I saw a piece of news in this paper that I am certain I was not seeing for the first time. Only that this time it had a huge price attached to it. Rwf500 million is to be spent on naming public roads in Kigali city in the next three months using numerical and alphabetical codes.
A couple of years back, there was talk of naming roads in Kigali and the public was called upon to suggest names for certain roads. A few roads were named and the process went silent. Now we are back to that with this recent announcement.
Anyone will confess that tracking the location of a place in Kigali be it a home or a business premise is so much work that costs a lot in terms of time and money. The typical experience often involves lots of phone calls between the person being directed and the one trying to find the place.
During such exchanges one is compelled to try and identify different landmarks that may include, but not limited to, traffic lights, road junctions, and huge trees, the colours of certain gates and prominent organisations or businesses in the vicinity of the place.
It is also common for those directing to try a hand at drawing maps for those who intend to come over while others are left at the mercy of finding a taxi motor driver who is aware of the place trying to be located. It can be a disaster if you land on one who claims to know the place but does not actually know and you end up losing more time and money.
In business schools students are often taught that the location of a business is one of the key factors an entrepreneur must consider. However, if the tracing of that location is a hassle as is often the case in our city then many are compelled to think again about where to locate their businesses.
It would therefore be very good if the process to name the roads is fast–tracked hastened to save business owners the agony of clients who get lost while trying to locate their premises. The streets should have clear labels so that one can know when they have reached the street or road they were looking for.
Some businesses are harder to locate because they are situated in predominantly residential areas and so even some of the locals are not aware of what is done behind the high walls and gates. With a clear naming system it will be easier for one to trace such places.
Those with commercial buildings should also find a way of naming them boldly so as to make life easy for one to trace them. For example, the Giseminti area all the way to Kimironko is now lined with several structures of about the same height and size yet few have names.
Actually the city authorities should, compelling owners of the buildings to clearly display the names of their buildings so that one can know they are at the right building. All said and done it is important to get this process right so that time and money are saved. It is one aspect of improving the business environment that we need to sort out now.