Greetings all, and good news!

As of Saturday, January 10, Sylvain Nzohabonayo has been named Rector of Hope Africa University. This decision was made by unanimous action of the university Board of Administration and reviewed by the Burundi Minister of Higher Education and Research. I am personally very pleased with this action and believe it is an answer to many prayers. Sylvain is highly qualified, both personally and professionally. Let me give you a few details.

Sylvain is a member of the first graduating class of Hope Africa University, Class of 2004, having begun his studies in Kenya with the very first group of students. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, socio-psychotherapy, and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, counseling (HAU, 2012). He is a doctoral candidate with International Leadership University in Kenya, in Leadership Studies and Public Governance. He has completed his course work and will defend his thesis proposal very soon. His research topic is: “The Importance of Governance and Budgeting Policy Coordination in Enhancing Quality Public Service Delivery in Burundi.”

Sylvain is married to Linnet Kasaya, Library Director at HAU, with two children, Brave (2004) and Daniella (2007). Linnet, too, is a Masters graduate of Hope Africa University and has been instrumental in developing one of the best academic libraries in the country. Both serve in their local church and Sylvain characterizes himself as a ‘committed full member of the Free Methodist Church.’ His most recent employment, from which he has been released, was in the office of the President of the Republic of Burundi, as advisor to the First Lady in communications. He is also an adjunct faculty member of HAU in the Social Work and Community Development department. He has had significant international training and experiences, both professional and in connection with his work in government.

I’d also like to share some personal observations from my long friendship with Sylvain. He and his wife Linnet have been our friends since our first term on the campus of Hope Africa University in Kenya, where Sylvain was a member of one of the classes I taught on Leadership. He is loyal to Hope Africa University and its dreams and vision, and is well-known as a committed passionate Christian, a man of impeccable ethics and strength, and a devoted husband and father. He is also known as a hard worker, dedicated to whatever task he is assigned. These characteristics will be important as he takes on the Rector’s responsibilities at the university and aggressively pursues completion of his PhD degree.

I am confident that Sylvain is the right man for this position. I will be working hard in the transition period to provide whatever support and orientation I can. I know he and Linnet will appreciate your prayers as he takes on the challenging task of providing leadership to Hope Africa University.

-Gerald E. Bates