Kigali Innovation City (KIC) project has secured its first funding support worth $20 million from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). The approximately Rwf20 billion investment is expected to support the development of basic infrastructure of KIC project such as roads, water, electricity, and broadband. The deal makes a way towards implementing the construction project valued at $300 million as revealed during the unveiling ceremony of the master plan of the innovation city on Friday December 17. KIC is a flagship government program aimed at creating an ecosystem centered on high-tech, innovation and talent development to accelerate Rwanda’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. To be built on 61 hectares in the Special Economic Zone, the project will encompass a work-live-play community that integrates universities, Grade A offices, residential and student housing, retail facilities and business hotels in an innovative and green smart-city concept. Some of the expected infrastructures of the City are already operational including Cooper Pharma, Carnegie Mellon University, and African Leadership University. Including also UR- Center of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering (CEBE) that is under construction and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences which is also considering the same. According to officials, these infrastructures account for 28 per cent of the allocated land of the project. Claire Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board said “Innovation is a strong element of Rwanda’s Vision so the Kigali Innovation City project is an important part for the development of our country. We are happy that BADEA will support the delivery of key basic infrastructure.” The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana noted: “This financing from BADEA will allow Government to meets its execution commitments which are mainly to deliver key infrastructure including roads, utilities such as electricity and water as well as well as digital infrastructure.” The Director-General of BADEA, Sidi Ould TAH said that the bank is committed to upscale its support to Rwanda especially in areas of ICT and innovation. “We believe digital transformation is not only an opportunity for Africa but the only way for Africa to achieve the fourth and fifth industrial revolution.” The KIC has attracted Africa50 –a pan-African infrastructure investment firm, as a co-developer together with the government of Rwanda to build the required ecosystem in the Kigali Special Economic Zone. Africa50 and Rwanda Development Board are investing 50-50 in the early-stage development activities to increase the bankability of the project with a view to also sourcing other strategic sponsors and co-investors. Cooperation between Rwanda and BADEA focuses on infrastructure development such as building a strong road network, increasing electricity coverage as well as water and sanitation.