Towards Africa: Cougs Contribute to Tanzania’s Economic Growth | WSU Insider
Although cougars are not native to Tanzania, cougars are making their presence known throughout the country.
They are part of a partnership between Washington State University, the Foreign Agriculture Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, and USAID Tanzania. As one of its first deliverables in the partnership, WSU established WSU International Development Tanzania (WSUID TZ), a non-governmental organization, to support USDA and USAID Tanzania’s Office of Economic Growth in their work to strengthen the growth of the agricultural sector, food security, energy, natural resource management and improved nutrition in the country.
WSUID TZ staff provide program management, technical services, training and mentoring. Before the pandemic, they also held around 50 meetings a year in their office and have since hosted and facilitated virtual meetings and participation in virtual conferences.
Michael Lege, WSU International Projects Manager and USDA Liaison Officer based in the WSU International Programs Office, Global Partnerships and Research Services, said, “Our mission in Tanzania is capacity building. We train and empower the local people to manage the development of their country to the point where we can get out.
To illustrate the importance of WSU’s engagement in Tanzania, Lege noted one particular achievement.
“Through our relationship with the Tanzania Private Sector and Business Development Partner Group and the Agriculture Working Group Secretariat, the WSUID TZ has directly contributed to the office of the President of the country on its five-year plan. . “
WSUID TZ has been present in Tanzania since 2016, after the signing of the first three-year agreement, then its two-year extension. In 2020, a new agreement for an additional three years was signed.
The new agreement includes continued support for monitoring and evaluation (M&E), nutrition, trade and development, and natural resource management. It adds technical assistance in fundraising and new business development, monitoring and evaluation and communication for the South Central Tanzania Agricultural Growth Corridor, LTD (SCL).
As a USAID-supported public-private partnership for agricultural development and extension in the country, SCL creates and promotes partnerships between Tanzanian agribusiness companies, farmer and smallholder organizations, civil society organizations and government agencies to remove obstacles and incubate initiatives around inclusion, sustainable and viable agricultural sectors: dairy products, potatoes, soybeans, tea, tomatoes, avocado, poultry, rice and sunflower.
Even the time is within the limits of their work. In early 2021, in collaboration with USAID, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA, a government agency), WSUID TZ purchased meteorological equipment from the United Kingdom. Uni, managed the logistics of its delivery to Tanzania and hired staff to build and run the database. WSUID TZ then handed the system over to TMA.
Outside of the NGO, WSU’s work in Tanzania includes providing services directly through contract specialists and direct hires that support USAID’s efforts and provide M&E expertise. The team is also working with academics and scientists from the WSU who are interested in research in the country.