President Paul Kagame is committed to supporting Ntare School, his former school in southwestern Uganda.
This was contained in Kagame’s message delivered to the school alumni, by Chief Justice Prof. Sam Rugege, at a re-union attended by over 200 Old Boys (OBs) from Rwanda and Uganda.
The school over the weekend hosted members of the Ntare School Old Boys Association (Nsoba). Presidents Kagame and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda are some of the OBs of the school.
“He acknowledges the significant role Ntare School has played in educating and molding the character of several Rwandans, a few of whom are here today,” Prof. Rugege, also a Ntare OB, said while conveying the President’s message.
“They include government officials and leaders in the private sector, all of whom, led by President Kagame, are playing an important role in the reconstruction of their country that had been torn apart by 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” he said.
The two-day re-union climaxed Saturday with several activities. They included Nsoba general meeting and election of new office bearers, inauguration of new dormitories, launch of a greening project, an OBs website, and a fundraising drive for the school’s new sports stadium.
Kagame donated $30,000 (about Rwf20,136,200).
Ntare OBs want to construct a UgShs817 million sports complex complete with three football pitches, a cricket oval, basketball and volleyball courts. The move is aimed at enhancing sports.
The Chief Justice noted that the close relationship of the two countries is not built only on political and economic cooperation but also on social ties such as the one between Ntare School OBs in Rwanda and Uganda.
President Museveni, who attended the function together with Premier Amama Mbabazi, also an OB of the school, pledged UgShs100 million (Rwf26,320,600) for the stadium project.
Museveni told current students that what the continent needs are skilled intellectuals.
“What Africa needs is intellectualisation and skilling of our societies. The continent has got all the resources but what has been missing is intellectual capacity and skills,” he said.
“Sports, spirituality and discipline are vital, but you also need to be agents of change and help your communities to stop relying on subsistence agriculture,” President Museveni added.
Aaron Turamye, the chairperson Nsoba Rwanda, said that Rwandan OBs plan to construct a modern secondary school in Bugesera District, called Ntare School Rebero.
This Rwandan model, whose construction is due to start in January 2015, will accommodate about 1,000 students. It will be a joint undertaking by Nsoba Rwanda and the Ministry of Education.
The architectural design of the campus, on a 62-hectare piece of land, is complete and a fundraising dinner of the project, estimated to cost Rwf6 billion, is set for September 6.
“I congratulate Ntare Rwanda chapter for starting the project,” President Museveni said, noting that the project will go a long way in enhancing the two countries’ peoples relationships.
Chief Justice Rugege hailed Ntare School for molding him.
“It molded me intellectually and socially. I am proud of being an OB of this school,” he said.
The school, founded by Scottish educator William Crichton, in 1956, today has over 40 Rwandan students and boasts more than 100 Rwandan OBs.
Present at the re-union included Amb. Patrick Mazimpaka; Prof. Geoffrey Rugege, former Executive Director of the Rwanda Higher Education Council, Alfred Ndahiro (PhD), Adviser to the President, Dr Charles Gahima, Principal at Rwanda Teachers College, Ephraim Turahirwa, CEO of the Banque Populaire du Rwanda, former minister Eng. Protais Musoni, and former MP Gideon Kayinamura who was elected Nsoba vice-chairperson, replacing Dr Gahima.