By Misheck Daka   

The Scriptures reveal to us that after God created the world He stood back in appreciation and confirmed that it was VERY GOOD! (Genesis 1:31.). Yet many of us who have called out a plumber, carpenter or builder to carry out some work for us have ended up on most occasions being dissatisfied with the service. It's common practice for one to change craftsmen on account of poor workmanship. The "Very Good" feeling about their work is absent in many a tradesman's work. This begs the question as to what exactly is the state of tradesmen in Zambia. It's either the tradesman do not possess the necessary skills or have a poor work culture. In order to appreciate the genesis of the problem facing us today one has to go back in history.

Before independence, the colonial masters used an apprentice system to equip tradesmen for the task they needed to do. Training was largely on the job when skills were transferred from a master craftsman to an apprentice by observation, imitation and repetition. In a time where formal education was not prevalent, many of our forefathers acquired necessary skills mostly through the apprentice system. This was a very effective and accessible way of "hands on" training that brought out a generation of skilled workers who in some cases, like in the mining industry, were certified as Master Craftsmen.

The advent of independence brought with it a quest for white collar jobs. Hands on craft skills were largely seen as belonging to those who could not make it through the education ladder. The post-independence leaders, in their desire to develop the country, embarked on a number of projects in infrastructure which included the building of schools and colleges. The first university was also built in order to meet the growing need of the independent Zambia. The impact of this was three fold. Firstly, the quantum and quantity of projects embarked upon outstripped the available resources of skilled labour prompting the need to outsource labour elsewhere popularly known as expatriate staff. Secondly, although trade schools and technical colleges were established, the graduates were not sufficient to meet the growing need of an expanding economy. Thirdly, the apprentice system which had the merits of transferring skills from a seasoned Master Craftsman to a young person took a back seat in the light of formal education. The much needed skills transfer mechanism therefore faded away as most Master Craftsmen retired.

In a recent past the situation of tradesmen has even been worsened as most trade schools have been converted into universities. A case in point is the conversion of the "Zambia Institute of Technology" into what is now known as the Copperbelt University. The net result is that Technical Vocation and Entrepreneurship Authority (TEVETA) is now producing low numbers of construction related craftsmen compared with the demand. The recent boom experienced in the construction industry has just served to bring into sharp focus the skills shortage. It is hardly surprising therefore that some who would be mere helpers to tradesmen are masquerading and offering themselves as craftsmen. This group of people would not have spent enough time in training with the master craftsmen to master the skills of the trade. Despite this fact they boldly do not hesitate to offer themselves to fill vacancies because of the prevailing high demand of construction activities. This practice of employing unqualified artisans who have neither acquired skills through an apprentice system nor through a trade school is largely responsible for poor workmanship in the industry. From the above scenario, it is clear that there is need to redress the situation if a high quality of work is to be carried out in a sustainable manner that is beneficial to society. Many universities are being established, while few trade schools are coming up. Whereas universities offer intellectual knowledge, trade schools like the apprentice system, offer "hands on" practical skills.

The market therefore is crying out for a university that excels not only in academia but has also the accompanying skills of practical work. Such a university would answer and would remain relevant to the current social need in Zambia. ACU has been established to fill that vacuum with a Christian perspective. When God created man He put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it well before the fall. ACU will set pace for a skill oriented curriculum that is not deficient in intellectual excellence. The University will aim to uphold biblical work ethics that produce quality products from skills developed during training within the theoretical knowledge acquired in its quest to bring solutions to society's problems. Graduates from the institution would in the long run save on time of execution of projects, manage cost overruns and ensure that a high standard of job performance is maintained. The benefits to the economy are enormous, especially if the graduate rises to supervisory levels. He or she would ensure quality jobs are carried out at first attempt without being repeated and so bring savings both in cost and time. As quality jobs would be carried out to a set standard, there would also be an intrinsic assurance of value for money as product will perform as designed. The ACU will instil in the graduates to rediscover the "Very Good" Concept. May the Lord bless the vision of ACU.

By Dr. Ken Turnbull, ACU Vice-Chancellor    

This information can be viewed on the ACU website.

The Student Labour Programme (SLP) is a significant part of the whole-life education approach of ACU. Setting Christian worldview development as a goal of higher education requires the work of God's Spirit in the life of each student. This invokes the role of prayer and God's Word (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Timothy 4:4-5) as critical components of ACU's educational endeavours. The SLP is the hands-on, practical experience of the Christian worldview where intensive discipleship occurs supplementing the classroom and other extra-curricular expressions of the Christian worldview at ACU.

ACU intends that students experience the Christian worldview throughout their education. Many practical aspects of the Christian worldview may run contrary to the cultural experience of the students. The principles of subduing the earth as God's image bearer (Genesis 1:26-28) and of cultivating (nourishing, promoting or advancing) and keeping (maintaining, sustaining and controlling) the earth's resources over which God has made us His stewards (Genesis 2:15 and 1:26-28) are critical aspects of living out a Christian worldview for God's glory.

