Utafiti’s long heritage of internationalism has characterized the journal since its very inception, when it originated from within the East African Literature Bureau under the aegis extinct East African Community (1967-1977). When Tanzania took over some of the roles of the EAL Bureau, the University of Dar es Salaam also took up Utafiti.The journal’s first record of publication in its current biannual format appeared in 1976, which is now online. This indicates that Utafitiis the second oldest continuously running journal under the aegis of the UDSM arts and sciences. But its roots are much older, as a regional, i.e. international, periodical of cutting edge scholarly research about a wide range of African concerns.

Scholars recognized globally to this day have contributed to issues in the past in a wide range of disciplines include Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Sam Maghimbi, M.K. Possi, Martha A.S. Qorro, and Issa J. Shivji.