Makerere University Freedom Square redevelopment plans
An artistic impression of the Freedom Square by Prime Media Network after the current redevelopment,

Makerere University has released an artistic impression of how they plan to redevelop its Freedom Square.

The University Council and Management have finalized their procedures for upgrading and beautifying the legendary Freedom Square into a modern 21st-century green space.

Freedom Square is a hotbed for many students and staff assemblies. It the same ground used for graduation ceremonies at Makerere.

Recently, the University decided to fence off and cage the grounds, a move that was received with mixed emotions amongst the students.

Makerere University Freedom Square redevelopment plans
An artistic impression of the Freedom Square by Prime Media Network after the current redevelopment

This project which is aimed at beautifying the ground through undertaking simple landscaping, maintaining the greenery, and installing a modern lighting system already started on July 2019 when the University decided to construct a fence around the area.

According to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. William Bazeyo, although the Square will be redeveloped, it shall maintain its originality like preserving the historic trees and the green grass.

“It is going to be designed with furniture installed on the peripheral to give people shade and sitting space; as well as litter bins to keep the place clean and fresh. We also plan to install free internet hotspots for students’ usage,” Bazeyo said.   

Being one of the most famous landmarks because of its legendary function and strong historical background at the University, the Freedom Square is located between the University Main Building (the administrative block), the University Library and the School of Social Sciences.

Meanwhile, this ongoing facelift is aimed at ensuring that the University’s Square upgrades to a new and better look.

Makerere University Freedom Square redevelopment plans
An artistic impression of the Freedom Square by Prime Media Network after the current redevelopment.

History – Makerere University Freedom Square

The Freedom Square was the venue for the cutting of the first sod for the Main Administration Building (at the then Makerere College) by His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester on 3rd November 1938. 

On 8th October 1970, Makerere University was officially inaugurated as an autonomous University from the University of East Africa (UEA).

The Government of H.E. Dr Apollo Milton Obote organised a grand ceremony in the Freedom Square to which Presidents H.E. Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, H.E. Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and H.E. Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia were invited. 

The by then out-going Guild President, Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o had the privilege of bearing the University Mace.

Since that day, the Freedom Square has played host to the making of countless graduation memories. Prominent leaders from around the world have received their Bachelors, Masters, PhDs and Honorary Doctorate degrees of Makerere University in the Freedom Square.

To many Makerereans, the square is a symbol for freedom of expression and a place where they gather for peace talks.

By John Dalton Kigozi