Ujiri, 52, is a close friend of Rwanda who contributed to the establishment of Kigali Arena currently branded as BK Arena following discussions with President Paul Kagame as they watched NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, Canada in 2016.
GOA is a basketball camp founded by Masai Ujiri as a platform to explore and nurture basketball talent among African youth.
It started in 2003 in Nigeria but in 2014 Ujiri took it outside of the country.
The renovation of the basketball court at Club Rafiki, Nyamirambo, launched on August 8, 2017 and camps to promote youth’s basketball talent since 2015 are among fruits of Ujiri’s contribution to the development of basketball in Rwanda and the African continent.
In February 2020, Kagame and Ujiri announced the Giants of Africa festival that was expected to take place in Kigali, August 2020, bringing together 11 countries.
At the time, Kagame thanked Ujiri for his work with Giants of Africa and said that the camp is crucial in developing the talents of African youth.
Ujiri also thanked the president for his role in the development of Africa and the way he puts into action everything he pledges, including the establishment of Kigali Arena.
This time around, Ujiri has owns land in Kigali City. In July last year, he was granted freehold land title for 2.4 hectares located in Remera at the former premises of Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) along the road to Amahoro Stadium by the Government of Rwanda.
Freehold land title refers to a property title by which the owner of the land owns it for perpetuity. In other words, freehold land title ownership has no limit in time for the landowner and its beneficiaries.
The land will be developed for infrastructures to help people in need of sports related services.
The area allocated for infrastructures to be set up by Ujiri is located in Kigali Sports Hub.
Infrastructures in the area are being developed in phases where BK Arena was inaugurated in 2019. Amahoro Stadium is also being upgraded to host football and Ruby games. There is also a small stadium that can host different volleyball games simultaneously as well as other facilities for Paralympic games.
The Amahoro Stadium being upgraded is expected to be completed in 2024. If everything goes well, another sports facility dubbed ‘Ujiri Court’ is also expected to be completed in the same year.
So far, the study plan for Ujiri’s project is underway.
Speaking to IGIHE, the Acting Director General of Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), Noel Nsanzineza has shed light on outcomes of the project.
“Normally, people going to watch games and entertainment activities need access to other recreational facilities. This is what Ujiri Court will solve. It will feature a Tennis and Basketball courts, and a space dedicated for lodges or hotel. It will also have a supermarket, all aligned with ambitions to promote sports,” he said.
Ujiri was born on 7th July 1970. His net worth is estimated to be around US$20 million. He earned the money from positions he assumed as the president of different teams.
The modern supermarket to be set up in Remera will be designated for sales of different sports items including clothes and balls among others.
“Ujiri Court is among projects set to commence. The investor has been given the land for such infrastructures complementing others being developed,” said Nsanzineza.
Apart from Ujiri Court, it is said that the project will also be comprised of a pool for contestants in international competition and other facilities.