The top management of the African Nazarene University (ANU) led by Professor Leah Marangu, the Vice Chancellor were in Burundi from 2nd to 6th June 2010 with the aim of bringing the quality education offered by her institution closer to Burundians. Other members of the team were Dr. Raphael Kiugu – Director of Academic Programme, Mr. John Opiyo – Chief Finance Officer and an Administrator, Mrs. Donna S. Lovett.

Professor Marangu and her entourage were received at the Bujumbura Airport by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Burundi, Professor Gaston Hakiza and an official of the Kenya Embassy. Professor Oscar Sindayigaya, a lecturer at the University of Burundi and a parent of a student at ANU was also at hand to receive and host the University team. The Embassy coordinated the visit and facilitated the team to pay Courtesy Calls on the Burundi Ministries of Higher Education and that of the East African Community and Regional Integration.

The ANU team called on H.E. Ambassador Benjamin A.M. Mweri at the Embassy immediately on arrival. Professor Marangu thanked the Ambassador for receiving them and facilitating their visit. She observed that ANU was established to assist Africans not only with quality education but also produce students with civility and rectitude to bring required change in their respective countries. The professor observed that out of nineteen (19) African countries, Burundi had the highest number of students at the institution, next to  Kenya. Her visit to Burundi was therefore to meet parents of the students, make follow-up on the progress of her former students, familiarize the management with the Burundi education system and encourage more Burundians to enroll with ANU.

The Professor informed that they would make advertisement on the major Burundi Television Stations and pay courtesy calls on the Burundi Ministries of Higher Education and that of the East African Community and Regional Integration, including   visits to Bujumbura High Schools with potential students and finally, have a press conference before leaving for Nairobi.

H.E. Ambassador Mweri welcomed and briefed the team on issues of educational interest and on diverse developments in Burundi. He noted that Burundi had introduced the teaching of English and Kiswahili from Primary levels since joining the EAC in order to better integrate with other Member States. The Ambassador informed that there were many opportunities for Kenya in the Burundi education sector, since the country had only two English system Schools based in Bujumbura. He was also of the view that collaboration between institutions of Higher Learning would be of Mutual interest to Kenya and Burundi. The Ambassador informed the visitors that the Embassy had the important task of encouraging and facilitating Kenyans to invest in Burundi in line with the economic diplomacy alignment of the government and in this respect, assigned an Embassy official to facilitate all aspects of their programme.

The ANU team had a busy and tight schedule. On their first day, they visited and made presentations to the Holy Spirit High School and the French High School, Bujumbura. Later in the evening they Met and had dinner at the Kings Hotel with the University’s Alumni.  On day two, they toured the King’s International Christians School, the East African Centre for Professional Studies (EACPS), the New School and paid a Courtesy Call on the Vice Chancellor of the National University of Burundi who offered Dinner at the University. On the third day, Courtesy Calls were paid on Ministries of higher education, the EAC and Regional Integration, including visits to the Lycee de Vugizo and the International School, Bujumbura.

The official programme was capped with an evaluation of the visit in the morning of 5th May, 2010 followed by a Press conference and a Luncheon at King’s Hotel. Present at the well attended Conference were the Chief of Cabinet of the Burundi Ministry of Higher Education, Parents with students at ANU, the University’s Burundi Alumni, a representative from the Embassy, prospective students and their parents. Professor Marangu gave a presentation and responded to questions on various aspects pertaining to education at the University. She informed the audience that ANU had reached an agreement between Professor Sindayigaya and the EACPS to offer pre-University courses for Burundians wishing to enroll with ANU in order reduce the cost of doing the course for a year in Nairobi.  Professor Sindayigaya and his Kenyan friends in the evening hosted the ANU group to a Kenyan/Burundi Goat-Eating Party, attended by many Burundian and Kenyans.

The ANU visit to Bujumbura was given wide coverage by the mass media and well appreciated by Burundians, particularly by parents and students wishing to acquire higher education outside Burundi. The Embassy congratulates ANU for making the successful tour.