Rwanda Express (Kigali)

5 June 2012

Rwanda: Kigali City Sets Investment Opportunity

With the increasing demand for turning Kigali city into an investment hub, the newly established Kigali City Construction One Stop Centre is set to propel Rwanda's capital city into the center of national economic growth.

The one stop centre is a hub for city developers or investors; local or foreign. Here, the developer, upon presenting the project (development plan), finds all the checklist of requirements for obtaining construction permits plus other services like Lease Contracts and Lead Plan, excavation inspection, occupation permit and land title.

Since last year, the Kigali City Construction OSC merged functions bring all construction services under 'One Roof' -which has simplified life for investors to make applications. At the centre, there is permanent presence of Rwanda Development Board (RDB) staff responsible for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the big projects. There is also EWSA (Electricity Water and Sanitation Authority) staff at the centre responsible water and electricity.

The establishment was passed by cabinet resolution of 15th April 2010, with the vision to deliver efficient, sustainable and professional services in line with Kigali Master Plan, thus making it easy for construction projects to be implemented unlike in the past.

Paul Mubirigi, the chairman of Constructors Association in Rwanda- who is also in the construction business; says that the center will make it easy for real estate developers to obtaining construction permits.

He says that it used to take years to attain one, but now it is only just a few months. The services are more efficient now and this has indeed had a positive impact on infrastructure development in the City, the construction sector in particular.

Benon Kalisa, the Urban Planner at the Centre explains that the (centre)'s establishment is rooted in the challenges that faced the development of the City and the growing demand for construction.

Before the establishment of the Center, construction permits in the City were issued by Districts; Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge. There existed a challenge of harmonization of construction requirements and work procedures. At the onset, Kigali City put in place a "Review Team", to assess the backlog of the existing projects then, before the establishment of the one-stop centre.

Now that the center has been put in place, all the backlog has been cleared. All files were cleared by the review team.

The centre started with issuing construction permits to 'big' projects which can accommodate 100 people per day, occupying 4,000 square meters and a building with more than two floors.

However, the Centre has reduced the cost of registration for both construction permits and Deed Plan, by 30 per cent. The registration fee for construction permit has been reduced from Rwf200 per square meter to Rwf140/Sq. meter. Registration for Deed Plan for an area less than hectare is reduced from Rwf60, 000 to Rwf42, 000.

To ensure that these timeframe is observed, the Centre is moving towards full digitalization--where all construction related services will be handled electronically, by use of (Geographical Information System) GIS and a comprehensive Management Information System (MIS). This will enhance efficiency of the centre but also the online service will bring about convenience to investors.

The Centre has introduced an integrated MIS (Management Information System) whereby all services it offers are managed electronically, including; all applications, processing, issuing of construction permits and all other construction documents, and even field inspections. It will be complimented by the GIS already. Improbable delays, according to Kalisa.

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