Kigali Special Economic Zone ready, official says

The first phase of the construction of Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) is complete.  John Bosco Sendahangarwa, the head of Special Economic Zones Authority of Rwanda (SEZAR), who yesterday toured the area with journalists, said the zone is ripe for investment.
A view of some part of the Kigali Economic Zone that is complete. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
A view of some part of the Kigali Economic Zone that is complete. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

The first phase of the construction of Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) is complete.

John Bosco Sendahangarwa, the head of Special Economic Zones Authority of Rwanda (SEZAR), who yesterday toured the area with journalists, said the zone is ripe for investment.

“We are embarking on providing conducive environment for investors in Rwanda and our aim is to gradually develop trade zones all over the country,” he said.

“Infrastructural developments in KSEZs, especially the second phase are complete, soon Gikondo Industrial Park will relocate to this place. Their housing premises are well furnished with all the facilities needed by industries and factories to operate.”

Sitting on 276 hectares of land, KSEZ is expected to boost and diversify economic activity, create jobs, and increase investments.

The area that is being developed in phases has so far attracted numerous companies, both local and foreign; some have already started operating in the zone.

The commercial hub, located in Nyandungu Sector, Gasabo District, is being developed in two phases; first phase is 100 per cent complete, while 30 per cent of work to be done in the second phase is complete, Sendahangarwa said.

Moving around the big chunk of land, one notices well-developed infrastructure with newly-paved tarmac roads.

The completed part, which covers 98 hectares, has attracted 54 companies–both local and foreign– and it is already fully booked.

The second part that sits on 178 hectares has attracted nine investors. Work is ongoing, especially constructing tarmac roads, water and electricity rollout in all designated plots and setting up a waste water treatment plant.

Sendahangarwa said KSEZ has been designated to accommodate heavy and light industries, large scale user’s industrial plants, information technology park, among others.

According to Sendahangarwa, investors seeking space at KSEZ must have a business plan and ready to make 30 per cent down payment upon approval of their request. The cost per square metre is Rwf20,000.

Fresh look

At the site, a few industries have already started their operations

“We have no problem so far. Everything is going on well because the place has got all the facilities,” said Sudhir Bhalmager, the general manager of SRB Investments, a packaging company.

A policy establishing SEZs was approved by the Cabinet in December 2009, and the resultant law enacted in January 2011. Three ministerial orders were also approved in December 2011.

The first ministerial order determines the structure, powers and functioning of the Rwanda Special Economic Zones Authority, the second determines licence fee for special economic developers/ operators in Rwanda and the third determines the negative list for special economic zones in the country.

SEZs are in selected geographical areas provided with liberal economic laws, developed infrastructure and conducive business environment.

KSEZ is a partnership between Rwanda Development Bank, Rwanda Social Security Board, insurance firm Sonarwa, Prime Holdings, Magerwa, and Bond Trading.

According to the site engineer, Aimable Kwitonda, Kigali special zone has been equipped with all the facilities, internet, drainage systems, water and electricity.

“We are receiving more companies on a daily basis interested in investing in the zone,” he said.

In April, government released guidelines for persons seeking to invest in SEZs which includes, among others, setting up of one-stop-shops in the zones.

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