Africa University has a major role to play in the development of the continent, said the keynote speaker at the United Methodist institution’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
Your support of the Africa University Fund apportionment supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure.
Michael Ugwueke, president and chief executive officer of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee, lauded the university’s accomplishments during the Oct. 22 festivities, while also acknowledging room for growth.
“Let us look forward to all that might be accomplished in the next 30 years. What does AU need to do to fulfill its responsibility in the progress of Africa?” Ugwueke asked.
He noted that the top 10 largest countries in Africa have 740 universities for a population of 660 million, while the U.S. has 5,300 universities and colleges for 333 million. “So we have a long way to go,” said Ugwueke, who is from Nigeria. “As Africans, we must acknowledge that we are not where we need to be.”
He envisioned that Africa University would have campuses across the continent in the next three decades, adding that a more educated workforce would transform the economy and create more wealth and opportunities for everyone.
“To change 1,000 lives through education is good, to change 10,000 lives is better, but how does AU change millions of lives? If we think that is too ambitious a responsibility for the institution, just look at what we have celebrated here today,” Ugwueke said.
Zimbabwe’s first private university has come a long way from the bold dream in 1898 of the late Bishop Joseph Crane Hartzell, who stood on Chiremba Mountain above Old Mutare and envisioned hundreds of young Africans running to a school of higher learning in the valley.
“All of the 13 episcopal areas (in Africa) are benefiting from the knowledge these graduates received from Africa University. Not only are they working in the church but also contributing in the development of their societies,” says Beauty R. Maenzanise one of the first two female deans of Africa University in 2005 and the second dean of the Faculty of Theology for 10 years.
Amos Dobyo, a divinity student from Nigeria and president of the Student Representative Council, said the institution is celebrating infrastructural, technological and scientific developments that benefit students in areas such as accommodation, health care and maintenance and the installation of classroom technologies.
The 30th anniversary celebrations drew over 3,000 people comprising bishops, clergy, laity and guests from around the world, including more than 90 from the U.S.
The Africa University choir performed songs tailored for the occasion in which they paid tribute to the institution’s founding fathers and other notable people who have contributed to the development of the institution over the past three decades.
The celebration coincided with the inauguration of the Rev. Peter Mageto of Kenya as Africa University’s fifth vice chancellor.
excerpt from a story by Eveline Chikwanah, communicator of the Zimbabwe East Conference.
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.