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Development projects: infrastructure and education

Owen Falls hydroelectric scheme

Photographs showing the release of water and the Queen’s visit to the opening of the Owen Falls DamThe Queen’s visit to the opening of the Owen Falls DamThe multi-million-pound hydroelectric scheme at Owen Falls in Jinja, aimed at harnessing the White Nile for electricity, is regularly celebrated in the Uganda review.

So too are many other projects which aided or relied upon the scheme. African students from the development-funded Engineering School of the Public Works Department assisted in the initial survey for the project.

Later in its development, it was reported that ‘power has already been allocated for a grain drying plant, the textile mill and also for the new cement works at Tororo’. In this way, it is an excellent example of what Michelle Bournonniere calls the ‘ripple effects’ of development projects.

The opening of the Owen Falls Dam was welcomed with great fanfare, even attracting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose visit was afforded much coverage, as the image reproduced to the right illustrate.

Makerere College

The subject of no fewer than six articles in as many years within Uganda review, Makerere College (now Makerere University) was ‘an Inter-Territorial College designed to serve the whole of East Africa’. 

Although its origins predate the Colonial Development and Welfare Act (1940), readers were left in no doubt as to the reason for its growing successes, as summarised by the then Governor of Uganda, Sir John Hathorn Hall:

Makerere’s greatest benefactor of all, the British taxpayers, those anonymous, quixotic individuals, who have dived into pockets already almost emptied by taxation to find the money, the hundreds of thousands of pounds, needed in order that young Africans, whom they have never seen and will never see, should have the privilege of a higher education which they themselves for the most part cannot afford to give their own sons.

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