On the 25th of March 2017, Africa University celebrated 25 glorious years of investing in Africa’s future through education. As part of their celebrations, the pan African university honoured Higherlife Foundation’s Co- founder, Mrs. Masiyiwa with an Honorary Doctor of Social Welfare (Honoris Causa) for outstanding contributions to the empowerment of the less privileged in Africa and for leadership in the technological renaissance of youth around the world.
Established in 1992 by the United Methodist Church, Africa University has successfully created over 7.000 global leaders and is the epitome of Ubuntu through its programs that preach One Africa, one people. Over the years the university has been a home to many of Africa’s youth and has empowered them to create a just, equitable and a fair Africa through the power of education.
In recognition of her relentless passion for investing in the future of the youth through education, Mrs. Masiyiwa was also honoured as the events keynote speaker. In her speech she commended the university on the great strides it has taken to change and impact Africa’s youth and future over the years.
“On a continent where the burden of disease remains high and 30 million children of school going age are out of school due to poverty related causes, it is gratifying that it is here, at Africa University, where a breakthrough innovation in malaria drug effectiveness was invented,” said Mrs. Masiyiwa.
Mrs. Masiyiwa went on to reiterate on the significant role universities such as Africa University play in bringing all Africans together and cultivating these young minds to build a better Africa. In her speech she also highlighted how Africa University is helping lead the way in Africa’s transformation through its practical and relevant projects such as the Chaya project in Chivi- which is changing lives positively and sustaining people’s livelihoods.
To the youth present at the celebrations, Mrs. Masiyiwa emphasised the need for the young Africans to harness their potential through education as it gives them the power to change their lives, communities and Africa’s future.
“When you are educated, you are awakened…Education is meant to give you a voice. It is meant to give you a new perspective, to expand your horizons… your education must make you a ground-breaker”, stated Mrs. Masiyiwa.
Through Higherlife Foundation, Mrs. Masiyiwa has championed initiatives that have impacted over 250 000 students -most from less privileged backgrounds. Her dedication to promoting the use of technology in education led to development of Ruzivo digital learning- an interactive e-learning platform that makes quality education more accessible to less privileged students in Zimbabwe. She also co-founded the Muzinda Hub- an entrepreneurship and innovation project based in Harare that empowers the youth to realise their full potential through digital skills development and business mentorship programs.
A devout Christian, Mrs. Masiyiwa noted similarities between the university’s life story and that of her family and praised the United Methodists’ success while stressing the importance of Christian values in driving the change in Africa’s communities.
“What has defined the success of both my family and this institution has been faith in God, and the ability to perceive and seize opportunities. And by opportunities, I mean the opportunity to
make a difference and to impact future generations. Where others saw the status quo, we dared to see things differently.” Expressed Mrs. Masiyiwa.
The 25th anniversary celebrations which saw over 150 people present including Bishops and clergy of the United Methodist church from various states of America including Missisipi and Navada as well as Board members Africa University board members, current and past vice chancellors; was truly a day that celebrated Africa’s great minds and paved way for Africa’s youth to come together in creating a better Africa through the power of education.