KIGALI - The proposed construction of a 45 million Rwanda International Trade and Exhibition Park (RITEP) by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) has hit a major hitch because of the snail pace response from potential investors in the project. It was scheduled to kick off late last year.
This was revealed by PSF’s Projects Manager, Gustave Nkurunziza, who revealed that construction could have stalled due to the current economic downturn.
“The idea of this project came up last year. By now construction should have started on the federation’s 18 hectares of land that are located along the Kicukiro-Bugesera highway; however mobilization of funds is still a major challenge,” Nkurunziza told The New Times.
“We attribute this to the prevailing financial crisis but still, a good number of potential investors have expressed interest and by October this year we will have some.”
Prominent among the potential investors is China’s The Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank).
The Export-Import Bank of China, established in1994, has the Chinese’s government as the sole owner and its management is appointed by, and reports to, the State Council.
The bank, along with its two sister organizations, is tasked with promoting exports and investment. Its main activities include export credit, international guarantees, loans for overseas construction and investment, and official lines of credit.
The Bank’s activities in Africa include; $600 million for construction of the Bui Dam in Ghana, $2.3 billion in total financing for Mozambique’s hydroelectric plants and several other loans and export credits for other projects in Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
He 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.
Nkurunziza asserts that the new RITEP project came as a strategy to turn Rwanda into a hub with the best exhibition facilities in the region.
Apparently, a concept design has been made, feasibility studies have also been done and construction is expected to last 18 to 24 months.
“It is a financially viable project,” he added.
PSF is the umbrella organization of private investors.