Prince Louis Rwagasore

Prince Louis Rwagasore

He was the son of Mwami (King) Mwambutsa IV.

 He founded a series of African cooperatives to encourage economic independence, but these were quickly banned by Belgium in 1958.

That same year, the prince established a nationalist political movement, Unity for National Progress (UPRONA).

At the first UPRONA Congress (March 1960), Rwagasore demanded complete independence for Burundi and called on the local population to boycott Belgian stores and refuse to pay taxes. Because of his calls for civil disobedience, he was placed under house arrest.

Despite the setbacks, Rwagasore and UPRONA won a clear victory in elections for the colony’s Legislative Assembly in 1961, winning 80 percent of the vote. The next day, he was declared Prime Minister, with a mandate to prepare the country for independence.

Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium was named in his honour and the football club Prince Louis FC. His tomb was constructed on the hills overlooking Bujumbura and consists of a memorial with three arches. 

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