BULLETIN: Developments in Development at Hope Africa University

During my last visit to Hope Africa University, there were two significant developments. The Rector, Dr. Victor BARANTOTA, and I developed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding that expands my role with Hope Africa University and I attended and participated in the first graduation of Community Development Master’s Program students.

Memorandum of Understanding

During a series of discussions, beginning in August of 2016 and continuing in January and February of 2018, Hope Africa University, the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund and Healthy Horizons Consulting recognized that there would be shared value and mutual benefits in developing a formal, collaborative working partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding.

The three-fold purpose of the collaborative partnership is as follows.

  1. To develop and promote the quality of education at Hope Africa University
  2. To develop and demonstrate practical methods of Facing African Realities
  3. To develop a Centre of Excellence in Development, Research and Publications

The roles will include the following.

  1. To serve as an Adjunct Professor to Hope Africa University; teaching Community Needs Assessment, SRS 572 in the Community Development Master’s Program, and serve as Adjunct Professor to Hope Africa University on Social Development, Community Development and Community Health Development
  2. To serve as an Advisor to Hope Africa University, Graduate Programs, the Community Development Master’s Program, the Social Work and Community Development Department and the Research and Publications Department
  3. To develop and, hopefully, implement some innovative research and development projects in the Social Development, Community Development and Community Health Development areas
  4. To serve as an international representative of Hope Africa University, promoting support and collaboration on Social Development, Community Development and Community Health Development
Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

With the Memorandum of Understanding defined, approved and signed, I will be working closely with Rector Victor BARANTOTA.

Victor BARANTOTA, Rector of Hope Africa University

In addition, I will be working with Ebuela Abi ABEKYAMWALE, Director of the Research Department and Joram NGENZIRABONA, Assistant Director of the Research Department.

Joram NGENZIRABONA, Assistant Director of the Research Department

As an advisor, I will be working with Therese UYAMBAJE, Coordinator of Graduate Programs; the Community Development Master’s Program and the other Master’s Programs.

Therese UYAMBAJE, Coordinator of Graduate Programs

As an advisor, I will be working Susan MUCHIRI, Head of the Social Work and Community Development Department.

Susan MUCHIRI, Head of Social Work and Community Development

Graduation February 9, 2018

As reported from time to time, I have been teaching Community Needs Assessment at Hope Africa University for quite a few years. In 2012, Hope Africa University started to develop a Community Development Master’s Program. When the Community Development Master’s Program began, successful completion of my course became a mandatory degree requirement. Accordingly, I have been working with Community Development Master’s Program and I know the students.

My last visit to Burundi was planned with the view that I would be able to attend the Hope Africa University Graduation on February 9, 2018. I wanted to be present to witness the first students to graduate and receive the Community Development Master’s degree.

Graduation Invitation and Program

Consistent with the expanded role described above, I was for the first time invited and privileged to participate in the graduation ceremonies by marching in the procession with the nine graduates; the very first graduates of the Community Development Master’s Program.

Preparing for the Entrance March

In addition, I was honored to be able to present the nine graduates of the COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Program to the Rector of Hope Africa University.

I invite the Laureates of the Department of COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT to please stand up.


I present to you the Graduates who have met all of the academic requirements for obtaining the Diploma of Master in COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.

The first graduates with a Master’s Degree in Community Development are:

  • ASIFIWE Mapenzi
  • DUSHIME Francine
  • GAHUNGU Guillaume
  • NDUWAYO Naasson
  • NINGEJEJE Aime Fidele
  • NUWAYO Elise
  • TUMSIFU Aksanti Passy

In addition, I was delighted be able to introduce and present the three graduates that were graduating with the top grades and honors in the Community Development Master’s Program.

  1. NTIRANYIBAGIRA Louise   Plus Grande Distinction
  2. DUSHIME Francine             Grande Distinction
  3. NUWAYO Elise                    Grande Distinction

At the close of the graduation ceremonies, I personally presented each of the nine graduates with their Diploma (their Degree).

Before the presentation of degrees, the graduation of course involved a full program that included the National Anthem, the Rector’s Speech, the Bishop’s Sermon, a Speech by the Chairman of the Board and a Speech by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The graduation ceremonies are made exciting and colorful by the involvement of a troop of Burundian Drummers. We love the Burundian Drummers!

One of the Lead Burundian Drummers
Drummer Boy and Others