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MSU and Africa: A half century of collaboration

Michigan State University

For more than 50 years, Michigan State University has been a national academic leader in all things Africa. Whether it’s been fighting diseases such as malaria, helping to develop more disease-resistant crops, or training Africa’s future physicians, farmers or leaders, MSU has been there.

We are fortunate to have cultivated the types of partnership that allow us to observe, participate, analyze and contribute to social and economic betterment in Africa. We are distinctive among world universities in the role we have been asked to play in support of African Union initiatives particularly those related to agricultural development and education.

Our campus in East Lansing is alive with Africa-focused activity. Consider these numbers: MSU teaches more African languages and courses than any other U.S. university. MSU offers 29 study abroad programs in Africa, more than any other U.S. university. More than 1,500 African students have earned an MSU degree; and, since 1992, more than 1,300 MSU students have studied in Africa. MSU faculty members have worked in 32 African nations – more than half the countries on the continent. Additionally, hundreds of MSU faculty members are actively researching and teaching about Africa which produces on average $93 million in external research funding every five years, a weekly public lecture series and regular visits by African scholars to campus. In addition African students make tremendous contributions to our international community through  the work of  the 26-year-old African Student Union and dozens of student organizations that engage in African issues.

Founded in 1960, MSU’s African Studies Center is one of the Title VI National Resource Centers on Africa designated by the U.S. Department of Education. The center has more than 160 MSU faculty who provide broad research, teaching and service on the African continent. To carry out much of this work the Center has established partnerships with more than 23 institutions of higher education in Africa.