Will the $100m project to redevelop Kimironko market finally take-off?

The city master plan says that the Kimironko Hub will be ready by 2040, the investor have set for themselves a deadline of 2023.
Kimironko market. Emmanuel Kwizera.

Activities to redevelop Kimironko market and Bus Park will start in the third quarter of this year, Gasabo Investment Group officials have said.

The venture, which is part of the Kimironko Hub project, is also among the many investments that were lined up countrywide but failed to take-off in time.

According to the Chairperson of Gasabo Investment Group, Fabrice Shema Ngoga, the implementation of the project—which comprises of a modern market, bus park, shopping mall, apartments, and a cinema—has been awaiting the unveiling of the City of Kigali infrastructure blueprint such as on roads, water projects, and bus rapid transit system.

He added that the company has been working with stakeholders to mobilise funding.

While the city master plan says that the Kimironko Hub will be ready by 2040, the investor have set for themselves a deadline of 2023.

“The (nearby) police facility will have to relocate because we bought that land for building the modern bus terminal and modern market and the first phase of the project begins around September. We are ready to start the first phase with $25 million,” Ngoga said.

The businesses operating from the bus park and market will be relocated to the new facilities while the current bus park and market are set to be transformed into the city’s biggest shopping mall.

Ngoga said that over Rwf8 billion has been spent on securing the land and expropriation.

“Besides buying the land on current market, the bus park are and another piece of land around, there are 31 private properties (houses) of people which we have to compensate in March so that they look for where to relocate to,” he said.

Over the course of four years, Ngoga said, the company will spend $100 million.

“The first phase will take one and a half years or even less” he said, adding that the second phase will take two and half years to complete.

“The whole project will be implemented on all the 102,000 square metres,” he said.

Under the proposal, he added, the company plans to build between 120 and 180 apartments and a three-star hotel.

The project has so far attracted over 520 shareholders who are part of the investment company.

“This is a public investment company since the public are allowed to come and buy shares. One share is Rwf20, 000 but the minimum shares that can be bought must be 120 shares, worth Rwf2.4 million, meaning that and people can put themselves together to buy that.

 We have initial investments and several external financing mechanisms such as financial institutions among other strategies to raise money,” he said.

Creating jobs

Ngoga added that the project will create over 10,000 jobs.

“We look at jobs created during construction and those created after completion through the businesses occupying the complexes.  We hope that the market, bus terminal, the hotel, the cinema hall will create more jobs,

For instance, while the current market accommodates about 1,200 small business, there will be additional 3,500 more businesses in the modern market,” he said

Joselyne Mukankusi, a market vendor in Kimironko, appealed for improved water supply systems as well as increased storage facilities for traders.

“We have been hearing about improving the market but we are yet to know when this will start. The market is small and we need a bigger and modern one. We also need a better system of sanitation. And rooms for breastfeeding women as well,” she said.