Africa University prepares to commemorate it’s 28th Graduation Ceremony
Preparations for the 28th Africa University graduation ceremony on the 11th of June 2022 are at an advanced stage with expectation, joy and anticipation abound among the graduating class of 2022, their parents, guardians and the university community at large. Held under the theme, Celebrating 30 years of excellence and leadership transformation in Africa, the ceremony also forms part of the 30th anniversary celebrations calendar in the lead up to the main event scheduled for October 2022.
This graduation marks the first face to face graduation ceremony after the COVID- 19 Pandemic with the 2020 and 2021 occasions being celebrated entirely online. Over 700 graduands from 18 African countries are expected to receive top academic honours on the day.
Vice Chancellor Reverend Professor Peter Mageto reflected upon the journey travelled to reach graduation day,
“As Covid-19 ravaged our country and the world at large, Africa University continued to thrive thanks to support from our Board of Directors, Management and staff. Our collective flexibility and adaptation to the new normal kept us afloat. The last two years have been difficult for all of us, but we fought together, endured together and won together. We will witness the graduation of the second cohort of our virtual campus students. The Bachelors of Science Honours Degree in Computer Information Systems. These are graduands that have never been to campus from start to finish, but today they are here to receive their degrees.”
A key milestone for this year’s ceremony is the graduation of the first class of PhD students from the College of Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences’ Department of Public Health with the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health. The three graduands from the programme, Chipo Chimamise, Ronnie Matambo and Tichaona Goto who are all Zimbabwean, shared their appreciation for the strong academic support and direction provided throughout the programme and the importance of accomplishing this milestone. Tichaona Goto said,
“I had three doctoral committee members namely Professor F. Tagwira (Africa University Vice Chancellor emeritus), Dr I. Shiripinda and Dr A. Phiri who acted as my compass in manoeuvring all the rough terrains. The programme is very demanding especially as far as publications are concerned. I greatly appreciate the support of the three members under the leadership of Professor Tagwira. I also appreciate the support of the university community of academics. Whenever we made our presentations, we had the support of staff from different colleges coming to scrutinize and evaluate our research and methods. This was a very strong exposure which sharpened my intellect and confidence. It was instrumental in shaping my final thesis.”
Ronnie Matambo added,
“Being part of the inaugural group of 3 successful candidates, I really feel very honoured to have completed the DPhil Public health programme on time. I will be the first to admit that it was not a walk in the park. The programme is so intense and demands the highest level of self-discipline, maturity and organisation. This story would not have been possible without the mentorship provided by the supervisors in addition to the additional support provided by the college.”
Jeovani Mendoca Mendes, an Angolan Masters of Public Policy graduand reflected on his first arrival at Africa University, not knowing English and living in a new country with norms and cultures different to what he had known.
“Everything was so weird and out of place for me in the beginning. I slowly began to adjust and it was the community that surrounded me that helped me so much. The genuine friendliness and curiosity of my peers brought me out of my shell. I look forward to a career in policy formulation and evaluation in Angola contributing positively to the developing and impacting lives of the people of my home country.”
Beverly Zvikomborero Gowere, an International Relations graduand said,
“Without the financial aid and support I received from the university I may not have completed my studies. I am here today, a soon to be graduate of Africa University, because of the generosity of others who believe that education should be for all who have the passion to pursue it. The diverse community I experienced here made my International Relations degree very much practical and I came to fully appreciate the beauty of Africa.”
Set to grace the occasion as the Guest of Honor and Keynote speaker is Dr. Shingai Mutasa, Group Chief Executive Officer of Masawara Plc. A titan of industry in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region, Dr. Mutasa is an African entrepreneur and founder of Masawara Plc. Masawara is a diversified, pan-African investment holding company, previously listed on the AIM in London, U.K., with interests in Financial Services, Hospitality, Real Estate & Property Development, Agro-chemicals, Information Technology, and more, recently adding Renewable Energy and Healthcare to their portfolio. The Group is made up of 16 subsidiaries that are established in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania and employs more than 2,000 direct employees.
As the Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mutasa is the key driver of the Group’s strategic vision. He holds directorships for companies including Sable Chemical Industries Limited, Minerva Holdings (Private) Limited, Botswana Insurance Company Limited, Cresta Hospitality (Proprietary) Limited and various other local and international companies and educational institutions. Dr. Mutasa majored in economics at the University of London before returning to Zimbabwe in 1980. Upon his return, he commenced a successful career in commodity trading and marketing.