United Methodists support the tough finance of African University

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

Despite the touch financial situation, the United Methodist-related school continues its mission to educate new leaders for Africa, UMNS reported on 20.

Rukudzo Murapa, the Vice Chancellor of Afirca University said "in May, 179 students from 14 countries were graduated from Africa University. They are new cadre who make a difference in this African continent."

The Africa University Executive Committee had a meeting on june 8-9 in New York, discussing the school's situation and increasing student fees to raise seriously for the school's financial support.

New buildings continue to be constructed for the expanding programs and student body on the campus, located in Mutare, Zimbabwe. These are the second phase of the Jokomo/Yamada Library and the Institute of Peace, Leadership, and Governance Building. Funds for these are provided by the United States Agency for International Development. Also for the new Faculty Health Sciences building, USAID and the United Methodist Church supported the finance. USAID has funded $8.38 million to Africa University.

Murapa commented, "we are being challenged to come up with innovative ways of overcoming the ever-rising prices and cost of basic commodities, including maize meal, cooking oil, bread, as well as fuel and medical supplies."

"The cost of labor als has risen astonishingly. It is very important for us to maintain students in good condition despite the many shortages."

The United Methodist Church's Africa University Fund apportionment has also filled a significant part. But recently the apportionment is down 7 percent from a year ago which is causing stress on the budget.

Jerome King Del Pino, top staff executive of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville, Tenn. said, "Since it has been founded, Africa University has constantly been one of the denomination's most creative and faith-filled responses to the multifaceted challenges that confront the African continent."

"Despite the serious economic difficulties and sociopolitical uncertainty, the school has presevered the mission to provide highest quality educational experience that will make the present and the future of the continent developed," Del Pino commented.