Shaping Africa - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Throughout 2017, Africa University will be focusing on the future as well as the past in the celebration of its 25th anniversary.

The vision came alive in 1988 when United Methodists voted to establish the institution.  Today, it is still powerful and relevant. 

“Africa University is equipping current and future leaders of Africa to be hope, however and wherever hope is needed,” said Bishop Marcus Matthews, interim chair of the Africa University Board of Directors and executive secretary of the Council of Bishops.

In positioning the university to effectively build that vision into the future, several key priorities have emerged. These include:

  • Growing AU’s permanent endowment fund to at least $100 million, to provide more scholarships and greater flexibility in maneuvering through unstable economic times;
  • Making AU accessible to more students through robust IT and online learning capacity;
  • Enhancing the campus environment through the provision of world class facilities;
  • Leveraging relationships to generate additional resources from African sources; and
  • Becoming an innovation hub and increasing teaching and research in climate change, entrepreneurship and technology transfer, and computer science.

Looking back over the past 25 years, veteran leaders and celebration partners say that they are thankful for AU’s progress.  Currently, 42 buildings make up the main campus, which is debt-free.

Africa University is continually evolving. In October 2016, the university emerged from a period of self-study and realignment with a new, three college academic structure and new programs aimed at reinforcing its position as a university of choice on the African continent. 

“We provide an affordable, high-quality and transformative education that produces skilled and ethical leaders with a pan-African network and the passion for service that Africa needs,” said Munashe Furusa, the university’s vice chancellor.

In 25 years, the AU alumni has grown to more than 7,000. Alumni contributions are a source of pride and the rich tapestry of Africa University’s growing reputation. As Richard Fotsin, a Cameroonian alumnus and veteran staff member puts it, “Africa university has been murmuring a call in our ears: a call to serve, to love and to lead.”

There is much to celebrate. Bishop Ernest Lyght, a former chair of the AU Board and Advisory Development Committees notes that there are several commitments that individuals can make to help AU to flourish and change lives for another quarter century. Lyght, a retired Episcopal leader, urges United Methodists to engage in a season of daily prayer for AU, educate their local congregations about the university, join the honorary alumni association, and personally contribute to Africa University.

For information and ideas on how you can help, visit, call the AU Development Office at 615.340.7438 or write to: