DID YOU KNOW? Learn evolution through Amani in Muheza

DID YOU KNOW? Learn evolution through Amani in Muheza

AMANI Research Institute is a research institute located at Amani, in the Muheza District, on the Western Usambara Mountains of the northeastern region in present day Tanzania. The mountains form part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, which stretch from Kenya through Tanzania, and are covered by tropical cloud forests that have endured a long period of unique evolutionary endemism.

The forerunner of the Amani Institute was an agricultural test station at Kwai, which had been set up in the Usambara since 1896.

“Although Amani was the most famous of Germany’s colonial research stations, representing a 2-million-mark investment, it was only one of several German agricultural stations in the northern region. Another, named Kwai farm and located in the nearby West Usambaras, preceded Amani as the colony’s chief center for agricultural and livestock experiments. Kwai lacked Amani’s international reputation, but it nonetheless held a prominent place in the minds of the Africans who lived in its shadow.”

The Kwai experimental station soon became state owned, and was finally sold to the longterm lease-holder, Ludwig Illich. As early as 1890, Richard Hindorf had promoted the idea of a research station in German East Africa along the models of other similar stations in British and Dutch colonies.

Hindorf was also a cofounder of the Colonial Economic Committee (German: Kolonial-wirtschaftliches Komitee), which passed the resolution in June 1898, in Berlin, “to send a submission to the Reich Chancellor that there is set for... German East Africa in 1899 a sum of 100,000 Marks with the purpose of the setting up and operation of a research station for tropical cultures in Usambara.” The submission was justified by the appended articles of Dr Hindorf: “A research station for tropical cultures in Usambara” and Prof. Dr. Otto Warburg: “The need for an experimental station for tropical crops in Usambara and its cost”. Karibu Tanzania!

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