New president plans to move Liberia university

Newly inducted United Methodist University president Johnson Gwaikolo has announced plans to relocate the congested university from central Monrovia to a site 15 miles away.

One year after being named interim president of the university, Gwaikolo now heads the institution officially. During his induction ceremony Aug. 30, Gwaikolo said he would seek to move the university to an area off of Robert Field highway (airport road).

“The students need a conducive environment to enhance their learning at our school,” Gwaikolo said. “I am afraid the students might go to other institutions if the issue of space is not resolved in the soonest possible time.”

Asked how he and the university leadership are going to fund the relocation process, Gwaikolo said he is going to work with health institutions that have expressed interest in doing business with the school.

“We will move the institution college by college, and the college of health sciences will be the first on our list,” he said.

He pointed out that during the Ebola crisis, students of the college of health sciences were instrumental in serving various health institutions, highlighting the quality teaching services the university provides.

“Our school, especially the college of health sciences, was used as a training base for most Ebola health workers, including the one sponsored by the Discipleship Ministries,” Gwaikolo said.

Though he did not name specific health institutions that expressed a willingness to partner with the school, he said moving the college of health sciences first will be the quickest way to attract sponsorship.

“There are people and institutions that are standing by to help us move this college because of the contribution that we are making in the healthcare delivery program of Liberia,” he said.

The university also will launch a capital campaign to help raise funds. The effort will include reaching out to United Methodist-related institutions in the United States to create an e-library for students, he said.

Gwaikolo is the third president of the university since its establishment in 2000. He replaces the Rev. Emmanuel Bailey, who served as president for more than 10 years before being removed in 2015.

Previously, Gwaikolo served the United Methodist University as the vice president for business and finance. He also worked with the Liberian government in various positions. He is a doctoral candidate in Interdisciplinary Leadership at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Swen is a communicator in Liberia. News media contact: Vicki Brown, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or [email protected].

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Mission and Ministry
During the Ebola epidemic, East Congo Area Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda washes his hands and is helped by the Rev. Jean-Paul Omole, superintendent of the Goma District, during the Kivu Annual Conference in June 2019. Photo By Chadrack Londe, UM News.

Churches celebrate end of 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak

United Methodist churches played a part in helping to share health and prevention information, as well as work to prevent the stigma Ebola survivors often face.
Mission and Ministry
Dozens gather for the burial of the Rev. Themba Siwela of Gutu Mupandawana Circuit Masvingo District. Many did not wear face masks or maintain social distancing. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Close ties challenge rural Africa COVID-19 fight

Close relationships in rural Africa make social and physical distancing to avoid COVID-19 culturally difficult.
Mission and Ministry
The Nyadire Social Committee distributes food to families at The United Methodist Church’s Nyadire Mission in Mutoko, Zimbabwe. The Nyadire Connection, an all-volunteer group founded by individuals from a network of United Methodist churches in Pittsburgh, raised more than $25,000 for food relief at the mission. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Donations pour in for church hospitals, missions

United Methodist hospitals in Zimbabwe receive protective gear for front-line workers, while mission families get food relief from Nyadire Connection.