Fanuel Tagwira

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Fanuel Tagwira
Fanuel Tagwira Biography
Known forBeing an axcademic

Professor Fanuel Tagwira is a Zimbabwean academic and prominent civil servant. He was selected to become the third vice-chancellor of Africa University in April 2009 after serving in an interim capacity. He served as Africa University Vice-Chancellor until 2014. Professor Tagwira was appointed Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development in September 2018.

Personal Details

Fanuel Tagwira's father was a plumber and his mother worked around the village.[1] He is a leader in his local church. He is married to Margaret and they have 3 daughters and one son.

School / Education

Fanuel Tagwira went to primary school in rural Masvingo Province. After that, he went to Mashoko Mission for his high school.

After finishing high school, Tagwira's father told him that he needed to find a job and supplement the family income since he was the firstborn. He went into temporary teaching. He worked for three months, and one day he met a white man who was the Rural District Council, chief executive officer. The white man asked Tagwira why he was not in school and he told him his situation. At the time Tagwira said he had not been paid for the three months he was in teaching and the man told him to go to Gokomere High School and use his salary to pay for the whole Lower Sixth year.

He told Tagwira to leave right away and that they would inform his parents later. When it was time to go to university, that was when a rule was introduced that those who wanted to go to university were supposed to first serve in the Rhodesian army before they proceeded.

Fortunately for Fanuel Tagwira, he had been applying to universities in the region and internationally, so he left Rhodesia for Lesotho seeking a scholarship for refugees.

He met with nationalist Zimbabweans who were working in Lesotho, organising scholarships for Zimbabweans just after his arrival.

He met with Dr Stan Mudenge and Dr Mashingaidze who were helping Zimbabwean students get funding for studies in other countries.[1]

Tagwira holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Chemistry from the National University of Lesotho, M.Sc. Soil Chemistry from Reading University in England and PhD in Soil Chemistry and Fertility from the University of Zimbabwe.

Service / Career

  • 2018 - appointed Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development by Emmerson Mnangagwa.[2]

Fanuel Tagwira was an Endowed Chair Professor of Agronomy at Africa University. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources and then Vice-Chancellor of Africa University. After retiring from the Vice-Chancellor position, Tagwira was a Sabbatical Professor at Purdue University in the United States.

Professor Tagwira is a founding staff member of Africa University (AU). He joined AU in August 1992 as the first full-time academic member of staff in the new Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) where he started as a senior lecturer before rising to professorial rank.[3] Prior to joining Africa University, Fanuel Tagwira was an Agricultural Scientist and Head of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition. in the then Ministry of Agriculture. He served the Ministry of Agriculture for 10 years.

He has published several scientific papers in local and international journals and has also published book chapters in soil fertility and environmental science. Professor Tagwira is a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Leadership for Environment and Development and sits on the boards of a number of Local and International Research Organizations. Fanuel Tagwira was the Chair of the Center for Agricultural Research and Development in Southern Africa (CARDESSA) based at SADC headquarters. He is a former board member of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

In addition to being an academic leader and researcher, Professor Tagwira is a philanthropist.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Meet a man with duty to country, The Herald, Published: October 2, 2018, Retrieved: February 14, 2022
  2. ED reshuffles permanent secretaries, The Herald, Published: 20 September 2018, Retrieved: 17 April 2020
  3. Emeriti Vice Chancellors, Africa University, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: February 14, 2022

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