Africa University Honors Retiring Directors

Africa University celebrated the contributions of three leaders who retired from their service as directors in October. The three—Bishop David K. Yemba, Rev. Dr. Kim Cape and Prof. Pamela Machakanja—were honored by students, faculty and staff during the Africa University Board of Directors' Fall meeting.

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Retiring Directors cut cake together at ceremony. Courtesy photo.

"We are in awe of your exemplary leadership," said the university's vice chancellor, Prof. Munashe Furusa, at a leadership appreciation dinner on October 17th.

"Collectively serving over a period of 12 wonderful years, you have been with us through the best of times and the worst of times," said Furusa. "We could not have asked for more impactful, passionate and exemplary mentors, teachers and leaders."

Bishop David Yemba served on the Africa University Board of Directors for a decade, but his association with the institution began in 1991, when he joined the school of theology as its founding dean. Over a 14-year period, Yemba helped to establish the curriculum, policies, and relationships that are the foundation of the university's success.

Yemba stepped down as dean in 2005, when he was elected bishop and assigned to the Central Congo Conference. Three years later, he was elected board chairman and chancellor of Africa University, serving in both capacities until the roles were split in 2014.

As chancellor, Yemba was the ceremonial head of the university, presiding over Commencement and other formal events. He marked the occasion by donating a Lutheran Bible to the Jokomo Yamada Library.

Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, whose tenure as the general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of The United Methodist Church ended in June 2019, served for nine years on the AU board. As head of GBHEM—the agency that reports back to the denomination on the overall wellbeing of Africa University—Cape was a member of the Executive, Governance and Nominations, and Finance committees of the AU Board of Directors.

In sharing reflections, each of the honorees highlighted how much of a joy and privilege it was to help to nurture Africa University as a ministry and instrument of transformational change.

Prof. Pamela Machakanja, who represented the university senate, ended her service on the board by applauding and investing in the university.

"Once Africa University has gotten into your spirit you are hooked!" Machakanja said. "It opens within you a spirit of giving like no other and I encourage everyone who can (give), to do the same."

Machakanja, the dean of the school of business, peace, leadership and governance, donated all the proceeds from publications by her late husband, Dr. Isaac Machakanja, to Africa University. The couple joined the faculty of Africa University as lecturers in 1997. Dr. Isaac Machakanja was the dean of the school of humanities and social sciences when he died in 2012.

Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office

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.