The development of Africa University is a consequence of the growth of United Methodism in Africa. The growth in membership and the emerging socio-economic and political needs in their countries led the African Bishops of the United Methodist Church (UMC) to call on their Church to invest in higher education provision in Africa.
1980 - Bishop Arthur Kulah of Liberia and Bishop Emilio J. M. de Carvalho of Angola took the lead in advocating for ‘a university for all of Africa’. Their efforts generated a positive response within the United Methodist Church worldwide and in 1985 the ‘Africa Initiative’ was born.
1985 - A site selection committee chose Zimbabwe as the location for the new university.
1987 - The UMC in Zimbabwe donated 1542 acres of land in the Nyagambu River Valley, near the Old Mutare UMC Mission Centre, as the University site.
1988 - The General Conference of United Methodist Church unanimously approved the founding of Africa University and made a commitment to provide financial support for the University from the General Church Budget, (US$2.5 million annually).
1991 - In April, thousands of people converged on the site for an official groundbreaking ceremony.
1992 - On January 21, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, issued the Africa University Charter by official proclamation, making the institution the first private university in Zimbabwe.
2017 - The university celebrates the quarter-century mark. The Africa University Development Office (AUDO) was established September 1, 1992. It is housed at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, (GBHEM), of The United Methodist Church, in Nashville, TN. The AUDO is the primary unit through which UMC agencies, as well as supporters, friends, and potential collaborators/partners, relate to the Africa University.
Present Day - over 1500 Courses Offered; 1:20 Lecturer-Student Ratio; 26+ Countries represented; developed more than 7000 Trained Leaders; more than 30% of students receive Financial Aid
Africa University aspires to become a world class university for leadership development in Africa.
The mission of Africa University is to provide quality education within a Pan-African context through which persons can acquire general and professional knowledge and skills, grow in spiritual maturity, develop sound moral values, ethics, and leadership qualities.
Information and Public Affairs Office
Director: Mrs. T. Tsvakwi-Kanonge
Old Mutare, Mutare, Zimbabwe