Frank Edward

Frank Edward

Since January 2015, Frank Edward has been working on his PhD project in the Department of History and the Urban Graduate School at Darmstadt University of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Mikael Hård. Frank wrote his master’s thesis at the University of Dar es Salaam on the historical interplay between health and witchcraft practices and beliefs among the Hehe people of Iringa, Tanzania. He focused on uncovering the hitherto taken for granted implications of witchcraft on health of people in both pre-modern and modern African societies using consensual, psychosocial and socio-cultural constructionism theories. In his PhD project, Frank is combining approaches from both urban and science and technology histories in an endeavour to understand and explain circulation, appropriation and innovations of water and transport technologies and infrastructures in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

PhD project

Circulation, appropriation and innovation of urban technologies: Water and traffic infrastructures in Dar es Salaam, 1940-1999.

This project seeks to test two hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that analyses and discussions of large technical systems (LTS) always have to take their interconnectedness into account. Through that hypothesis, this project attempts to underscore the technical, management and spatial interconnectedness between different urban infrastructures. The second hypothesis is that the present LTS problems are partly the product of processes associated with planning and engineering from the late colonial period to the recent past. LTS includes electricity, transport, water, sanitation and telecommunication. The study focuses on Dar es Salaam, the largest and most historically significant city of Tanzania, especially on the relationship between traffic and water infrastructures. Drawing on written, visual and oral material from archives, libraries, authorities and key informants, this PhD project uncovers a hitherto seldom treated area in African history – history of technology – with a special focus on urban technologies. The study aims to explain and help understand the current systemic failure of traffic and water infrastructures in Dar es Salaam.

Professional experience

08/2013 – 12/2014 Assistant Lecturer of History at University of Dar es Salaam
02/2011 – 05/2011 Researcher in Chief Mkwawa Documentary
09/2010 Research Assistant in 2010 Tanzania General Elections Opinion Poll
06/2010 – 08/2010 Research Assistant in a project on technology transfer through African Freedom Railway (TAZARA) under Prof. Jamie Monson

Talks and Conferences

12/2012 Presented research findings in dissemination conference organised by GeSoMo, a Norwegian project on African health and social mobilisation, Zanzibar, Tanzania

University Studies

01/2015 to date Doctoral student in the Department of History, Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany
08/2013 Master of Arts in History at the University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
11/2008 Bachelor of Arts in History and Archaeology at the University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


12/2014 Hans-Boeckler Foundation PhD Stipend Scholarship for 2015–2017
02/2009 GEGA-NUFU/GeSoMo M.A. History Scholarship at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for 2009–2010



Tel.: +49 (0) 1575 2058985