Africa University is a tertiary institution located in the eastern border town of Mutare in the Manicaland province in Zimbabwe. The University was established and is administered by the Methodist Church In Zimbabwe. It was the first private university to be established in the country in 1992.
The development of Africa University was a consequence of the growth of United Methodism in Africa. The growth in membership and the emerging socio-economic and political needs in their countries led the African bishops of the United Methodist Church (UMC) to call on their church to invest in higher education provision in Africa. The initiative in Zimbabwe was spearheaded by Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole a renowned cleric in the church.
In 1987, The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe donated 1542 acres of land in the Nyagambu River Valley, across the road from the Old Mutare UMC Mission Centre, as the University site. In 1988, The General Conference of United Methodist Church unanimously approved the founding of Africa University and made a commitment to provide financial support for the University from the general church budget, (US$2.5 million annually).
In April in 1991, thousands of people converged on the site for an official groundbreaking ceremony. On 21 January 1992, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, issued the Africa University Charter by official proclamation, making the institution the first recognised private university in Zimbabwe.
Approximately 4,000 students have graduated from Africa University since it opened in the spring of 1994. The first graduation included 18 graduates in Agriculture and Natural Resources, and nine students in Theology. The University enrols about 1, 500 students in each academic year and they choose one of the six undergraduate programs for their studies. Post graduate students choose from the five programs on offer.
Mission and Vision
The mission of Africa University is to provide quality education within a Pan-African context through which persons can acquire general and professional knowledge and skills, grow in spiritual maturity, develop sound moral values, ethics and leadership qualities. Africa University aspires to become a world class university for leadership development in Africa.
- Agriculture and Natural Resouirces
- Health Sciences
- Management and Administration
- Peace Leadership and Governance
Africa University draws its students from many African countries. To ensure integration of the diverse African cultures, and foster the spirit of Pan Africanism, a compulsory nationality mix is implemented in allocating accommodation to students. As a result of this policy, living in AU’s Halls of Residence is like being part of a big, unique family under the guidance and supervision of a caring and professional team of Warden, Assistant Wardens and Sub-wardens. There are twelve Halls of Residence at present. Seven of them are two-storey. The other five are three- storey.
The University is administered by a board of directors. The University Chancellor is also part of the board. The other key members include leaders of the church, senior government officials and academics from different specialities.
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- , ABOUT AFRICA UNIVERSITY, "Africa University", retrieved:17 Jul 2014"