Why Build a University in Karagwe?

Why Establish a University in Karagwe? 

KARUCO – Karagwe University College 

The aim of establishing KARUCO is to prepare young people from Tanzania to build entrepreneurial Agri-business committed to sustainability and social justice – – That will bring social and economic transformation to Karagwe and surrounding areas. 

Why Entrepreneurial Agri-business? 

Agriculture is the backbone of the Tanzanian economy. More than 90% of people in Karagwe are small-scale farmers and more than 80% of all Tanzanians rely on agriculture to live from day to day. Most farm for subsistence. These people face overwhelming challenges including depleted soils, poor seeds, lack of clean water, lack of access to meaningful markets, and confining roles especially for women who toil, fetch water and supplies but are removed from revenue chains. Consequently people have poor health services, poor or nonexistent infrastructure, and for many – lack of quality education. KARUCO’s focus on Agri-business would allow for improved farming techniques; diversified crops, amended soils, pest management, increased livestock productivity, and would introduce technology and global markets. There is support for the KARUCO plan at the leadership and grass roots levels demonstrated by people of Karagwe’s willingness to donate sacrificially to the building of KARUCO. The ELCT has built multiple feeder schools since 2000 and is especially proud of its successful secondary schools – KARASECO and Bweranyange Girls Secondary School. KARUCO would build on what the people already know and would be the incubator for entrepreneurial agri-business, economic prosperity and social justice. 

Dr. Benson Bagonza, native to Karagwe, proposed the idea of KARUCO- Karagwe University College – as a result of his doctoral dissertation research at the University of Chicago. His work focused on direct strategies to grow rural economies through entrepreneurial and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Bagonza lived in the U.S. for eight years and saw clearly the difference between developed and developing countries. He conducted research on sustainable practices in developing areas of South America. He had many invitations to remain in the U.S. but he returned to his people in Tanzania to address the issues surrounding crippling poverty and to assume his role as bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tanzania (ELCT) in Karagwe. Dr. Bagonza’s concept paper proposing KARUCO is available: 


The formal decision to establish Karagwe University College (KARUCO) was made by the 16th General Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Karagwe Diocese in 2006. The Assembly saw clearly the needs of the people for reformed agricultural practices and responded to those needs by approving the proposed establishment of a university focused on agriculture and environmental sustainability. They cited that the establishment of KARUCO is in line with the Diocesan vision of working toward a society that is “joyful, peaceful and holistically empowered” – a vision that is to be achieved in part through building a healthy and educated community with solid infrastructure, access to affordable services, and access to opportunities for economic growth for all.

ELCT Management Team

The leaders in Karagwe believe that education is critical to national economic development and to the alleviation of poverty. KARUCO will focus on hands-on applications of best practices related to crop production, animal husbandry and business entrepreneurship. Students and faculty will collaborate with farmers in the community and will help create a transformed mindset that brings about economic development and growth. 

Educate Tanzania is partnering with like-minded agricultural universities to address poverty and co-write KARUCO’s program (EARTH University; College of AG at the University of MN). See previous blogs (January 2013). EARTH University in Costa Rica 

has twenty years of experience under its belt. EARTH takes immense pride in its multitude of successes as it mentors and trains young people from developing countries around the world to infuse entrepreneurial agri-business into developing economies. 
Typical Crops
Check out the latest from EARTH University: 


Upcoming Blogs: Why Social Justice? Why Environmental Sustainability? 

Blurb: KARUCO will train and empower women to claim their voice in entrepreneurial businesses and ‘get closer’ to revenue streams that traditionally are earmarked for men. KARUCO aims at training skilled personnel in environmental matters, who will help to avert current trends of environmental degradations and work to support methods that make the most use of what resources are available. 

Girls Working the Land

Visit the ELCT website and Concept Paper: Karagwe University College 


For further information please contact: 

Rev. Dr. Brighton Katabaro, Coordinator, KARUCO 

Email: [email protected] 

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