Africa University

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International University of Africa.IUA
Type Private University
Established 1988
Affiliation United Methodist
Chancellor Bishop David Kekumba Yemba
Vice-Chancellor Dr. Munashe Furusa
Administrative staff
Students 1200
Location Mutare (Old Mutare), Manicaland, Zimbabwe
Campus Rural 1,545acres

Official website

Support Website

Africa University is a, "private, Pan-African and United Methodist-Related institution." It has more than 1,200 students from 22 African countries.[1] It is located 17 km northwest of Mutare, Zimbabwe's fourth largest city. It grants both bachelor's and master's degrees in various programs.


Mount Chiremba

Methodists have had a long history in Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia. In 1896, Joseph Crane Hartzell was elected missionary bishop of Africa. In 1898 as Bishop Hartzell stood atop Mt. Chiremba overlooking Old Mutare (formerly Old Umtali), looking down into the valley below he envisioned hundreds of African youth with books in their hands running to school. Hartzell shared his vision with Cecil John Rhodes, the British imperialist. Rhodes then grants to Hartzell the former site of the Town of Mutare, including 13,000 acres (53 km2) for a Methodist Mission. The Old Mutare Mission is established and Hartzell's dream of training African teachers to educate Africa children takes root. That year, a primary school opened at Old Mutare Mission. The Mission now supports and manages Hartzell School, an institution for students in grades 1-13. Adjacent to the school are a small 60-bed hospital, an orphanage, and an agricultural program.

In 1984, two African bishops, with the support of thousands of African Methodists, issued the call to create Africa University. Bishop Emilio J. M. de Carvalho of Angola and Bishop Arthur F. Kulah of Liberia challenged their colleagues at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to support the establishment of a university in Africa. A committee then worked for nearly three years on feasibility studies and conversed with African church leaders about educational and vocational needs. A plan for the United Methodist-related university was presented to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in October 1987. Prompted by United Methodist plans to establish a continent-wide university in Zimbabwe where no private universities existed, President Robert Mugabe formed a government commission in 1987 to study the country's higher education needs and make recommendations about the role of private universities in the nation's overall education scheme.

At the 1988 General Conference, United Methodists overwhelmingly accepted the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's proposal to begin the university. On 6 April 1991, thousands of people from throughout Zimbabwe watched as the groundbreaking ceremony took place and one acacia tree was planted at the Old Mutare Mission site of Africa University. In January 1992, President Robert Mugabe granted Africa University's Charter by official proclamation. This is an African initiative, with African Methodists serving with United Methodists from all over the world to develop an institution for all of Africa.


AU Sign, main entrance

Funding for Africa University is a two-part $20 million effort every four years. Ten million is apportioned to the 34,000+ United Methodist churches. The apportioned dollars provide for the day-to-day operating expenses of the university. The second ten million is raised through World Service Special Gifts for a permanent endowment. The interest and earnings on the permanent endowment provide for scholarships and other financial aid for students as well as meet new and emerging programmatic needs of the university.

The Africa University Development Office located in Nashville, Tennessee,[2] has primary responsibility for raising the funds for the permanent endowment as well as for capital projects. James H. Salley is the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and has supervisory responsibility for the Nashville office.


A 30-member board of directors governs Africa University. The board is chaired by the Chancellor. Bishop David K. Yemba, a founding member of Africa University's Faculty of Theology, was elected the university's third chancellor on 8 December 2008. Professor Fanuel Tagwira, another founding member of the university's Faculty of Agriculture, was elected the university's third vice-chancellor in March 2009. As of 1 July 2014, Dr. Munashe Furusa was unanimously elected as the new vice-chancellor.

Africa University is the first private, fully accredited, degree-granting United Methodist-related institution of higher learning on the continent of Africa as established and approved by General Conference. The university is Pan-African in design and spirit. Twenty-two nations of Africa were represented in the student population for the 2008-2009 academic year. The majority of faculty and administrative staff are Africans. Professors and policy makers comprise permanent and visiting educators from the United States, Europe, and around the world. The official language at the university is English, which is also the official language of Zimbabwe.


There are thirty-two buildings on the campus with four currently under construction. The 32

buildings include 12 dormitories, 12 senior staff housing units, a chapel, and a state-of-the-art library complex. The four buildings under construction include a student clinic, two housing duplexes for senior staff, and the building for the Institute of Peace, Leadership, and Governance.

Recently the Kent M. Weeks Archives[3] was opened to collect all university and United Methodist Church records which are deemed to be of historic and research value.

The Kent M. Weeks Archives[4] is an entity of the Jokomo/Yamada Library. It is located on the second floor of the Jokomo/Yamada Library. The Archives was set up in honour of Dr. Kent M. Weeks for his invaluable contributions to the development of Africa University. He is also responsible for personally raising the funds for the establishment of the Archives. Although the Archives are housed within the Jokomo/Yamada Library they are an autonomous unit within a larger library system. The Kent Weeks Archives maintains its own mission statement, goals and objectives.


Faculty of Theology

There are currently 6 faculties at Africa University plus the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance[5] and the Africa University Information Technology Training Center.[6] The six faculties are:

The Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) offers Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and Natural Resources and master's degree in science.

Campus view

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) offers two three-year full-time degree programs, that is, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Social Sciences with specialisation in Economics, English, Environmental Studies, French, History, Music, Portuguese, Psychology, Sociology, and Religious Studies.

The Faculty of Theology (FOT) offers a four-year full-time Bachelor of Divinity degree and a two-year full-time Masters of Theological Studies degree.

The Faculty of Education (FOE) offers a four-year full-time Bachelor of Arts degree and a two-year Bachelor of Education degree for secondary school teachers. The two-year program is specifically designed for teaching professionals who wish to upgrade their skills.

Africa University Entrance.jpg

The Faculty of Management and Administration(FMA) offers a number of training options for those interested in careers in business development and management, marketing,finance, and administration. At the undergraduate level, FMA has a full-time 4-year programme leading to degrees in accounting, economics, and management, marketing and computer science. FMA offers a full-time 2-year MBA program and a part-time EMBA program for senior managers and administrators.

The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) offers undergraduate degrees in nursing and health science management and a master's degree in public health.

The Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance offers a master's degree in peace and governance and a master's degree in intellectual property.

Diversity: The AU “Difference”[edit]

Kwang Lim Chapel

Africa University is a Pan-African institution committed to a diverse student population. Twenty-three (23) of the 55 nations of Africa are represented in the student body for the 2011-2012 academic year. Approximately 52% of the student body are women.

Although the university is United Methodist related, students are members of various denominations or practice traditional African religions.


  1. ^ "Welcome to Africa University Main Page". 2010-06-28. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  2. ^ "Africa University Development Office". Support Africa University. 2010-07-23. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  3. ^ "Africa University Archives". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Africa University Archives". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  5. ^ "Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance". 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Information Technology Training Center". 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  7. ^ "Africa University::Agriculture". 2007-08-24. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Africa University :Administration". 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  9. ^ "Faculty of Theology". 2009-02-11. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  10. ^ "Africa University Faculty of Education". 2007-08-24. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  11. ^ "Management & Administration". 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  12. ^ "Faculty of Health Sciences". 2007-08-24. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-05. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 18°53′51″S 32°36′04″E / 18.89750°S 32.60111°E / -18.89750; 32.60111