NEWSLETTER: Working with Hope Africa University

As previously reported, Rector Victor BARANTOTA of Hope Africa University and Dr. John McCready of the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund developed and signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) about a year ago. The MOU designates John McCready as an Adjunct Professor and Senior Advisor on Development. This newsletter provides a brief update on some of my work with Hope Africa University. The update addresses (1) teaching the Community Needs Assessment course; (2) establishing a Publication Work Group; (3) attending Graduation 2019; and, (4) considering a new Agriculture Education Program.

Community Needs Assessment

In January of this year, John taught Community Needs Assessment which has become a required course for the Community Development Master’s Program. The class included the current Enrolled Students in the Community Development Master’s Program, the 2018 Promotion, and four Auditing Students from two non-government organizations (NGOs); Rema Burundi and Think East Africa.

Discussion Group
Participatory Learning
Another Small Discussion Group

Publication Working Group

Hope Africa University (HAU) wants and needs to provide more emphasis on research and publications. Going forward, HAU will expect its faculty members and graduate students to be involved in research and publications. The selection and promotion of faculty members and instructors will review the extent to which candidates have been involved in conducting research and publishing research.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Burundi has issued an Ordinance that requires graduate students to publish an article before they can graduate. As of February 4, 2019, HAU requires graduate students to publish an article before they can defend their thesis and graduate from HAU with a Master’s degree. Accordingly, HAU has already started to take action to facilitate the publication of articles.

The Rector, Dr. Victor BARANTOTA, has established a Publication Work Group (PWG). The PWG is comprised of senior people associated with HAU.

  • Dr. Victor Barantota (Rector)
  • Amb. Dr. Philippe Ntahonkuriye
  • Dr. Jeanine Ndihokubwayo
  • Rev. Grégoire Ndayongeje
  • Thérèse Uyambaje
  • Christian Kapita
  • Linnet Kasaya
  • Karen Parsons
  • Rev. Emmanuel Sibomana
  • Dr. Barbara Rose
  • Rev. Joram Ngenzirabona (Co-chairperson)
  • Dr. John McCready (Co-chairperson)

The PWG had its first meeting on January 30, 2019 and Dr. Betty Overton attended as a Special Guest. Based on the recommendations of the PWG and to ensure success in publishing articles, HAU will establish its own interdisciplinary online journal and provide publication information, tools and support services for its graduate students and faculty members.

Three HAU faculty members will play a key role in providing publication information and support services for graduate students and faculty members.

Joram NGENZIRABONA, Assistant Director of Research Office
Therese UYAMBAJE, Coordinator of Graduate Programs
Linnet Kasaya, Head of Library

Graduation at Hope Africa University 

Last year, the first 9 students graduated from the Community Development Master’s Program. On February 8th of this year, Hope Africa University had its Graduation 2019.

Burundian Drummers at Graduation 2019

This year, there were 8 graduates from the Community Development Master’s Program.

IRAKIZA, Emmanuel David
IRAKOZE, Gloria Melyse
KABWA, Nestor

Happy, Smiling Graduates

Working with the Community Development Master’s Program, John is privileged to be able to participate in the graduation and present the graduates to the Rector during the ceremonies and present the Diplomas to the graduates after the ceremonies.

Graduates and John
Women Dancers at Graduation

New Agriculture Education Program

Friends for Hope Africa University and Hope Africa University are considering developing a new agricultural education program. Arrangements have been made to have a team explore the needs and opportunities for an agriculture program. In the last half of May, Gina and Travis Sheets, Senior Fellows with the Sagamore Institute, will be conducting the exploration.

Travis and Gina Sheets of Sagamore Institute

Travis and Gina have extensive experience in diversified farming on their farm in Indiana. The Sheets spent five years as volunteers in Liberia where they built a School of Agriculture and an Agriculture Research Center, the only one of its kind in Liberia.

Fortunately, John Ellis, President of Friends of Hope Africa University, asked the Haley McCready Outreach and Development Fund (HMODF) to participate and contribute to the exploration process. Most of the 20 development projects that have received grants from the HMODF involve agriculture; animal husbandry (e.g., goats or pigs) and crop cultivation.

Association Members and their Goats
Association Members Harvesting Potatoes

We want to help make the agricultural education program exploration process (something like a “community needs assessment” process) as informative as possible. We will be working with Jean Paul SHAKA, HAU Public Relations Officer in organizing and scheduling a consultation with our project managers and one or two field visits to our development projects and our project beneficiaries who are involved in animal husbandry and crop cultivation. In addition, we will be suggesting that the exploration include consultations with some key representatives of other organizations that involved in agricultural development activities.

Jean Paul SHAKA, Public Relations Officer