2009 Annual Report – Africa University Thriving in Zimbabwe
Africa University has many stories to tell – to the nations of Africa, and the world. During Zimbabwe’s economic and political struggles of recent years, United Methodist-related Africa University continued to educate leaders for all of Africa. For a time in 2009, it was the only institution of higher education in Zimbabwe open for classes. We celebrated our 3,000th graduate with the 2009 graduating class.
In the 2009-2010 academic year, our 1,100 students represented 28 African countries. We have a substantial waiting list of students eager to attend on campus or through our emerging distance-learning curriculum.
For all of this, we thank God for the prayers and support of United Methodists. In 2009, annual conferences contributed more than $2 million to the apportioned Africa University Fund. That represents 86 percent of the $2.5 million goal set by the 2008 General Conference.
United Methodists’ support for Africa University creates opportunities for Africans to help Africans. Our graduates are living out the United Methodist vision for the Four Areas of Focus:
Leadership: The Rev. Tolbert Thomas Jallah Jr. is a prime example. A graduate of AU’s Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance, the former advisor to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is now Secretary General of the Fellowship of Christian Councils of Churches in West Africa.
Global Health: Bigi Ruhigita, a nurse from the Democratic Republic of Congo, earned her master’s degree in public health at AU. She returned to Congo to work in a 50-bed clinic she and her siblings founded in honor of their father.
Ministry with the Poor: Isaiah Njimbu, a 2006 graduate, returned to Lubumbashi, DRC, to find many children orphaned because their parents died of AIDS. In response, Njimbu started the Child Action Initiative, a nongovernment organization. Today, this ministry still thrives.
Church Growth: TheRev. Daniel Mhonewas instrumental in establishing 28 local churches in the newly established Malawi (Africa) Missionary Conference. He credits Africa University for increasing his capacity as a pastor.
In December 2009, we joyfully celebrated the inauguration of Bishop David Kekumba Yemba and professor Fanuel Tagwira as the university’s third chancellor and vice chancellor.
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila praised the university’s dedication to Africa at our annual seminar commemorating former United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld.
Every annual conference is vital to the success of the dream that has become Africa University. Your support educates leaders in theology, agriculture, social sciences, health sciences, and peace and justice.
Grace and peace,
Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement