KIGALI - Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has unveiled construction projects worth over US $600m to investors, in a bid to overhaul the construction sector and attract potential investors in Rwanda’s booming construction industry.
Addressing over 250 local and international developers who are attending the Construction/Real Estate Investment Roundtable, yesterday, Clare Akamanzi, the RDB Deputy CEO/Business Operations and Services said that potential areas within the sector have been identified and are ready for development.
In his opening speech, the Prime Minister Bernard Makuza who spoke on behalf of the President affirmed the country’s demand for more investors in the construction sector already facing shortages in construction materials, and an economy whose growth demands for more and quality housing.
“The decision to have this roundtable is very strategic indeed because Rwanda has the most vibrant construction sector at the moment, whose dynamism needs the support of investors,” said Makuza.
“Over the last decade Rwanda has made it a point to repair the socio-economic infrastructure by building roads, office blocks, roads and many others, propelling the annual growth in the sector to 16 percent.”
Among the proposed projects ready for investors are 20 luxurious Ambassadorial Villas worth above US $14m, each expected to cost between $600,000 and $800,000 in prime locations like Kacyiru, Gacuriro and Gisozi and 50 spacious up scale residentials in Gaculiro worth over US 12m.
Also presented to investors are high rise 5,477 middle income community apartments in Kagarama (Kicukiro) worth over US $30m and middle income flats in Muhima to cost over US $14m and a magnificent 10-storey office tower in Nyarugenge Central Business District that could cost over US $16m.
“The Government, through the Ministry of Infrastructure, Kigali City Council and RDB has already identified prime areas of investment in the industry and land is readily available for investors,” Akamanzi told investors.
“We have also realised the need to increase the supply of construction materials to meet the ever increasing demand”.
She mentioned a cement manufacturing plant worth $150m to be set up in Rusizi, Western Province and a brick manufacturing project worth $15m among the many projects available for investment.
Findings presented by the Infrastructure Minister Linda Bihire show that the demand for construction of residential housing is increasing at a rapid rate.
“In Kigali City alone, the demand for housing is between 8,500 – 10,000 units per annum while the combined demand for housing in the rest of the urban centres of Rwanda is estimated at about 15,000 units per annum,” Bihire said.
“Although the demand for housing has grown, involvement of the Public and Private Sector has not improved much from the 10 percent that was registered in 2003”. It was also revealed that the current housing supply is insufficient to meet the needs of the growing population.
Rwanda now has a population of 10.4 million growing at 2.8 percent annually with urban population taking up 1.9 million growing at 4 percent per year.
“What I always used to look at when I chose where to invest in real estate, was whether a city or region had a tailwind behind it, because if it did, you could smell the success. Rwanda has that tailwind behind it. Our GDP growth has been consistently high and yet we are nowhere near reaching our potential,” said RDB CEO and investor Joe Ritchie.
The two-day roundtable attended by investors from within and outside Africa ends today and it is expected to showcase the potential opportunities in Rwanda’s construction sector.