Government allays fears over special economic zone

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has assured businesses that are supposed to relocate from the Gikondo Industrial Park in Kicukiro District to the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) in Nyandungu, Gasabo District that the zone would be ready by the end of this month.
During the first phase, 14 industries are expected to relocate, while the second phase will see warehouse and garage operators shift to the zone. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
During the first phase, 14 industries are expected to relocate, while the second phase will see warehouse and garage operators shift to the zone. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has assured businesses that are supposed to relocate from the Gikondo Industrial Park in Kicukiro District to the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) in Nyandungu, Gasabo District that the zone would be ready by the end of this month.

This comes after members of the chamber of industries at the Private Sector Federation expressed worries over the lack of power at the economic zone, which has hindered them from relocating as earlier been envisaged.

The industrialists said that, contrary to earlier reports that the first phase of the project was 100 per cent complete, some infrastructure, including power connection are not yet in place.

Uncertainty

Businesses and factories were earlier scheduled to relocate to the special economic zone in May this year, a deadline that was pushed to August, but to date, none of the 14 factories meant to relocate, has moved.

Industrialists said the situation has created uncertainty among sector players and is hurting their business.

“Because we were told we would relocate to the special economic zone early this year, we stopped investing in the businesses while at the Gikondo Industrial Park. We are not sure when the special economic zone will be ready up to now. This is hurting our business and plans,” one of the industrialists who preferred to remain anonymous, said.

However, Alex Ruzibukira, the director general in charge of industry and SMEs department at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that concerning power, government will set up two sub-stations to supply electricity to the zone before industrialists can relocate.

“Most of the work at the economic zone is ready, but we first needed to address the issue of power supply. We believe everything will be ready by the end of this month,” he said.

Ruzibukira pointed out that after power is installed at the zone, all businesses will be given six months to relocate.

“After this, we shall be looking at the second phase of relocation exercise, where all warehouses and garages will have shifted to the special economic zone by the end of 2015,” Ruzibukira said.

During the first phase, 14 manufacturing plants are expected to relocate, while the second phase will see warehouse and garage operators move to the zone.

The relocation exercise is expected to be completed by end 2016, according to Ruzibukira. So far, the completed part of the Special Economic Zone, which covers 98 hectares, has attracted 54 companies, according to John Bosco Sendahangarwa, the head of the Special Economic Zones Authority of Rwanda.

The KSEZ is developed through a partnership between Rwanda Development Bank, Rwanda Social Security Board, insurance firm Sonarwa, Prime Holdings, Magerwa and Bond Trading.

 

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