On the 11th of June 2022, the academic achievements of 712 graduands from 18 African countries were recognized with the award of degrees and top honors at Africa University’s 28th graduation ceremony held at the main campus at Old Mutare in Zimbabwe under the theme, celebrating 3o years of excellence and leadership transformation in Africa. Nationalities represented among the graduating class included Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Eswatini, Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, , Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Vice Chancellor Reverend Professor Peter Mageto in his remarks congratulated the graduands and their parents, applauding the discipline and determination shown over the years to bring them to this point encouraging that the same spirit continue into their lives as they leave the university.
Appreciation was given to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, for the continued support and guidance offered to the university on its journey to excellence. The Vice Chancellor went on to highlight the academic progression of the university in research, with particular mention given to strides made in Malaria research, Child Rights and nursing. Of particular note was the first graduating class of Africa University in the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health, which capped 3 graduands, Chipo Chimamise, Tichaona Goto and Ronnie Matambo.
New incoming programmes were also mentioned.
” We are proud to report that we are in the final stages of clearance for the Bachelor of Law and the Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Food Security and Development set to begin in August 2022 as we contribute towards the global effort of ensuring food security. In responding to global needs and positioning Africa University as an innovation hub, we are strengthening our STEM disciplines by establishing a School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. We are ready to unlock the untapped potential of our youth across the continent.”
Vice Chancellor Professor Mageto also highlighted the infrastructural developments that are in the pipeline such as the East Ohio Women’s Hostel that is set to provide more accommodation for the institution’s female student population.
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Honorable Professor dr. Amon Murwira’s address spoke to the importance of leadership and understanding how to lead Africa . He said,
“It is the quest to restore dignity to African peoples that gives Africa University such importance and value. Correct educational designs are critical in this effort. To inspire leadership transformation on the continent and the direction that it will take lies in understanding its history, from freedom, to domination through colonialism, to the struggle for liberation and now the journey towards economic freedom of the continent. We cannot use the colonial design for the emancipation of the continent nor its transformation. We must distinguish between knowledge and memory. The former allows us to create.”
The Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker Dr. Shingai Mutasa’s message to the graduating class was underpinned by lessons in history, individual purpose and the collective responsibility of Africans to develop and further the aspirations of the continent.
“I am an African. Let me tell you what this means to me. In the book Genesis, after God had finished creating the world, He instructs humans as follows: You have Custodianship of the Land. You must look after this world and its resources. You must nurture each other and Multiply….being an African means I was blessed by God to have custodianship of this continent and I fully embrace this responsibility. As an African I fully accept the legacy of the past as well as the responsibility for the present and the future. The success or failure of our continent is determined by our actions and its future is also our responsibility.”
Dr. Mutasa went on to speak to the future of Africa and dared the graduands to imagine their place and role in creating it, emphasizing the importance of identity and walking in the truth of one’s heritage and origin, fearlessly and boldly.
“By 2050, the population of Africa would have doubled and one in every four people of the working population on the planet will be African. We are the continent of the future, but, to unleash the full potential of our human capital, it is important that you as our future leaders envision what that future looks like. This not only begins with introspection and a connection to our history and culture but in tapping into what makes us all distinctly African as every society across time that has excelled or achieved great feats has done so by tapping into their unique coding and culture….embracing all we are will propel the continent much further than us attempting to imitate other societies and cultures. In your pursuit of your most authentic self, grounded in our history, standing on the shoulders of our ancestors and armed with the knowledge you have learnt from Africa University, be proud to be an African.”
The valedictorian for the 2022 graduation Tanyaradzwa Laura Chemwayi who graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Natural Resource Management ,spoke on behalf of the graduating class expressing gratitude to the university management, faculty and staff for the constant guidance , love and support over the years. She summed up the time the graduands spent as Africa University as a promise fulfilled.
“In John chapter 19 verse 30, we read the words, “it is finished”. This is the fulfilment of God’s purpose. In our lives, this is the close of a chapter for us and a promise that God has fulfilled in bringing us to this day. It is a promise that we now carry forth for our families, the university and those that shall come after us, that we shall not let you down nor squander this gift we have been given.”
The 28th graduation ceremony comes in a memorable year in the history of Africa University as it commemorates 30 sterling years of producing outstanding graduates who have gone on to make a positive impact on the continent and around the world.