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New doors are opening in Africa. Until now, only those in large cities had access to a university education. But utilizing satellite and internet technologies, a pilot program in Mozambique aims to change that. Kim Riemland reports.

 
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(Locator: Maputo, Mozambique)

In a place where many struggle to earn just a dollar or two a day, a place where half the adult population can’t read or write, a new school is offering a path from poverty in Mozambique.

United Methodist Bishop Joao Machado: “We need to teach the people who are really with nothing, come to be something.”

Africa University in Zimbabwe is going high-tech offering its first distance-learning center outside the country in Mozambique’s capital of Maputo. It’s a sign of progress.

Fanuel Tagwira, Africa University: “In Africa, as you know, most of the distance-education has been given through the normal mail delivery, which is very difficult.”

The Africa Training and Learning Center is now open at the United Methodist church’s regional office.

Ken Yamada, Board of Higher Education and Ministry: “I think access to education is a key component in changing the lives for the people in Africa.”

The center will offer college courses in business administration and also teach English as a second language. High-speed internet access by satellite will open global channels of communication.

Martin Dwedwomoh-Tweneboah, I.T. Consultant: “Standard classroom learning is gradually giving way to online learning.”

Africa University alumni say what they learned made a big difference in their lives.

Aidilio Alfeu, Africa University Graduate: “If I had not had that degree, I don’t think that I would have been able to start my first job at World Vision.”

Those involved in starting the distance-learning center say the courses will change the future of Mozambique—and other countries.

Fanuel Tagwira, Africa University:“Anybody from anywhere across the African continent will be able to log on to and be able to access our educational material.”

Tafadzwa Mudambanuki, United Methodist Communications: “It’s giving people ladders of opportunity to climb higher. When they reach the highest level, they look at the ladder that has brought them to that level, and they see new vistas, new opportunities.”

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Maputo is the first of five planned satellite campuses for Africa University. Other proposed sites are in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.

To learn more about the distance-learning program in Maputo and about other education initiatives around the world, visit: http://umc.gbhem.org/mgef or call Ken Yamada at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 615-340-7398.

Also, see: Distance learning center launched in Mozambique