Petition 80131

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Africa University (80131-MH-R304-$)

Revise and readopt Resolution 304 of the Book of Resolutions, as follows:

304. Africa University
   WHEREAS, the Africa University initiative formally began by the inspiring address delivered by Bishop Emilio de Carvalho of Angola at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church in October, 1984; and
    WHEREAS, Bishop de Carvalho was joined by Bishop Arthur Kulah of Liberia, Bishop F. Herbert Skeete, then president of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Bishop Felton E. May, then president of the General Council on Ministries, and other members in discussing the educational needs of Africa and ways the denomination might respond to this challenge; and
    WHEREAS, the African central conferences of The United Methodist Church asked the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Board of Global Ministries to assist them in developing significant post-secondary institutions of learning for the churches of Africa; and
    WHEREAS, in St. Louis, Missouri, the 1988 General Conference of The United Methodist Church overwhelmingly approved the establishment of a university on the continent of Africa to be built in Zimbabwe and authorized an apportionment of $10 million over a four-year period and an additional $10 million to be raised through World Service Special Gifts; and
    WHEREAS, the official groundbreaking for the university occurred on site in Old Mutare in 1991, and Africa University opened in 1992 with two faculties and forty students representing six nations on the African continent; and
    WHEREAS, Africa University celebrated its tenth anniversary November 13-17, 2002, during which celebrations the Council of Presidents of the denomination's eleven historically Black colleges and universities met on the University's campus for the first time; the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools met on the University's campus for the first time; Ms. Graca Simbine Machel, wife of President Nelson Mandela, delivered the keynote anniversary address and was bestowed an honorary Doctor of Law  
degree; the Faculty of Theology building built by the South Carolina Annual Conference was dedicated and named in honor of its resident bishop, Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey; two dormitories built by the South Indiana Annual Conference (Bishop Woodie W. White resident bishop) were dedicated and one named in honor of Vice-Chancellor  
Rukudzo Murapa and his wife Helen, and the second named in honor of the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, James H. Salley; and the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Program was recognized and commended for its ministry in building ten staff houses in ten years; and
   WHEREAS, Africa University's enrollment reached a significant milestone in 2002  2006 with its student population reaching 1,123 representing 22 African nations; and
    WHEREAS, the number of faculties has grown from two in 1992 to five in 2002  eight in 2006 with the sixth  ninth faculty scheduled to open in the fall of 2003  2006; and
    WHEREAS, in February 2003, Africa University launched its Institute of Peace, Leadership and Governance with an initial enrollment of 15 students, each of whom will earn a masters degree in Peace and Governance (MPG); and
    WHEREAS, 880  2,317 Africa University alumni have been deployed across the African continent in fulfillment of the University's mission to train new leaders for the nations of Africa—new leaders like Walter Manyangawirwa, who was in the first graduating class at Africa University and who is now a leader in the field of study of fungi, viruses, bacteria, and other plant diseases; and
    WHEREAS, Africa University is the only private institution of higher learning on the African continent that may fly the international flag of the United Nations; and
    WHEREAS, Africa University has been called "...one of the great success stories of Christian missions in the world today" by Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International; and
    WHEREAS, the General Council on Ministries at its fall meeting held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 28, 2002, unanimously adopted a resolution expressing "its sincere congratulations and warm best wishes to Africa University on the occasion of its Tenth Anniversary," and avowing to "continue to stand in solidarity with Africa University and the United Methodist churches of Africa in educating for the right, speaking out against the wrong, and faithfully responding to the call of God to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel"; and
  WHEREAS, in the year that the United Methodist Church is celebrating the 50th  anniversary of the ordination of women, the gender ratio in the student body is 53% female and 47% male; and
   WHEREAS, Bishop Daniel Wandabula of Uganda was elected to the episcopacy on 28 May, 2006, during a meeting of the denominations’ Africa Central Conference on the Africa University Campus in Zimbabwe; and
    WHEREAS, the support and enthusiasm of United Methodists worldwide for Africa University are demonstrated in the apportionments remitted annually, the second-mile givings, and contributions from churches and individuals for the Africa University Endowment Fund; and
    WHEREAS, the South Carolina Annual Conference calls upon each local church in the annual conference to pay the full Africa University apportioned line item and give generously to the Africa University Endowment Fund; now, therefore, be it
    RESOLVED, That the General Conference affirms that Africa University is a dynamic and important mission project of The United Methodist Church; affirms the leadership of all those involved in the continuing development and day-to-day operations of the university; and commends the Africa University Board of Directors and advisory Development Committee for their persistence, diligence, and visionary leadership in overcoming the obstacles and barriers to fulfilling the dream; and, be it further
   RESOLVED, That the 2004  2008 General Conference make Africa University a priority and allocate an apportionment of $10 million over a four-year period and an additional $10 million to be raised through World Service Special Gifts to continue development, construction, and endowment of Africa University as outlined in the planning process determined by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Africa University Board of Directors.