Letter from Chancellor Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo
December 10, 2008
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I offer you greetings and blessings on behalf of Africa University in Old Mutare, Zimbabwe, where our students have completed the fall semester and are looking forward to the beginning of the spring semester in January 2009.
As chancellor of the university, I seek your ongoing prayers for our students, faculty, and staff, and urgently ask for your full financial support through our denomination’s Africa University Fund. The apportioned fund is our lifeline in these exceedingly difficult times in Zimbabwe.
The fact that Africa University is even open is a miracle from God! The commitment of United Methodists from around the globe to Africa University allows us to remain open and thriving in Zimbabwe, a country enduring an unimaginable economic crisis.
For most of this fall, United Methodist-related Africa University has been the only institution of higher education open in the entire country. Hyperinflation running into the millions of percent annually has paralyzed the economy. Because of this fiscal crisis, other private and government-operated universities have been unable to open. With the Zimbabwean currency out of control, much of the population is struggling to survive from day-to-day.
My request is two-fold: One, continue to pray for Africa University. Two, please fulfill your commitment to the Africa University Fund. We are praying for a 100 percent remittance for 2008, and with God’s help, we could go even higher.
Your response to Interim Vice Chancellor Fanuel Tagwira’s request for early payment of Africa University apportionments has been heartening. Many conferences have made an effort to increase their apportionment payments, and a number have already met their 2008 obligations in full. We thank God for their efforts.
It is clear there is a great need for Africa University in Zimbabwe and across Africa. We prepare leaders in the fields of health, environmental affairs, agriculture, education, theology, and peace and justice. Our more than 2,700 graduates are making a difference in 28 countries throughout Africa. They have become key leaders in the growth and emergence of Africa.
In these times, life is not easy for our 1,300 students from 22 African countries, faculty, and staff. With God’s help and your financial support, they are persevering in the midst of great difficulty. Your contributions to the Africa University Fund allow us to remain open and in ministry to Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.
Without your support of this fund, our university’s future would be at serious risk. During this financial crisis, we have made every effort to conserve our limited resources. To maintain our day-to-day operations, we have been forced to deplete our apportionment reserves.
Most recently, because of the incredible negative impact of inflation, we are working with our Zimbabwean students to find ways that allow them to remain in school while meeting their obligation to pay tuition, room and board. This is a difficult issue in a very poor country. It makes your support even more vital.
Africa desperately needs Africa University. Our graduates are vital to help meet the needs of Africans for health care, agriculture and economic development, political stability, and spiritual growth. It is not an overstatement to say Africa University is one of the keys to hope for Africa.
Please keep our university, its students, faculty, staff, and their families in your prayers. And, please remember our obligation as United Methodists, to support Africa University through the apportioned Africa University fund.
Grace and peace,
Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo, Chancellor
Bishop, North Katanga Area
Democratic Republic of the Congo