City of Kigali pitches investment opportunities

An aerial view of (clockwise) new-look KBC, Kigali Heights, Kigali Convention Centre, and Radisson Blu Hotel in Kimihurura. Officials at the City Hall yesterday pitched investment opportunities in Kigali to the business community. Emmanuel Kwizera.

For Rwanda to achieve its development goals, there is need for the private sector to seize investment opportunities in the service sector.

The observation was made yesterday during the Kigali Investors Forum, a platform through which the City of Kigali pitches to investors opportunities in the city.

City of Kigali Mayor, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, told investors that there were investment opportunities in the housing sector, especially in affordable rental houses.

Eric Rutabana, chief executive of the Development Bank of Rwanda, speaks during the Kigali Investors Forum yesterday. Looking on is Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, the City of Kigali mayor. Emmanuel Kwizera.

There are various opportunities for investors in Kigali, she said, highlighting construction of affordable housing as one of them.

“This is in line with developing housing conditions in the city, as well as improving different areas with poor housing."

Rwakazina also urged the business community to invest in establishing recreational areas, among other areas that have the potential to generate employment opportunities for the youth in the city.

Rwanda has identified affordable housing as one of its goals and established an “affordable housing fund,” in 2018.

Through the fund, people who invest in residential houses will get subsidies on the interest rate, paying about 10 per cent instead of the current 17 per cent.

Guy Baron, the Chief Investment Officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that a good service sector is a prerequisite for achieving the country's development objectives.

"There is a lot of demand for service jobs and service quality.  We have seen more training institutions coming up to try to provide the kind of people that are needed for businesses and acceleration of MICE," he said.

Rwanda’s service sector has been developing over the last few years.

In February this year, figures from the Rwanda Convention Bureau showed that the conference and tourism industry had generated $52 million in accommodation revenue from 35,000 international delegates received in the 2018/19 fiscal year.

Kigali was ranked the second most popular destination in Africa for international meetings and events by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Cape Town in South Africa was ranked first in Africa.

This year looks even brighter for the country’s conference tourism sector, which is expected to generate $74 million by June, according to Rwanda Convention Bureau.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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