The Institute of National Museums in Rwanda (INMR) has officially changed the Natural History Museum at Kandt House to Museum of Germany Colonial History.
In May 2016, Members of Parliament visited the Kandt House which is the remaining symbol of the Germany colonization in Rwanda, yet it was housing the Natural history museum.
The house belongs to Richard Kandt the first colonial master in Rwanda who governed Rwanda on behalf of Germany until the early 1900s.
They recommended that the museum be turned into the Museum of Germany Colonial History which should exhibit all the history of Germany in Rwanda.
“A lot of change is going to be done in this museum. We will insert more pictures detailing the history of Germans in Rwanda plus the bad and the ugly side of the German colonialists from the first day they stepped in Rwanda,” said Amb. Robert Masozera, the Director General of Institute of National Museums of Rwanda.
This will attract many visitors to the museum and tell more of the Rwandan story.
Currently, the museum receives around 1200 visitors every year, earning the country Rwf 2million.
“It has been a loss to many Rwandans because they would not be able to find that history anywhere but this renaming will give a bigger picture of the ancient Rwanda,” Masozera said.
While officiating at the inauguration event, Dr Peter Woeste the Germany Ambassador to Rwanda said that it was the right time for the museum to serve its purpose.
“It is good to have a new look which details the history and relation of Rwanda and Germany. Previously, the exhibition was made of a mixture of items, but the renaming will give it a clear line in telling relationship of Rwanda and Germany,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rwanda has eight museums from only one in 1994. INMR statistics indicate that the increase in historical sites has translated into an increase in museum tourists from 1000 in 1994 to 200,000 in 2017.
Income of the museum’s visit increased to Rwf200 million in 2017 from Rwf1 million in 1994.