Our History

With over 925 million people hungry across the world in 2010, we are called to bring about a global transformation to address, and end, issues of hunger and poverty. This revolution requires individuals and organizations, private and public, and governments and society to work across traditional boundaries and barriers to address these multi-faceted issues on a global scale.

Universities have a significant role to play in this transformation, and Michigan State University is uniquely positioned to be a leader. As the pioneer land-grant institution, MSU developed the model for the U.S. land grant system under the Morrill Act, with a mission to advance knowledge and make it accessible to the citizens of Michigan in ways that would improve their daily lives. Recognizing that we are citizens of the world, MSU was first to establish a global program at the university level under leadership of a Dean for International Studies and Programs in 1956. MSU has been on the forefront of international research, education, and engagement for over 50 years, working with partners across the nation and around the world. These partnerships have catalyzed great progress. Yet, formidable challenges remain with respect to hunger, poverty, and resilience in a global context of urbanization, connectivity, regional integration, democracy, supermarketization, climate change, and increasing pressures on energy, land, and water resources.

With more than 50 years of engagement with Africa and more than 160 faculty currently working on projects with African partners, Michigan State University has developed a rich reservoir of knowledge and experience on the continent. Specifically in Tanzania, MSU researchers have been working with partners in the areas of food security, climate change, water quantity and quality, Human and Animal Health, Education and Community capacity building.

Partnerships for Sustainable Community Development (PSCD) was established at Michigan State University in 2007 as a means to improve community well-being while generating knowledge about the development process itself. Tanzania was selected as the initial location for PCSD shortly thereafter and the Tanzania Partnership Program was established.

In 2008, two communities where identified to be TPP pilot sites - Milola in the south and Naitolia in the north. A participatory needs assessment was carried out by an interdisciplinary team of TPP partners to analyze needs and problems and identify potential priority areas for engagement.

Program implementation began in 2009 with access to water taking priority in both communities.