Attracting Africa's Young Leaders

students, Africa University, matriculation, More than 380 young people participated in the 2015 matriculation ceremony at Africa University (AU), on September 25th. The colorful ceremony is the formal induction and welcome into the campus community for the freshman class of 2015. 

For some students, like 22-year-old Claudine Migisha from Goma/North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, just getting to the Africa University campus in Zimbabwe is a major milestone. Migisha’s parents were killed when she was six. They left behind six children who struggled to get an education.

Claudine Migisha, Africa University, Africa, student, African Leadership Academy, scholarship, “Africa University was the first school I applied to and when I received the acceptance letter from Africa University I was speechless,” said Migisha. “I was happy and celebrated to hear that I was going to study in one of the best school in Africa.”

Migisha enrolled at Africa University with scholarship support from the African Leadership Academy (ALA), an institutional partner, and from the MasterCard Foundation. Migisha and fellow freshman, Mubarik Abdilahi, are among the six ALA-sponsored students who are currently enrolled at AU.

Abdilahi is in his first year of a four-year degree program in education and has the distinction of being the first Somalian to attend the university since its inception.

A native of Hargeisa in northern Somalia, Abdilahi (photo, left) says AU is a perfect fit for him. “The university campus is quite enormous,” he said. “It has fresh, open air and I enjoy it. My lecturers are welcoming and I am comfortable approaching them about class work.” He goes on to say his fellow students are supportive of one another, which makes campus life congenial.

As he enters his second year as AU's vice chancellor/CEO, Dr. Munashe Furusa says he's focused on making Africa University the first choice higher education institution for Africa's most promising young leaders. Furusa has identified the construction of new student housing and sports facilities as well as the creation of hubs for innovation, business incubation, and technology transfer as AU's top priorities for the next five years. 

Africa University's total full-time enrollment currently stands at 1,415 students from 26 African countries—with an additional 774 students enrolled in part-time programs.