Somo ML Seimu
Seimu joined TSL as an author following his submission to There Came A Time 2 of two articles on the legacy of the First World War in Tanzania in relation to coffee and cotton production.
Having studied in the UK, Seimu is based in Moshi, Tanzania, where he is now a professor at the local agriculture college/university.
His monograph published by TSL on the history of co-operatives in Tanzania gives an insight into the trade of coffee and cotton in East Africa from the time of the German occupation of what is mainland Tanzania (Tanganyika) in the late 1890s through to 2013. Having spent many a week in Tanzania over a nine year period, and having a very fond spot for Moshi and Kilimanjaro in particular, as well as being a coffee drinker, the topic of this book really appealed to me. Reading the text was treading familiar ground with many of the places mentioned.
With a great interest in the Great War in Africa I also enjoyed discovering what men who had been involved in the First World War in East Africa did after the conflict – such as Charles Dundas; and to see how the local chiefs worked with and against the colonial and, later, the national government infrastructures.
This book should appeal to mainly readers interested in African economics and politics, although social historians should also find something of interest in it. And for coffee lovers – well, discovering what happens behind the scenes might make you appreciate that cuppa a little more… although we shouldn’t forget the role of cotton in the manufacture of clothing and other commodities.
Seimu has also co-authored with Marco Zoppi: “The Influence of Settlers’ Community in Shaping the Colonial Agricultural Marketing Policies in Tanzania”. African Economic History.