Kigali Free Trade Zone faces delays

The development of infrastructure around the Kigali free –trade zone has been delayed due to technical problems, Business Times has learnt. This follows expiration the deadline set for infrastructure development including construction of tarmac roads, sewage system, water and electricity in December last year. 
Gashlan Ahmad, the Project Manager  explaining to the Rwanda Free Trade company chairman Jack Kayonga. (Photo/ F.Goodman)
Gashlan Ahmad, the Project Manager explaining to the Rwanda Free Trade company chairman Jack Kayonga. (Photo/ F.Goodman)

The development of infrastructure around the Kigali free –trade zone has been delayed due to technical problems, Business Times has learnt.

This follows expiration the deadline set for infrastructure development including construction of tarmac roads, sewage system, water and electricity in December last year. 

According to Gashlan Ahmad, the project Manager of the Construction firm charged with developing the Free Trade Zone, his Company encountered challenges related to design and procurement procedures.

Specifically only the construction of the road network has commenced though it is also not complete as it was expected to have tarmac   by November last year.

Rwanda Free Tradeco, a consortium of investors is managing the Free Trade Zone and Industrial Park.
The shareholders include; Rwanda Development Bank, Social Security Fund, Bond Trading, Prime Holding and SONARWA.

“The problem is with our contractor who seems to be slow according to the pace we wanted,” Alexis Ruzibuka, the Chairman of the taskforce managing the Free Trade Zone told Business Times on Monday shortly after a visit to the site.

Ruzibuka noted  that some of the necessary equipment was imported and waiting to be installed including: water tanks, electrical cables, pipes for the fiber optic and sewage system.

In a parallel interview, the Chairman of Rwanda Free Trade Zone Company Jack Kayonga, said though disappointed with the delays, he is optimistic that the project will go on as planned.

“Delay is not good for us as client on the business perspective but we have made it clear to the contractor that they have to meet the deadline of March as indicated in the contract,” Kayonga said.

If the contractor does not meet deadline, punitive measures will be taken and if the punishment adds up to 10 percent of the project, the contract will be dissolved.

When completed goods handled and re-exported around Free Trade Area will be tariff free.

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