The New Times (Kigali)

18 January 2013

Rwanda: Deal for U.S. $16 Million Complex Signed

Kigali City Council (KCC) yesterday signed an agreement with Kigali Heights Development, a local company, for the construction of a mega commercial plaza in the capital that will act as home for large shopping arcades and executive offices.

Fusion is a private equity firm that specialises in the Small and Medium Enterprises sector in Sub Saharan Africa. Established in 2006, Fusion operates in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and the United Kingdom. According to the firm's website, thThe deal comes as the culmination of a thorough competitive tendering process where Kigali Heights competed against a Chinese construction company for the development of a prime parcel of land situated near the Kimihurura roundabout, in accordance with the Kigali Master Plan.

The 11,000 square meter land opposite Kigali Convention Centre, was formerly occupied by the Kacyiru Post Office.

Kigali Heights Development partnered with Fusion Capital Limited, a Kenyan equity company that will provide funding for the multimillion dollar project.

"We estimate that the project will require over US$16.9 million (Rwf10.7 billion) to complete and we are ready to make it a reality," Dennis Karera, the Managing Director of Kigali Heights Development, said, shortly after sealing the deal.

"It will take approximately two years to put up this beautiful structure which will have two faces. The first face will have nine floors whereas the other will have six. We will complete the paperwork in the first nine months of this year and immediately begin construction works."

The Kigali City Mayor, Fidel Ndayisaba, said the city found it vital to enter an agreement with Kigali Heights Development, after the company met all requirements required and also indicated serious commitment to the project.

"The tendering process was transparent and involved all stakeholders- we are pleased to enter into partnership with Kigali Heights and Fusion Capital. They indicated that they are in line with the commitment to change the face of Kigali and turn it into a modern city," Ndayisaba said. "This is a mutual benefit venture for the City and for the private investors; we will support their initiative as we encourage more to enter such important partnerships with us."

During its construction, the building is expected to create over 300 jobs to both skilled and unskilled labour.

The project's financier, Fusion Capital Limited, recognised the deal as a major step towards better relations between Rwandan and Kenyan private sectors.

"We look forward to providing long-term local financial solutions that support the sustainable growth of the Rwandan economy," Luke Mwiti Kinoti, The Group CEO of Fusion Capital Limited said. "Fusion Capital will be providing both equity and debt funding, and will actively facilitate the participation of local funds through syndication."

The signing ceremony was attended by Kenyan High Commissioner to Rwanda, Rose Makena.

Following its successfully undertaken projects in Uganda and Kenya, Fusion Capital Limited embarked on raising a US$160 million fund dedicated to supporting real estate projects in the region, with keen interest in Rwanda.

The first two floors of the super plaza will be reserved for large scale trading such as supermarkets and restaurants, while the upper floors will hold executive offices for mostly privates businesses.

The project is, however, incomparable to other super costly projects such as the Kigali City Tower, which cost around US$200 million. Other projects still underway include Kigali Convention Centre in Kimihurura and the Downtown Project in Muhima, which are estimated to cost to the tune of US$300 million and US$200 million, respectively.

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