Issue 04 Volume 01October December 2015

Compliments of the Season!

Since the third edition of your quarterly e-newsletter, Dream Catcher, we have been received lots of commendation from alumni and other stakeholders. In the same token, we have also received letters of observation, the editorial team and the Alumni Office have responded by effecting significant improvement to the magazine.

Of particular importance, we have in this edition highlighted the infrastructural revamp that has occurred on campus.

In addition, we have profiled an initiative from our 1996 alumnus to broker a forward-looking partnership between the university he is working for in the United States of America and the Africa University.

We also share with you good news about the efforts of some Africa University alumni in changing Africa through leadership.

Finally, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2016. As we enter the New Year with faith, hope and optimism, let us all embrace the many opportunities before us for the benefit of humanity and in the belief that our engagement with the Africa University will continue to bear fruits.

If you have any question, comment or suggestion, please feel free to contact us.

Wehnam Dabale '07

Director, Alumni Affairs

Infrastructural revamp on AU Campus

The Jokomo Yamada Library

Lack of adequate infrastructure poses impediment to the development of any organization or any institution of higher learning as teaching, research and community outreach require the right tools. However, for a private, United Methodist Church-related and non-profit institution, funding academic programme while constructing physical structures on campus and ensuring access through scholarship and financial aid has hampered the adoption of new technology as well as infrastructural development.

The sporting facility at the university after years of use by its active student body has endured much wear and tear and requires adequate refurbishment to the status that can host various festivals and competitions held in each academic year. The Highland Park United Methodist Church (UMC), Dallas Texas, USA has revamped the university’s sporting facility with a view to breathing life into the sporting culture of the institution. We are grateful to the Highland Park UMC for its generosity towards the new court which was commissioned in October 2015.

Revamped Courts

The Baltimore, Washington Conference of the UMC in July 2015 promised to assist the Africa University in constructing an all-encompassing sport complex. It is, perhaps, needless to say that the campus at Old Mutare which started on a farm house currently has 45 modern buildings, amongst which is the Ubuntu Centre, sponsored by the West Michigan Conference of the UMC and commissioned in March 2013.

The Ubuntu Center which will serve as a guest house on campus is also expected to be a place for spiritual renewal for the university community.

The Ubuntu Center

It will enhance the mission of Africa University by bringing together visitors, students and staff from diverse backgrounds and nationalities in search of a common identity.

In the past, visitors coming to the university concentrated their visits during the May to August vacation period on the students’ halls of residence; but with the Ubuntu Centre, all visitors are welcome anytime of the year. We thank all our stakeholders for the continued investment in Africa’s future.

For more information on how to the university archive her infrastructural development, kindly contact the Development Office or visit the website

1996 Graduate initiates partnership with ISU

AU’s vision for e-learning through distance education and the plan to increase student enrollment got a boost on December 2, 2015. The adjunct Professor of Agronomy and Project Director, Plant Breeding E-learning in Africa (PBEA), Prof. Walter P. Suza, was on campus to discuss possible partnership between Iowa State University (ISU) in the United States of America and Africa University. The PBEA is a project supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), which took advantage of the latest computer technology to design and develop online and electronic educational materials to help the faculties at African universities train students who seek Master’s Degree in plant breeding.

Prof. Walter P. Suza

“The long term goal aims to increase agricultural production, enhance food security and improve rural incomes in sub-Saharan Africa through more rapid and effective delivery of improved, farmer-preferred varieties to the farmer,” Prof. Suza said.

“Plant breeders are central to that process, but the number of breeders and the level of their training is far below what is needed in the sub-Sahara. A key role is played by breeders who are well trained at the MSc level,” he added.

The Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Dr. Albert Z. Chiteka, who welcomed Prof. Suza on behalf of AU’s management, staff and students, said: “AU is always encouraged by the commitment from her alumni and the Faculty of Agriculture is honored and keen in participating in the PBEA.”

When this partnership is sealed, AU will be among ISU and league of other participating universities, namely University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Makerere University, Uganda; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Dr. Albert Z. Chiteka

Prof. Suza, a Tanzanian and stellar AU alumnus, graduated in 1996 from the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 1996. He also received his PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics (with emphasis in Plant Molecular Physiology) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interest is in functional genomics of hormones signaling and stress responses in plants. He grew in Tanzania and has work experience in Central and Southern Africa. His roles at World Food Programme in Angola and the United Nations Children’s Fund in Zimbabwe were in food security assessment and mapping of vulnerable households, drought assessment and coordination of food aid.

