The New Times (Kigali)

22 January 2013

Rwanda: Gakinjiro - Kigali's Furniture Hub

A few years ago, it was a little known geographical location in Kigali city, but today, it attracts a huge number of furniture buyers and other clients from all city suburbs. Welcome to Gakinjiro town, home to Kigali's biggest furniture market.

Found in Gisozi sector, Gakinjiro town is now a beehive of activity compared to a few years back. This is thanks to the residents hard work and the co-operation between local authorities and the private sector.

Patricie Murekatete, the Gisozi sector executive secretary, attributes the remarkable change Gakinjiro is witnessing to hard work.

She adds that the authorities were also working with local co-operatives to develop the area in line with the Kigali City Master Plan.

"Co-operative societies are a big vehicle of development, especially as the country undergoes general transformation.

These developments will create jobs for our people and improve their living conditions," Murekatete said during an interview.

Co-operatives like ADARWA, APARWA, DUHAHIRANE, COPCOM and SOPROCOGI have each set up a commercial building in the town worth over Rwf1b.

Murekatete notes that they want to make the area more attractive to business people, making it a hub for different products.

Gakinjiro Market was relocated from the city centre to allow for the implementation of the city's master plan and Vision 2020.

Justin Gashayija, the president of ADARWA, says they couldn't miss an opportunity to use the plot given to them by the Kigali City Council to construct a commercial building. "As furniture dealers, we decided to contribute to the city's development. Besides, we once built a bridge and road that connect our area and the rest of the city. Our four-storeyed building will create more jobs for the people, including our 3,000 employees," he says.

Gashayija notes that they invested Rwf1,8b in the project and would give priority to small businesses when renting out space in the structure.

Bosco Nshimiyimana, a carpenter, says the transformation would attract more clients and help them to work in safer conditions.

"Kigali is growing faster. This is a chance to work in better conditions and get more clients," he states.

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