An exhaustive, global search process that generated interest from more than 3,000 people in Africa, North America and Europe culminated in the election of the Rev. Dr. Peter Mageto to lead Africa University as its fifth vice chancellor.
Bishop Mande Muyombo, North Katanga Episcopal Area, announced the election by the Africa University Zimbabwe Board of Directors on March 22. Mageto, a Kenyan, is the first non-Zimbabwean to lead Africa University, a pan-African, United Methodist-related institution with its main campus located at Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. He brings to AU 12 years of university-management experience and 31 years of ministry.
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Mageto, the former deputy vice chancellor at AU, has served as interim vice chancellor since the sudden death of Professor Munashe Furusa in January 2021. An accomplished academic in the study of ethics and leadership, Mageto captures his vision and grounding philosophy in four words: our people, our values.
Responding to the board’s decision, Mageto promised that academic excellence, innovation, accountability and institutional advancement would undergird Africa University’s fourth decade of continental impact.
The search for a vice chancellor was led by Muyombo, who chairs the Africa University Zimbabwe Board.
“As we prepare to host formal events in October to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Africa University,” he said, “the election of Professor Mageto is a blessing from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I congratulate Professor Mageto and Mrs. Mageto, who joined her husband here today, for this pivotal and history-making moment.”
West Angola Area Bishop Gaspar Domingos, the chancellor of Africa University, said the choice of a new leader was of crucial importance for the future of the institution.
Professor Fanuel Tagwira, a vice chancellor emeritus of Africa University, pledged support for Mageto in his new role. Tagwira currently serves as the permanent secretary of the Zimbabwe Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development.
Accolades poured in from students, faculty and church leaders.
The Rev. Greg Bergquist, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, believes Mageto will “provide transformative leadership now and into the future.”
Mageto holds two degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, USA: a Doctor of Philosophy in theological ethics and a Master of Theological Studies. He earned a postgraduate certificate in African studies at Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. His Bachelor of Divinity degree was awarded by St. Paul’s United Theological College in Kenya.
Prior to joining Africa University, Mageto served as vice chancellor and professor of ethics at the University of Kigali, Rwanda. His previous experience includes the roles of adjunct assistant professor at the University of Evansville, Indiana, USA; head of department, acting dean and associate professor of ethics at Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya; and deputy vice chancellor of academic affairs and student welfare, associate professor of ethics and acting vice chancellor at Kenya Methodist University.
“During my tenure,” Mageto said, “the higher education of the future will be the hallmark of Africa University as we train leaders for the transformation of Zimbabwe and Africa. We will continue to nurture Christian values upon which AU is founded, and cherish the peaceful environment made possible by the government of Zimbabwe to bring the best of our people.”
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.