The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has unveiled a plan to build a 61 hectare smart center in Kigali Innovation City (KIC) that will catalyze Rwanda’s investment ecosystem and create more than 50,000 new jobs in the market.
According to RDB, KIC is a flagship product of the Rwandan government which aims to create more than 50,000 jobs during the life of the project, generate 150 million dollars in ICT exports and attract more than 300 million dollars in direct foreign investment.
RDB describes the KIC project as a “blend of world-class uses and a smart innovation hub aimed at developing cutting-edge solutions and helping to drive economic growth in Rwanda, the region and on the continental base”.
The project is sponsored by Africa50, a pan-African investment platform in collaboration with the Rwanda Development Board and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.
Under the new agreement signed between RDB and Africa50, sets out the principles of partnerships for the design, financing, construction and operation of the KIC project.
The implementation of the master plan will begin with the construction of horizontal infrastructure such as roads, drainage systems, street lighting, walkways as well as a first mixed-use building and visitor entrance in 2022.
The building will also include Class A office space and research and development facilities, start-up incubators and support facilities for retail, hospitality and accommodation.
Kigali Innovation City is already home to two world-class universities – Carnegie Mellon University Africa and African Leadership University and the University of Rwanda’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and E-Health which is under construction.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Claire Akamanzi, CEO of RDB, said the signed agreement will accelerate the development of the project and finalize the pre-development activities needed to attract other private sector actors. to co-develop and co-finance the strategic project with the Government and Africa 50.
Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobisse pledged that the company will continue to deploy financing projects as well as financing expertise to mobilize the private sector and structure the financing of the project.
He added; “KIC echoes our strategy of financing infrastructure assets that help create meaningful jobs and add value, stimulate economic opportunities for existing and future generations, with an emphasis on the preservation of natural resources. “
Yves Iradukunda, Permanent Secretary of ICT and Innovation who was present at the event, said Rwanda’s social and economic transformation agenda requires bold investments, as well as innovation and technologies.
“KIC will provide infrastructure and ecosystem as we position Rwanda to become a pan-African innovation hub and to develop our knowledge-based economy,” he said.