Makerere University kicks off a UGX15 Billion drive to rebuild burnt ivory tower.
Following an outbreak that gutted the Makerere main building last two weeks destroying property and record worth millions, The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has announces a fundraising drive of over 15 Million that he says will contribute to the rebuilding of the iconic building.
He said during a media briefing at Makarere University that the drive is going to rely mostly on stakeholders including alumni, partners both local and International, and friends of the university.
“We want to rebuild the ivory tower, a strong symbol of education, respected globally. We have put measure for alumni and stakeholders to contribute. We have over 300,000 alumni all over the world that can contribute to the rebuilding of the Ivory Tower. In America only, there are 40,000 alumni but majority of them are here in Uganda. There are also those who worked here and have formed clubs” he said
Nawangwe said according to earlier government value, the cost of rebuilding was put at shs15 billion which he said will be used to procure modern materials which are more expensive than the material used by the colonial masters.
The university Vice Chancellor highlighted that though they are waiting for a preliminary report about the cause of the fire, they cannot take years without thinking about rebuilding the Ivory Tower.
“Supposing the investigation takes seven years! We all concerned about investigations but we want to rebuild it. We want to rebuild it because it is an iconic symbol not only in Uganda but in East and Central Africa and the world at large,” he said
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Umar Kakumba, said that Makerere University is preparing for the resumption of lectures following government easing of the lockdown due to COID19.
He said that the university university has over 1000 finalists residents which he said is a quarter of the total capacity of Makerere and that the number will be handled while following health guildlines and standard operations procedures.g
The Main Administration Building was completed in 1941 under the leadership of George C. Turner, the Principal, Makerere College (1939-46).
Earlier in 1938, the Duke of Gloucester, representing His Majesty King George VI had cut the first sod for the construction of the building on 3rd November.
The Main Building with its unique 20th-century British architecture is easily Makerere’s most recognisable symbol and was constructed with funds from the Colonial Development house.
The building’s construction was greatly delayed by a scarcity of resources to purchase materials as Britain and her allies grappled with the expenses of World War II.
As a result, some of the carpentry work had to be done on-site at the Technical College.
The Principal then focused on turning Makerere into a University College and establishing buildings. As a result both the St. Francis and St. Augustine Chapels were completed in the same year 1941 and by 1944, plans for the establishment of a School of Civil Engineering at Makerere were already being discussed by the British House of Commons.
By Stephen Galiwango