What to do in Kigali after Transform Africa Summit 2018

Exhibitors showcase their products in Kigali’s Car Free Zone, one of the places to visit after TAS in Kigali. Sam Ngendahimana.

Curtains will today come down on the Transform Africa Summit 2018 which attracted over 4,000 delegates from across the continent and beyond, whose discussions were centred around the theme; Accelerating Africa’s Single Digital Market.

Like with previous high-profile meetings, there is a lot of explorative and fun options for delegates to explore after the main business of the summit is done with.

Visit a Genocide memorial:

For many first time travelers to Rwanda, a visit to a Genocide memorial site is top of the itinerary, before embarking on other activities.

Others prefer to save this trip to the memorial for last, before embarking on the journey back home. Either way, it is the best way to learn firsthand about the events leading up to the Genocide against the Tutsi, how it was executed, and the new post-Genocide dispensation.

At the Kigali Genocide Memorial (KGM,) one will also learn about the critical role of the arts and theater in promoting unity and reconciliation after the Genocide, embodied in the spectacular outdoor amphitheater on the memorial grounds.

KGM also has a souvenir shop where one can pick up books on the Genocide or art pieces made by Genocide survivors’ cooperatives.

There is also the Campaign Against the Genocide Museum that details how a group of young Rwandans under the Rwandan Patriotic Front managed to stop the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Art galleries:

Speaking of souvenirs, Rwanda’s burgeoning contemporary art scene has given rise to a number of art spaces and art collectives, all keen on selling that memorable souvenir to remind you of your time in Rwanda.

Inema, Ivuka, Inganzo, Niyo, and City Arts Kigali are some of the preeminent names that come to mind. Increasingly, these galleries are also offering complimentary treats like traditional dances, drumming, and live music performances like the Inema Happy Hour at Inema Art Center every Thursday night.

Made-in-Rwanda Exhibition at Car Free Zone:

A direct offshoot of the Made-in-Rwanda campaign, which encourages local consumption as opposed to imports, the Made-in-Rwanda Exhibition opened on Tuesday May 8, at the Kigali Car Free Zone. It runs till Friday May 11.

This is the best place to pick your locally tailored clothing, footwear, art and crafts, and food, among others.

Kigali Cultural Village:

The Kigali Cultural Village is the ultimate gateway into the culture and heritage of Rwanda. It is located strategically at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, home to many international social and cultural gatherings.

At the moment, the village offers several stands selling Made-in-Rwanda clothing, handcrafts, food and beverages, among others. Even the construction is made to replicate traditional Rwandan architecture.

Visit a media house:

The ever expanding news media scene in the country is evident from the number of new media companies setting up base in Kigali, in addition to the old. Prominent media houses include; the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency – the public broadcaster (radio and TV), The New Times daily newspaper, a host of local news websites like Igihe.com and Inyarwanda.com, not to mention private FM radio and TV stations.

There is also the state-of-the-art CNBC Africa studio and lounge, located right at the Kigali Convention Centre, and that broadcasts live most of the major gatherings at the venue.

Read a book:

The Kigali Public Library leads the pack of libraries and reading houses in the city, with several others operating at community level.

Kigali City Tour:

The Kigali City Tour can be arranged either by the Rwanda Development Board, or private tour operators. This will take you through key historical and architectural landmarks in the city like the first modern house in Kigali that belonged to a German colonial administrator.


When night falls over Kigali, residents take to different ‘happening’ places in pursuit of good roast meat, beer, and music. Places like Choma’d, Inka Steak House, and Pili Pili pride themselves on their grilled meats, while those looking for an authentic East African carnivore experience will head to the Car Wash Bar and Grill.

If you are in need of dancing, the best bets are; People Bar and Dance Venue, JJ’s Club at Park Inn by Radisson Blu, and Cocobean Bar and Restaurant.

Today there will also be a ‘Kigali Night Run’, which you don’t want to miss.

Horse riding:

Go horse-racing at one of the country’s main horse-riding destinations, Fazenda Sengha on top of Mt. Kigali. And, while there, and if the weather permits, try out ziplining from this imposing mountain that gives you the view of Kigali City.


Enjoy a game of golf at the newly refurbished 18-hole Kigali Golf Club in the heart of the city, and learn from industry insiders about the country’s ambitious plan to turn golf into a high-end tourism product.


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