But it was not only the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing his 95 Theses that was celebrated, but in particular the consecration of buildings for the future agricultural university of the diocese. In 2012, the foundation stone for the Karagwe University College (KARUCO) was laid. Five years later, already eleven buildings have been erected; for example, the laboratory building, the library and the two student dorms are already waiting for the first students. It is an ambitious project pursued by the diocese, which receives strong support from the diocese’s partners and church members and the local population, as is confirmed by Dr Brighton Katabaro, the project coordinator: “The first building that was erected – the administration block – was completely financed from own funds of the diocese. Equally, the construction costs of the church building, which will be used simultaneously as the lecture hall, has been financed by the diocese itself. Today has been a great day for the diocese; people are happy about what has been achieved so far.”
“By putting the focus on agriculture and environmental protection, we respond to the needs in Tanzania. We want to train specialists who can meet the challenges posed by climate change,” said Bishop Dr Benson Bagonza in his welcoming speech. He expressed the common hope that this university would boost Karagwe, so that it will no longer be among the most backward regions of Tanzania but will gain more attention.
All those present were aware that the KARUCO project was not completed as of today’s date, said Uli Baege, deputy head of the UEM Department Africa, who conveyed greetings on behalf of the UEM. “Quite the contrary: The work is only just beginning,” he said assuring that the UEM would continue to support the project, which was particularly evident by the secondment of a North-South co-worker. “We hope that the future university will become a centre of excellence which will be for the benefit of the country and its people.” In addition to delegates of the UEM, representatives of the Church of Sweden, of Educate Tanzania, an US association, of Danmission from Denmark as well as of partnership groups from Germany had accepted the invitation by the Karagwe Diocese.
The ELCT comprises 25 dioceses and is the second largest Lutheran church throughout the world. Four dioceses in the north of the country, including the Karagwe Diocese, are members of the United Evangelical Mission (UEM).