President Paul Kagame has pledged Rwf100m as support to the construction of Ntare School, Rwanda Chapter. Uganda’s President Yoweli Museveni, who, together with President Kagame, are Old Boys (OB), contributed US$500,000 (Rwf350m).
Kagame studied at the school from 1972 to 1976, while Museveni was there from 1962 to 1966.
He made the pledge Friday evening March 6, during a fund-raising dinner organized by Ntare OBs Association, which was attended by several other dignitaries included Burundian 2nd Vice President, Gervais Rufyikiri, foreign delegates, top Rwandan officials and members of business community from both countries.
The Rwf6billion secondary school to be constructed in Bugesera District, Eastern Province, is meant to be raised to that of Ntare School in Uganda. The event raised US$1.26m for the school.
Speaking at Serena Hotel in Kigali, Kagame said, “Ntare school inculcated the spirit of responsibility right from a young age.”
Located in Mbarara town, Western Uganda, with no fence Kagame said that school “operated on an honour system.” He added that the sense of duty the school provided was enough to keep them in check.
Kagame, who spent over 30 years as a refugee in the neighboring Uganda after his family fled pre-independence ethnic oppression and violence in 1960, paid tribute to brave teachers of the school who nurtured him with a rich knowledge and discipline that has transformed him into a great leader.
The school, located in Mbarara, Western Uganda, is the only institution of learning in in East Africa that has produced two sitting heads of state, and other powerful politicians and business moguls.
“We had excellent teachers who guided our academic growth and reinforced values that our parents had instilled in us,” Kagame said. “Some of us were brought up in this school and the school provided us with another home away from refugee camps.”
According to President Museveni, Ntare School was the first non-religious in Uganda. He requested that the one in Rwanda should be the same that represents Rwanda and East Africa.
And Kagame added that indeed the institutional culture and values of Ntare is worth replicating in Rwanda.
Ntare is credited for allowing its students to rise above the turmoil that was in Uganda at the time. Founded by William Crichton, a Scottish, in 1956, Ntare currently has over 40 Rwandan students and more than 100 Rwandan OBs.
Apart from the two presidents’ pledges, other pledges were made by delegates who included Burundian 2nd Vice President, Gervais Rufyikiri, foreign delegates, top Rwandan officials and members of business community from both countries.