KIGALI - The long awaited mega commercial centre project in the country slated to cost 200m dollars (approximately Rwf 117.6bn) was launched yesterday in Kigali city.
The ground breaking ceremony of the project dubbed ‘Downtown Ltd’, to be situated at the former Kigali Central Police Station in Muhima, was graced by Kigali City Mayor, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira.
The project, on a seven hectare land, will include shopping malls, plaza, apartments, hospitality facilities such as hotels, hospitals and restaurants and a commuter terminal of international standards.
Sekoko Hatari, one of the proprietors of the project, said that the terminal, which is in the first of the four-phase project, will be complete in three months. Other areas to be complete in the first phase are drainage systems and roads that will also include flyovers connecting to the upper city centre.
The terminal scheduled to be operational effective next year, will accommodate 507 cars; with 169 minibuses and 145 buses. Currently, there are about 1,180 commuter vehicles operating in Kigali city.
The Muhima terminal will also act as a parking yard for private cars and all special hire taxis.
By March this year, both private and public cars in the city had risen to 60,000 from 22,000 in 1994, increasing vehicle volumes and causing traffic problems.
“We have gone a long way to make this day come to true, and the private sector must be the backbone of the development of the country. We have all the opportunities around us,” Hatari who is also one of the proprietors of Kigali City Tower said.
Kirabo thanked the shareholders of the project, who include Ugandan tycoons, Sudhir and Joshnna Ruparelie for making ‘Doing Business’ a reality.
“It’s one thing looking at figures and realizing that we made a stride but it’s another seeing the reality of development on the field,” Kirabo said, commending the proprietors for their commitment in the implementation of the city Master Plan.
The mayor thanked the President Paul Kagame and stakeholders in the process for handing over the land as part of enhancing Doing Business in Kigali and pledged further support in seeing the project come to reality.
The mega project will be developed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the developers of Kigali City Tower, RAMA headquarters and ZIGAMA CSS. They also built Amahoro National Stadium in Remera.