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Africa University Scoops first prize in 2013 Service Excellence Awards

Africa University won the first prize in the higher education category of the 2013 Service Excellence Awards hosted by the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe.

Africa University brushed aside competition from the Midlands State University and the University of Zimbabwe which came first and second runner up respectively, and clinched the award ahead of 15 Universities in Zimbabwe.

The awards ceremony was held on 11 October 2013 at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare and was held under the theme: “celebrate success, inspire excellence.” Zambia’s former First Lady, Dr Maureen Mwanawasa served as Guest of Honour at the event. The Registrar of Africa University, Mr Soladoye Ajiboye and the Dean of Students, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, accepted the award on behalf of the University.

Commenting on the University’s recognition and success, Vice Chancellor of Africa University, Professor Fanuel Tagwira said the award was recognition of all the work that the University was involved in. “This award will make us work even harder to make sure we serve our students and other stakeholders even better. Our vision is to become a world class university on the African continent.”

He attributed AU’s service excellence to deliberate efforts to provide a unique and conducive learning environment to students; the University’s primary clients. Professor Tagwira said it remained important for the University to continuously strive to deliver excellent services in the core areas of its mandate which are teaching, research and community engagement. Professor Tagwira revealed that a number of projects were initiated since 2008, which included full backup power for all University buildings, an improved water situation through refurbishments of boreholes and the introduction of wi-fi network throughout the campus, including hostels and outside spaces. Priority was also given to repairs and maintenance of infrastructure despite limited resources.

Professor Tagwira highlighted that in the next few years, “students will not simply be fighting for a place in a university but they will be fighting for a place in a good University. Therefore, “service and academic excellence will be major determining factors of which University will attract adequate numbers of students,” said Prof. Tagwira. He added that Africa University was uniquely placed to be a University of choice, and the Service Excellence Award bore testimony to that.

The Service Excellence Awards, now in their second year running are managed by the Contact Centre Association of Zimbabwe, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.

The annual event serves to promote a culture of service excellence in Zimbabwe, and was held during the week when Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating Customer Services Week.

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