Since its proposal in 2008, construction of the Rwanda International Trade and Exhibition Park (RITEP) by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) has been kept on hold due to lack of potential investors.
According to PSF’s Projects Manager, Gustave Nkurunziza, mobilization of the US $45 million (Rwf25 billion) required for its set up remains a major challenge as most investors who propose to fund the project end up pulling out for various reasons.
“We expected to have acquired some investors by the end of last year however things are not happening as planned. One of the major investors that had expressed interest is the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM).”
“EXIM however asked for a guarantee of about 60 million Euros from our government before they can invest in the project. This is definitely impossible because PSF is not under the government so they pulled out,” Nkurunziza explained.
The official who recently attributed the scarcity of potential investors to the current economic turn down also noted that the Federation officials are in talks with a person in Kenya who is in touch with other Chinese potential investors for the RITEP.
“We are meeting this individual next week and certainly we hope that there will be progress soon as regards this project,” he added.
The new premises are expected to have 18 exhibition halls each with 3000 square metres, parking capacity of about 900 cars and a five star hotel that will accommodate exhibitors who come to showcase their products, among others.
Apparently, a concept design and feasibility studies has been done and construction is expected to last 18 to 24 months.
PSF is the umbrella organization of private investors.