The Mastercard Foundation has announced it is contributing $1 million (Shs3.7 billion) towards the reconstruction of the Makerere University Main Building also known as the Ivory Tower which was razed by fire on Sunday.
According to a letter by the Mastercard Foundation president and CEO, Reeta Roy, the news of the fire was saddening for everyone.
“I was saddened to learn about the fire at Makerere University and the extensive damage to the iconic building. Thankfully, there were no injuries or loss of life. You do not need more challenges during a time you are leading the university and your teams through a global pandemic as well as preparing to receive medical and final-year students in mid-October. Our hearts go out to you. We understand that the efforts to repair and rebuild as well as recover records are considerable,” Reeta said in the letter.
He announced a $1 million support to the university to enable efforts for reconstruction of the Ivory Tower.
The Sunday morning fire that started from the Public Relations office razed the main administration building at Makerere University destroying invaluable records and property worth millions of shillings.
According to Makerere University, the Main Administration Building was completed in 1941 under the leadership of George C. Turner, the Principal, Makerere College (1939-46).
Earlier in 1938, theDuke 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 Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Alex Kakooza noted that the university did not lose only the build but an iconic figure that it presented.
“This is an iconic building not only in this country but world over. You could be the most recognizable building in this country and you can talk of Makerere University and don’t mention the Ivory Tower,” he said.
According to Prof.Buyinza Mukadasi, the Director of Research and Graduate Training the building was the identity and heritage of the country’s main university.
“There are not many buildings of that nature still standing in Uganda. There is no amount of money that can give the satisfaction one could get with that building. We are now a society without a history because it was part of the civilization of the country,” Buyinza said.