9 January 2013

Rwanda: Gikondo Industrial Park to Relocate in May

The long awaited relocation of factories and other businesses operating in Gikondo Industrial Park will be carried out in May, according the Minister of Trade and Industry.

The relocation will see about 14 heavy and light factories shifted to the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) in Nyandungu sector, Gasabo district.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday François Kanimba said among 14 businesses to be relocated, nine of them will be transferred first because the construction works of their housing premises are almost complete.

"The four remaining big companies will be relocated later because the housing facilities for them are not yet ready even though construction works have already started," he added.

Relocation was previously set for March but the ministry later realised that works at the site will not have been completed by that time.

The Memorandum of Understanding to move Gikondo Industrial Park was signed in early 2011 between the Mministry of Trade and Industry and Rwanda Free Zones Company Ltd. Some of the terms of agreement include construction of facilities for the smooth relocation of Gikondo industrialists and other relevant occupants to the new special economic zone in Kigali.

This is in line with the provisions of Organic Law N° 04/2005 of 08/04/2005 determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in Rwanda.

However, the move is further based on the Cabinet Decision of October 14, 2008 that puts in place the Special Economic Zone as a gazetted area for heavy and light industries.

With the agreement, Rwanda Free Zones Company Ltd agreed to provide 20 hectares of land while the Trade and Industry ministry will provide funds required to relocate the Gikondo proprietors.

Regarding complaints from the industry owners about being given smaller plots of land compared to the ones they had, Kanimba explained that, all the business operators at Gikondo were given detailed explanations about the matter.

"We explained to them the whole issue. We sent engineers to assess the industries at Gikondo and find out the reasonable space they need like offices and parking for their customers so that we optimize the use of land at the Special Economic Zone," the minister noted. "Before the construction of their spaces at the economic zone, we had a meeting with the Gikondo industrial park business operators and explained to them that the zone was very small and can't accommodate all of them and they agreed."

The relocation is expected to cost the government over Rwf 35 billion; however, the industry owners will foot the bills of transporting their machines.

According to Jack Kayonga, Chairperson of Board of Directors Rwanda Free Zones Company limited, KSEZ is ready to host the relocated light and heavy industries.

"For us we are developers and are doing the project together with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. So the relocation is between industry operators and the ministry," he said.

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