[Thought Piece] L’Université Evangélique en Afrique as an Integrated University in Central Africa

The African University requires in-depth transformation to create a space where learners meet with their supervisors to develop a quadruple competence consisting of building knowledge, know-how, life and thinking skills to contribute to the development of the continent. It is therefore necessary that the university be considered holistically to develop skills that Africa needs. It is necessary to consider both the needs of the community in terms of skills, human resources available at the national and international level and building adequate infrastructures that promote a pleasant learning environment for African youth. To achieve this, it requires the involvement of all stakeholders in the education sector, namely governments, students, teachers and the private sector, first in determining priority sectors and then the investment of each one in the learning process. A weak commitment from the State makes it very difficult to accomplish this mission, especially when the budget allocated to higher education in many African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, is very low and under 5% of the national budget. The private and above all ecclesiastical sector thus reinforces the State in the accomplishment of the educational mission. Indeed, Université Evangélique en Afrique was thus created in 1991 by the Protestant churches in the Province of South Kivu to first allow the Congolese State to have university executives endowed, in addition to academic skills, with the values ​​characterizing the Protestant ethic. In the choice of faculties, it was thus decided from the outset to create the Faculty of Medicine and Community Health, the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Protestant Theology, the Faculty of Economics and Management and quite recently the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Furthermore, the training provided to our medical students makes it possible to train both a general practitioner and a specialist capable of engaging in an environment where s/he has an appropriate technical arsenal, but also in rural areas where working conditions are precarious. In addition to continuing education, we provide ongoing training for doctors and health professionals who need retraining. We also offer short-term and very specialized training in the field of Vaginal Surgery, Infectious Diseases and Physiotherapy. To do this, we use both urban and rural clinics combined with medical simulation as an entry point to student clinical practice.

To ensure good health for the population, nutrition proves to be an important factor in terms of preventing disease and maintaining good health. Our faculty of agriculture sciences focuses its training on animal and plant production considering agroecological and environmental factors. Our students are thus in an environment where they work closer to farmers to help solve problems encountered in the food production chain, from production to marketing and food processing. Yet the food produced or purchased must not only be nutritious, but also of higher quality ensuring sustainable human health. In fact, our agronomists have additional skills in environmental studies and conditions necessary to ensure sustainable development. Read more here

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