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Michigan State University has a long history of working on issues important to Africa and partnering with African institutions to improve the quality of life on the continent. MSU's robust experience and strong relationships in Africa bolster its efforts across a wide range of thematic areas.

2017-05-24-Africa.pngNumber of Externally-Sponsored Research Projects performed by MSU Personnel by Country in Africa, Fiscal Years 2007-2016.

This list represents a small portion of MSU's work in Africa or on African topics. Please contact Global IDEAS for potential opportunities to partner with MSU and further information on MSU’s hundreds of projects working in Africa or with African partners.

African Studies Center

Founded in 1960, the MSU African Studies Center (ASC) is one of ten Title VI National Resource Centers on Africa designated by the U.S. Department of Education, based on the Center's research faculty providing broad research, teaching, and service on the continent. In addition to courses and seminars on Africa, the Center enables instruction in a wide range of African languages at MSU. As a result of this African focus, MSU's largest programs of international research and project assistance are found in Africa and African Studies, comprising about 80% of the MSU international totals. The faculty and students are served by one of the largest Africana library collections in the United States, housed at the MSU Library. Active curricular and co-curricular programs are offered for MSU undergraduates, including more study abroad programs in Africa than any other U.S. university. MSU’s African Studies Center is composed of 160 core faculty members in 54 different departments in nearly every college of the university, including in Arts and Letters, Social Sciences, Agriculture, Communications, Education, Business, Medicine (Human, Osteopathic, and Veterinary), and the Sciences.

Alliance for African Partnership

Launched in 2016, the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) is a new initiative at Michigan State University that works to develop a collaborative and cross-disciplinary platform for addressing today’s global challenges. The Alliance innovates new models of engagement for shared research, while enhancing the resources and capacities of African universities, institutions, and scholars.  Initial projects supported by AAP include research, capacity building, and outreach in the fields of agri-food systems, education and youth empowerment, and health and nutrition, among others.


MSU is one of the three founding core partners of Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in more than 35 countries in Africa. Working along with fellow partners the Institute for Democracy in South Africa, and the Center for Democratic Development in Ghana, Afrobarometer is the world’s leading research project on issues that affect ordinary African men and women.

Tanzania Partnership Program

The Michigan State University Tanzania Partnership Program (TPP) is a long-term collaborative alliance of local and international organizations dedicated to improving local livelihoods and promoting community resiliency in Tanzania. TPP addresses community-identified needs through a participatory and integrated approach that draws on local and international expertise. This approach provides fertile ground for development-related research, forms the foundation for development activities, and opens a space for a community engagement-focused study aboard program. TPP began its work in two pilot villages—Milola, in the southern region of Lindi, and Naitolia, in the northern region of Arusha—in 2009. In 2015, TPP began to expand its efforts to adjacent villages. With support from TPP funders and overseas partners, TPP is making a difference in these communities.