TANU was formed on 7th July 1954 in Dar es Salaam replacing the Tanganyika African Association

(TAA). Dr. Julius Kambarage Nyerere assumed the leadership of this new party.

Right from the start the party made it clear that Tanganyika was African country and therefore Africans had to have to have majority seats in government

The party united Tanganyikans with an aim of achieving self - rule. It opened up branches all over Tanganyika.

In 1954, a UN mission was sent to Tanganyika. T ANU presented a report to the visiting team proposing a planed constitutional process towards independence over the next 20 to 25 years

In 1955, Julius K. Nyerere who was the President of TANU visited the UN in New York to explain

TANUs aims and to press for support

Nyerere and his party received much sympathy and support from the United Nations that was against colonialism in Africa. This gave him a platform for airing out his grievances against European rule.

The party successfully mobilized Tanganyikans and prepared them for self - rule. In 1957, it demanded for independence in the next 2 years and in 1958, it won a land slide victory in {he Legislative council elections largely due to its multi - racial policy.

The wide spread use of Kiswahili as a national language made it easy for the party to build a huge following.

TANU defeated it only rival the United Tanganyika Party (UTP) that was formed in 1956 by some members of the Legco opposed to T ANU's programme. UTP after suffering a resounding defeat was disbanded unconditionally and this increased T ANU' s credibility.

TANU planned the composition of the Legislative council. It strongly advocated for an African majority in the council. This was an achievement as it helped in speeding up the independence of Tanganyika.

In the August 1960 elections, T ANU swept the polls winning seventy out of the seventy-one African seats.

During the elections, T ANU promised Tanganyikans self - rule the following year, safeguarding their interests and introduction of complete adult voting.

TANU's victory was a clear testimony that Tanganyikans wanted self - rule. The party had successfully organized and mobilized the people for this noble cause.

On 1st May 1961, Tanganyika was granted internal self - rule through the efforts of TANU under Dr. Julius Nyerere.

Nyerere the leader of T ANU became the first Prime minister. The party therefore provided the first leaders of Tanganyika.

The party Africanized the civil service and introduced a special training scheme to accelerate a change over

On 9th December 1961, the Duke of Edinburg "handed" total independence to TANU under Nyerere. The party had finally steered Tanganyika to independence.

This made Tanganyika become the first East African state to attain independence. In 1963, Tanganyika became a one party state under TANU.