Africa has not developed according to this Christian worldview. There is need to develop this worldview as the motivation for hard work and an other-oriented, service mentality exemplifying that by serving God through our labours (where our labour in itself is the way we glorify God and please Him through our obedience) we are showing love to one another for their good and not solely for our own benefit.

ACU desires that every student experience a missional lifestyle that purposes the growth of the kingdom of God through His church. Students are being equipped as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) in every academic discipline for their vocational service to God. The full SLP Purpose is available. 

  If God has gifted you as an artisan of excellence in any aspect of the construction trade, consider discipling colleagues and students with ACU. Please contact us if you believe God is calling you to serve His kingdom work in this way. Email: info@acu-zambia.com
By Lisa Turnbull     

ACU: Where were you born?
Daniel: I was born on the Copperbelt, in Kitwe, Zambia.

ACU: What church do you attend?
Daniel: I attend Kabwata Baptist Church.

ACU: How are you paying for your education at ACU?
Daniel: I am currently being sponsored.

ACU: What has been the most impacting thing you have learned in the classroom?
Daniel: For me, I think it's been the implementation of the Christian worldview in every aspect of life, seeing how in everything we do, in this case being work, we must do it to the glory of God. Also the cultural mandate from Genesis 1:28 is one which caught my attention where God commands us to subdue the earth.

ACU: What are your thoughts on the Student Labour Programme?
Daniel: I think it's a good initiative and encourages students to develop useful skills in life and of course promotes a good work ethic. It's also a good way to subdue the earth if I may put it that way.

ACU: What would you say to others about ACU?
Daniel: ACU is a good university, although I think that's an understatement. It's quite unique in the sense that the education we receive is not just to find employment and earn money, but ultimately to glorify God!

ACU: What would you like to do after you complete university?
Daniel: I hope study architecture.


By sponsoring a student, you can make a direct investment in his or her life and future. Equipped with a degree from ACU, our graduates will be better able to care for their families, and as ambassadors for Christ, to revitalise their communities for the glory of God. A one-year sponsorship can help ensure that a student succeeds at ACU and ultimately graduates. Any amount will help make a difference. 


If God has gifted you as an artisan of excellence in any aspect of the construction trade, consider discipling colleagues and students with ACU. Please contact us if you believe God is calling you to serve His kingdom
k in this way. Email: info@acu-zambia.com

Current Faculty Needs:   
Theology, Education, Business and Agriculture  
with future expansion to cover  
all humanities and sciences

* Due to the excessively high, projected expense of supplying sustainable water to the Chisamba campus property, alternate land is again being considered for the development of ACU's long-term campus. Please pray for that process. In the meantime, operations continue to expand at ACU's Ibex Hills campus in Lusaka.

* Pray for the person that the Lord will call to work with Mr. Chali Chakonta and the ACU Construction Working Committee to help lead up the campus construction work.

* Pray for the families that are raising support to move to Zambia to work with ACU.

* Pray for the Faculty Development Workshop Series.  Pray for the potential Zambian faculty members that are capturing the vision and growing in practical understanding and enthusiasm to join in the challenging, yet rewarding work of ACU.

* Pray for the Paul family as they continue with their medical furlough in Canada.

* Pray for the faculty that will be teaching this final term, and for the students to persevere in completing this year with joy.
* We are thankful for the marriage engagement of our Maths instructor, Davey Hoffman, to Phindile Khanda

* Thank God for the continued global financial support of the ACU project ... thank you for your part!

* We are grateful for the many invitations to address students at various secondary schools in Lusaka and other parts of Zambia about the unique opportunities for Christian higher education at ACU.

* Thank God for the faithful Zambian volunteers who are producing promotional videos for ACU. It's exciting to see how the team effort of ACU development is always expanding.
Print this Update
Download a copy of the ACU July Prayer Update to print and hand out at your church.

Help us build the Jonathan Edwards library collection. Our immediate need is in the disciplines of education agriculture and business. These books do not need to be explicitly Christian, just intellectually informative, legitimate and current. Please help us with this important request.
for further information, please contact library@acu-zambia.com

Check out our new
construction video!

The "Friends of ACU" campaign seeks partners for a 10 month duration to
support special projects with monthly gifts in 3 categories:

Bronze K500/mo
Silver K1,000/mo
Gold K1,500/mo

Contact Gladys Mposha for more information or to sign up as a partner. gladys.mposha@acu-zambia.com.
ACU is seeking a qualified individual for the position of librarian.

Duties include: cataloguing, online resource development, faculty & student relations, supervision of volunteers & students. Knowledge of KOHA an asset. This a volunteer position. For more information, contact library@acu-zambia.com.

Conrad Mbewe5   
A Letter From Kabwata