our roots


1992 - now

The task force came up with a number of recommendations; these included, among others, that Churches in Tanzania be allocated a share of the bilateral cooperation for social services, and that a Christian Social Services Commission be established (replacing the Christian Medical Board of Tanzania), responsible for implementing programmes for education and health services. These recommendations were approved by all parties, and this led to the establishment of CSSC on the 22nd February, 1992.

The Commission was officially registered in 1993 as not for-profit faith-based organization with Registration No. SO.7837 under the Society Ordinance Laws of the United Republic of Tanzania. In 1994, CSSC became a legal entity by being incorporated under the Trustees’ Incorporation Ordinance that is responsible for coordinating provision of social services by churches in Tanzania.


German Church Development Agencies and the Tanzania Churches held talks on cooperation with the German Government through its Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The German Government showed interest in having direct cooperation with the Tanzania churches, but this needed approval from the Government of URT. To this end, a 4-day consultative meeting was held in Moshi on the 6th – 9th February 1991

With the theme “Joining Hands for Social Development”. The main purpose of the consultative meeting was to explore options for closer State and Church cooperation in improving provision of social services, education and health, in Tanzania. The meeting concluded with the formation of a task force – with members from CCT, TEC, Government of Tanzania, overseas partner Churches and the German Government – to develop practical recommendations for further cooperation.


Tanzania faced an economic crisis which negatively affected the provision of social services: both the Government and the Churches were not able to adequately support the provision of education and health services. The Government of Tanzania urged Churches to invest in social services; while at the same time, Churches were advocating for improvement in the provision of these services by the Government.

The Churches sought support from their traditional Northern partners to join hands in improving service delivery; and this led to the series of consultations and dialogue meetings involving Churches in Tanzania, Church Development Agencies in Germany (Bftw – formerly EZE, and Misereor/KZE) and the Government of Tanzania.


The Christian Medical Board of Tanzania was formed in 1974, with representations from Tanzania Episcopal conference (TEC), Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) and TCMA. The Board took over the responsibilities of the TCMA to negotiate with Government on all matters related to health care service provision, while TMCA would then deal with medical professional matters only.


MMC changed its name to Tanzania Christian Medical Association (TCMA) in order to accommodate members who were neither working in Mission hospitals nor receiving Government financial support in providing health care services. While TCMA now included all Christian medical officers, it was still engaged in negotiations with the Government as it inherited these responsibilities from MMC

Some members were reluctant to include such a role; they wanted TCMA to deal with medical professional issues only. This necessitated the formation of a separate organ to deal with partnership between the Government and the Churches in providing health care services.



The roots of CSSC can be traced back to the colonial era of Tanzania. In September 1937, the Medical Committee of Tanganyika Missionary Council (MCTMC) was formed; this was later transformed into the Missions Medical Committee (MMC), to include Catholic Missions as well. The MCTMC / MMC, representing the missionary medical officers, was responsible for negotiating and influencing the government on matters related to health care services provided by the Churches.