Construction works hamper relocation of industrial park

The relocation of factories and other facilities operating in Gikondo Industrial Park has been rescheduled to next month, according to the Minister for Trade and Industry.

The relocation of factories and other facilities operating in Gikondo Industrial Park has been rescheduled to next month, according to the Minister for Trade and Industry.

Relocation was previously set for May, but it was affected by delays in construction works at the new site.

Minister François Kanimba told The New Times, yesterday, that nine light industries will be relocated first because the construction works of their new premises are complete.

The exercise will see about 14 heavy and light factories moved to the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) in Nyandungu Sector, Gasabo District.

“The five remaining heavy factories will shift later after the new premises are fully constructed. We have a contractor ready to work on facilities for the heavy industries. However, the contractor is yet to get 20 per cent down payment, which is supposed to be met before construction commences,” he said.

The light industries will have been moved by the end of August.

An agreement to move Gikondo Industrial Park was signed in early 2011 between the trade ministry and Rwanda Free Zones Company Ltd.

Some of the terms of agreement include construction of facilities for the smooth relocation of factories to the KSEZ.

2005 organic law

The agreement is in line with the provisions of the 2005 Organic Law determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in Rwanda, after it was established that the current park was in a wetland.

According to the agreement, Rwanda Free Zones Company Ltd agreed to provide 20 hectares of land, while the Ministry of Trade and Industry will provide funds for relocating the Gikondo proprietors.

Claude Ngarambe, the officer in charge of marketing and business development at the Special Economic Zones Authority of Rwanda (SEZAR), said putting final touches to the facilities meant for housing relocated industries was slower than expected.

“Contractors who did not honour our deadline derailed the process, but now everything is already complete and by end August nine industries will have been transferred to KSEZ,” he said.

The relocation is expected to cost government more than Rwf35 billion, although factory owners will foot the bills of transporting their machines.

 In April, government released guidelines for persons willing to invest in SEZs. The rules include authorisation of setting up of one-stop-shops in the zones, issuance of licences, creation of special zones and modalities regarding development and operation of the zones.

All the guidelines have been promulgated in the national gazette.

“We are ready to be relocated but the process is taking long. We are waiting for the Ministry of Trade and Industry to inform us when to shift to KSEZ,” said Rakesh Vikram Singh, the director-general Aquasan Ltd.

Aquasan Ltd is among the nine industries to relocate in August.

Vikram Singh added: “We bought new machines last year and are waiting to install them in our new location, and since it’s taking long for us to relocate, we are losing business in the process because the machines are not productive at all.”

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