On Monday, July 23 on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy, Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt hosted a farewell program for 58 Tanzanian students receiving grants to study agriculture, nutrition, and related fields at universities in Tanzania and abroad. The scholarships are sponsored by the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Feed the Future Initiative.
Several distinguished guests delivered remarks, including the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mbogo Futakamba, and Vice Chancellor of Sokoine University of Agriculture Professor Gerald Monela. Over a five-year period, Feed the Future will sponsor 120 Tanzanians for postgraduate studies in agricultural and nutrition sciences. Currently, there are six Tanzanian students pursuing either Master’s or Doctoral degrees in the Unites States of America.
Of the 58 students sponsored this year, 29 of them will pursue Master’s and PhD degrees in agricultural and nutritional sciences at six American universities – Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Virginia Tech, Tuskegee University, University of Florida, and Iowa State University. Nineteen trainees will pursue Bachelors and Master’s degrees at Sokoine University of Agriculture, and ten trainees will pursue Master’s and PhD degrees at African universities outside Tanzania.
In his remarks to the students, Ambassador Lenhardt stated, “The American People are committed to helping Tanzania achieve its true potential as a bread basket for Africa. In order to achieve this critically important objective we need strong leadership, we need innovation, we need dedication, and most importantly we need all of you to take this great educational opportunity and come back to Tanzania to accelerate its agricultural revolution. The United States looks forward to continuing our partnership with Tanzania in building the Tanzanian leadership capacity to alleviate food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty.” The Feed the Future Initiative was launched by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her visit to Tanzania in June 2011. Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative that supports Tanzanian driven approaches to address the root causes of hunger and poverty, and is in alignment with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
One of the key elements of Feed the Future is research and development. In addition, it provides funding to the Innovative Agriculture Research Initiative (iAGRI) which is helping to train the next generation of agricultural scientists and managers. Founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, the United States Agency for International Development is the U.S. Governments primary agency for the distribution of foreign aid. For more information on USAID’s history and programs, see www.usaid.gov.