Transformative Testimonies at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church: The Unyielding Impact of Africa University on Lives and Dreams

“Africa University has invested in me as a female and a mother.” Betty Kazadi Musau, Director of Communications for the North Katanga Episcopal Area, Finance Officer for Disaster Management, and Secretary of the Board of Universities in North Katanga said at the ongoing General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, during a historic presentation by Africa University of its missional impact over its 32 years of existence.  

Betty Kazadi Musau, AU alumna and now  Director of Communications for the North Katanga Episcopal Area, Finance Officer for Disaster Management, and Secretary of the Board of Universities in North Katanga

Many translators, clergy, lay leaders, pages, and coordinators of the General Conference are proudly Africa University alumni, serving and leaving their impact in various spheres of leadership within the Church and beyond. Mrs Kazadi Musau said, “I am what I am because of the United Methodist Church. I am what I am because of Africa University.” She added,“The African girl child is a focus for Africa University and education can and has kept many young girls out of early marriages like me.”

As delegates listened intently, Vice Chancellor Reverend Professor Peter Mageto painted a vivid picture of Africa’s promise, emphasizing the critical role of quality education in its development. “Africa is a youthful continent and the need for quality, contextually relevant education has never been greater. AU established the School of Law in 2022, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2023, and in August 2024, AU shall be launching the sub-Saharan regions’ first Bachelor’s degree in Artificial Intelligence. These new offerings extend AU’s trailblazing efforts in the areas of intellectual property, non-communicable diseases, agriculture, and the development sector.” Rev. Prof. Mageto went on to speak to the power of the institutions’ global partnerships that allow it to be a conduit for positive development.

AU Vice Chancellor Reverend Professor Peter Mageto

Incoming  Interim Africa University Board Chairman Bishop Julius Trimble, who assumes leadership on June 1 2024 from AU Alum and Bishop of the North Katanga Episcopal Area, Bishop Mande Muyombo, added a powerful testimony to the rich tapestry already woven by previous speakers, further fortifying and shining a light on the work of the institution in the lives of the various students who learn there. “I am a United Methodist for many reasons, but Africa University tops the list. I am United Methodist because of our commitment to education and making dreams come true. Africa University is a delightful story that needs no exaggeration. This is our connection at its best!”

 Telling the story of Malawian Africa University student Maxwell Chibwatiko, Bishop Trimble relayed the triumph of belief in something greater, and the courage to follow God’s call. Growing up in rural Malawi with only his grandmother to rely on, Maxwell moved to the capital city of Blantyre to eke out a living as a domestic worker to try to raise his tuition fees to study at Africa University after being granted a place. In that time, he managed to raise USD1000, enough to get him to Mutare, Zimbabwe. With only a dream and his few bags in hand, Maxwell arrived at Africa University only to realize he simply did not have enough and had to return home. All he could do was to pray. He received a full scholarship from a conference in the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Trimble completed Maxwell’s story and the necessity to continue to support and invest in Africa by saying, “Through Africa University, we answer prayer, we model grace and mercy, and we encounter and encourage young people as they move into meaningful discipleship wherever God calls them. What a privilege!”

Incoming  Interim Africa University Board Chairman Bishop Julius Trimble

In a world often shrouded in uncertainty, Africa University stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating pathways to a brighter future. As delegates depart, hearts full and spirits renewed, they carry with them the indelible mark of Africa University—a testament to the enduring power of education, faith, and the human spirit.