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Ambassador Boutros Thok Deng of South Sudan is congratulated by Dr. Fanuel Tagwira, vice chancellor and chief executive.

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Africa University’s flagship, the Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance (IPLG), awarded degrees to its largest group of graduates this year.  More than 80 students completed graduate programs in Intellectual Property, Peace and Governance, and Public Policy and Governance.

“IPLG has come of age and has become very attractive,” said Dr. Pamela Machakanja, the Institute’s director. “We are the only institute of this kind in Africa offering unique programs…our students originate from various countries across the continent and some of them are very eminent and influential people who already hold political positions.”

The Institute’s 2014 graduates included Zimbabwe’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Manicaland Province, Christopher Mushohwe, and the Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan to Zimbabwe, Boutros Thok Deng, who earned an executive master’s degree in Peace and Governance and a master’s degree in Public Sector Management respectively.

For Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa, the Resident Bishop of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, the caliber of students joining the institute is “an encouragement and source of inspiration to the young and prospective students of Africa University – that Africa University is a source of truth.”

Zimbabwe's minister of state for provincial affairs, Mr. Christopher Mushohwe.“I am proud of the fact that Zimbabwe was chosen to host Africa University,” said Mushohwe, who described Africa University as a ‘true pan-Africanist university’, destined to grow and become the center of African renaissance and peace studies in the region.

Deng said he chose to enroll at Africa University because of its ‘excellent brand in the educational arena.’

A Handshake and congratulations for Ambassador Boutros Thok Deng of South Sudan, from Dr.Timothy Simalenga, the 2014 commencement speaker.“I feel elated and excited in achieving this long awaited dream for my family, my country South Sudan and for myself,” said Deng. “We are still a very young democracy. Therefore, as we rebuild our country, there will be need for specialist skills like (those) I now possess. My qualification will be helpful in the development of my country and this will be my small contribution towards the development of South Sudan.” 

Deng pledged to support Africa University by advertising the institution in order to increase the student intake from South Sudan.

Institute graduates and staff members provide leadership and mediation services to help resolve conflict situations in various African hotspots, including the most recent politically-charged crisisDis in Mozambique.

Adapted from an article by Sharai Muonwa, acting director of information and public affairs at Africa University.