos). The sources for these twinned registration processes are located in the national archives of Portugal and Mozambique. Fragments of the originals survive for only six of the ten districts of the colony, but contemporary copies exist for nearly all districts. Combined, they provide a unique opportunity to understand both the extent of slavery — as opposed to the export slave trade — and the process of abolition in late-nineteenth-century Mozambique. In this article we first describe the registers themselves, then focus on the registration of enslaved and freed Africans, the resistance of slaveholders, and the kinds of information that we can glean from the registers. We also explore the ways in which freed Africans were employed after registration and the extent to which being a liberto implied ‘freedom’. Finally, we consider how the registration led to new laws and policies in Portuguese Africa, opening a new era of European colonialism and imperial expansion.
The marginal case of the decolonisation of Comoros has gained little attention from historians of Africa. By tracing the evolution of the Mouvement de libération nationale des Comores (MOLINACO) around East Africa's Indian Ocean basin, this article explores the possibilities and constraints of anticolonial organisation among a diaspora population whose own existence was threatened by the more exclusive political order that emerged from the process of decolonisation. In Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Kenya, and Madagascar, MOLINACO's activities were shaped and limited by contested issues of racial identity, island genealogy, partisan alignment, and international priorities among both the Comorian diaspora and their ‘host’ governments. Through a transterritorial approach, this article examines the difficulties for minority communities in navigating the transition from empire to nation-state, while also illustrating the challenges MOLINACO faced in its ultimately unsuccessful attempt to impose that same normative model onto the archipelago.
In May 2016, the author traveled to Washington, DC to warn the food security community about a potential food crisis in East Africa if a 2016–2017 La Niña followed the 2015–2016 El Niño. This assertion, unfortunately, turned out true, and East Africa suffered a series of brutal back-to-back droughts in late 2016 and early 2017. Supporting this effective early warning was an understanding of how climate change is making La Niña events more extreme, and how climate change has contributed to a drying trend over eastern East Africa, placing millions of people in peril. This chapter uses personal accounts and research by the author to describe how climate change contributed to the March–May 2017 drought. La Niña events cool the equatorial East Pacific. Climate change has resulted in warm “Western V” ocean water that wraps around this cool region, amplifying its drought-inducing efficacy. This makes naturally occurring La Niñas more intense and hazardous. To explore the impact of human-induced warming, a formal attribution study is presented and described. In 2017, March–May Western V sea surface temperatures were the warmest on record, and climate change certainly contributed to the severely dry conditions over East Africa, helping place more than 13 million people in peril.
In February of 1960, the most powerful cyclone in Mauritian history, Carol, made landfall. In its wake, the British colonial state embarked on a reconstruction effort that would reshape the island for decades to come. This study examines how Afro-descendant Creole Mauritians understood Carol at the moment of its landfall and produced social meaning in the reconstruction efforts that followed. It sheds light in particular on the construction of cités, ‘cyclone-proof’ housing estates meant to permanently shelter those left homeless, at a moment when questions of racial coexistence defined debates over the end of empire. It shows that the building of the cités and the prospect of home ownership they allowed would become important touchstones in contemporary Afro-Mauritian notions of belonging and permanence in a society structured by racial exclusion. In so doing, this essay emphasizes the importance of the natural world to narratives of diasporic community in the southwest Indian Ocean.
Historians have drawn on newspapers to illuminate the origins of modern nationalism and cultures of literacy. The case of Kiongozi (The Guide or The Leader) relates this scholarship to Tanzania's colonial past. Published between 1904 and 1916 by the government of what was then German East Africa, the paper played an ambivalent role. On the one hand, by promoting the shift from Swahili written in Arabic script (ajami) to Latinized Swahili, it became the mouthpiece of an African elite trained in government schools. By reading and writing for Kiongozi, these waletaji wa habari (bearers of news) spread Swahili inland and transformed coastal culture. On the other hand, the paper served the power of the colonial state by mediating between German colonizers and their indigenous subordinates. Beyond cooptation, Kiongozi highlights the warped nature of African voices in the colonial archive, questioning claims about print's impact on nationalism and new forms of selfhood.
East African highland bananas and climbing beans are important crops for food and income in the highlands of Uganda. Intercropping of banana with legume crops is a common practice, yet climbing bean intercropping with perennials has rarely been studied in Uganda. To understand how best to improve the production system, we assessed the effects of pruning of banana leaves on light availability for climbing beans, resulting effects on bean yields and potential differences in shade tolerance between two climbing bean varieties in the eastern and southwestern highlands of Uganda. Measurements of the transmission of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) through the banana canopy were combined with yield measurements of a local and improved climbing bean variety and with banana pseudostem girth in two seasons (2016A and 2016B). We also compared yields of intercropped with sole-cropped climbing beans. The mean fractions of PAR transmitted through the banana canopy – hence available for beans – were 0.43 on pruned and 0.38 on non-pruned subplots, a significant 15% difference. The improved light availability did not increase climbing bean yield. Although no direct relationship between light interception and bean yields was found, bean yields on the most and least shaded parts of the intercropped fields differed significantly, suggesting that beans do benefit from improved light availability in intercropping. Generally, yields of sole-cropped beans were significantly larger than of intercropped beans, but we could not single out the effects of competition for light, water, and/or nutrients. The bean varieties responded similarly to the pruning treatments. The local variety tended to perform relatively better in intercropping, the improved variety in sole cropping, though differences were not significant overall. Pruning and retention of eight banana leaves over the course of a season did not affect banana pseudostem girths in the mature banana plantations. Although light availability improved, farmers may not expect a major effect on bean yield. Future research may focus on the effects of a lower number of leaves retained, comparing a number of bean varieties for suitability in sole or intercropping, or on other factors influencing the relation between the two crops such as relative plant densities of beans and bananas.