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Dr. Olivia Muchena

Dr. Olivia Muchena is the former Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development for the Government of Zimbabwe.

She is a passionate educator of the next generation of African leaders in church, politics, and government. She is also a mother, grandmother, organic vegetable grower, and lay preacher in the United Methodist Church. Following a career spanning over 40 years—beginning with non-governmental organization (NGO) development work, academia, and politics and government—Dr. Muchena is excited to be synthesizing her lifelong observations and experiences. She is pilot testing a module she developed on Preparation for Ministry and Service in Politics and Government.

Dr. Muchena’s academic career of 17 years with the University of Zimbabwe began in 1979 as a research consultant in the Centre of Inter-Racial Studies. Then, she served in the Department of Adult Education, followed by tenure as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agriculture, Economics, and Extension. From 1995–2015, she served in the Government of Zimbabwe as an executive member of government and a Member of Parliament. Her portfolios include Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office for Land Reform and Resettlement, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender, and Community Development, and Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development. She served five consecutive terms as a Member of Parliament and then six months as a Senator.