Joint Meeting of African Associations in Angola

The African Association of Methodist Institutions of Higher Education (AAMIHE) and the African Association of United Methodist Theological Institutions (AAUMTI) met together again, as they have done yearly. After having held its meetings in Maputo, Mozambique (2016), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (2017), and Johannesburg, South Africa (2018), the two associations met in Luanda, Angola, in 2019.  The main there of the meeting, expressed in the three official languages of the two associations, was “The Quality of Methodist Education & the Role of the African Senate” – “A Qualidade da Educação Metodista e o Papel do Senado Africano” – “La qualité d’éducation méthodiste et le rôle du Senat Africaine.” The meeting was hosted by Bishop Gaspar Domingos and Methodist University of Angola (UMA), located in Luanda, having President Martha Sambanje and Jamisse Taimo as leading organizers. The President of AAMIHE, Munashe Furusa, and the President of AAUMTI, James Labala, were the conveners.

In the joint part of the meeting, there was an academic focus, with nearly 150 participants attending the keynote lectures and being involved in various discussion groups addressing themes such as “Unity within the wider Wesleyan and Methodist Connection,” “The African Senate and its Implementation,” “The Quality of Higher Education” and “The Quality of Theological Education.” The separate business meetings of each association yielded important results such as the proposal for the creation of a special fund for Methodist higher education in Africa and the conclusion of the process to install the African Senate for Methodist Education, which will serve as a peer-reviewing system for the evaluation of the academic quality of the education offered by Methodist institutions on the continent. Complementing the program, there were separate meetings of the three Language Groups: French, Portuguese, and English. They focused on theological education in their respective contexts and developed new proposals to continue to improve the quality of theological seminaries in Africa.

At the end of the event in Angola, Kongolo Chijika was elected the new AAMIHE President. In his address to the association, in French, he stated: “Notre objectif primordial est de promouvoir l’enseignement de qualité dans nos institutions méthodistes. Pour une université chrétienne, la qualité de l’enseignement de base doit trouver son fondement en Jésus-Christ comme modèle. Nos institutions méthodistes doivent avoir un cachet spécial ‘’ Science et piété’’. Nous devons donner à la société des hommes complets (Col.1 :28), formés intellectuellement, moralement, spirituellement et physiquement.”