Prof. Suza is a member of Africa University Alumni Association, USA Chapter; a chapter instrumental in fundraising effort of AU and was duly recognized at the 20th Anniversary celebrations in March 2013. It was equally instrumental in an AU Direct Scholarship in memory of Professor A.N. Mpuru. We thank Prof. Suza for giving back to his alma mater, as we thank the USA chapter for its wonderful initiatives.

For more information on partnerships with AU or on how to participate in AU Direct Scholarship in memory of Prof. A. N. Mpuru, kindly contact the Alumni Office

AU Alumni changing Africa through leadership

Map of Africa

Africa, according to one estimate, is one of the richest parts of the world in terms of natural resources. It has 50 per cent of the world's gold, most of the world's diamonds and chromium, 90 per cent of the cobalt, 40 per cent of the world's potential hydroelectric power, 65 per cent of the manganese, millions of acres of untilled farmland, as well as other natural resources. Despite its natural wealth, Africa is home to the world's most impoverished and abused people. African leaders are quick to blame the legacy of colonialism. Others accuse its neo-colonial dimension, while some pose culture, climate and bio-geographic factors as the ready explanation to the African problems. 

The situation in Africa calls for sustained efforts to provide the leaders in Africa with opportunities to develop appropriate skills and attitudes. AU is a bold attempt to this need. The AU had its first graduation ceremony in 1994 with a complement of 27 graduates and has till this day awarded degrees to over 6,000 graduates which can be found in all sectors of the economy of 32 African countries as well as South East Asia, Europe, Middle East, India, Canada and the United States of America. Worthy of note are the Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance (IPLG) graduates who are changing Africa though the leadership trainings they received at AU.

Dr. Christopher Mushowe

In government for instance, Zimbabwean Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr. Christopher Mushowe, recently graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Peace and Conflict Management degree, from Aldersgate University College exulted in the education he received from AU at a ceremony held at the University of South Africa’s main campus.

“My humble thanks also go to professors Machakanja and Menelik of Africa University, D. Koetze of UNISA and Neil Thompson of Aldersgate University (Singapore) and Mahiya for their encouragement,” Dr. Mushowe said.

The Zimbabwean minister, who has held several briefs in government since independence in 1980 is studying towards another PhD in Ethics, Leadership and Governance at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He holds Master’s degrees in Peace, Leadership and Governance (Africa University), Public Administration and International Relations (both University of Zimbabwe), and Business Administration (Leicester University).

Rev. Dr. Muyombo

In the Church and Africa University, two graduates with the same pedigree are now leaders in the United Methodist Church and Board members of AU. They are Rev. Dr. Mande Muyombo of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rev. Anastacio Chembeze of Mozambique.

Rev. Dr. Muyombo is the Executive Secretary for Africa with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and a Board Member of AU. The self-described boy from the “hood in the Congo,” now works for peace in his home country. Rev. Dr. Muyombo admitted that he could have been a child soldier, but he felt a call to ministry and Africa University made him a preacher. Rev. Dr. Muyombo earned both Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Africa University while also learning to speak English. He received his Master’s Degree in Theology and Doctor of Ministry from Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, USA. He hopes that education will be the key to bringing peace and development to the Congo, a message he always desires to share with a wider audience.

Rev. Chembeze

Rev. Chembeze is the Director General of the National Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (INEFP) in Mozambique, and a Board member of several organizations in Mozambique and outside Mozambique, including AU. Rev. Chembeze earned both Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Africa University while also learning to speak English. Rev. Chembeze is using the education he acquired at AU to bring peace to his native Mozambique where he serves as one of the five mediators and head of national election observers that negotiated and participated in the peace process and election that brought the new government in Mozambique.

The Dream is truly alive and we are truly investing in Africa’s future. We are proud of Dr. Mushowe, Rev. Dr. Muyombo, Rev. Chembeze and all our graduates that are changing Africa and the world through the leadership they learned at AU.

If you have a testimony or story that you think will inspire other alumni, kindly contact the alumni office