Africa University’s College of Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences (CHANS), has received a generous donation of US $15 500.00 for its Department of Agricultural Sciences. The gift, culminated from the efforts of the United Methodist Church’s District Superintendent for Blue River, Rev. Bill Ritter, who is the co-founder for the Nebraska United Methodist Bike Ride for Hunger (NUMB). Rev. Ritter, together with his wife Mrs. Ritter and a delegation from the Great Plains Annual Conference, presented the gift to Africa University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Ikubolajeh Logan on December 14.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Rev. Ritter expressed great hopes for the Department of Agricultural Sciences and for students pursuing studies in the field of Agriculture. He indicated that the campaign will continue to support agricultural initiatives so as to eradicate poverty and alleviate hunger in some parts of Africa. “For all the students here, we depend on you to make a difference for generations to come. We are pleased to help you as you develop.” said Rev. Ritter.
In receiving the gift, Prof. Logan challenged the students and staff in the Department of Agriculture to ‘seed’ the gift and help it multiply for the benefit of all Africans. “We need to be thinking about how we can multiply the gifts and make Africa University relevant by transforming communities across the continent. This is what we should be thinking about when receiving this gift.” he said.
The Great Plains Annual Conference and NUMB have been great supporters of Africa University. In the year 2014, the bicycle ride raised US$45 000.00. The donation made it possible for the University to purchase two vehicles for the University Farm. Rev. Ritter promised that another gift will be donated to the Department of Agriculture in the 2016 / 2017 academic year.
Africa University is cognizant to the fact that between now and 2050, the global population is projected to rise from about 7 billion to 9.2 billion, demanding a 60 percent increase in global food production (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations FAO). The institution is sensitive to the fact that 70 percent of Africans make a living from agriculture and that agriculture is 11 times more effective at reducing poverty in sub Saharan Africa than growth in other sectors. As a result, the institution has tailored its programmes to capitalize on the opportunities that exist and empower students and future leaders from over 26 African countries with practical and relevant skills and innovations to producing more food and strengthen food security across the continent.
By AU correspondent