The New Times (Kigali)

3 August 2014

Rwanda: Prioritise Infrastructure At Kigali Special Economic Zone

The government has assured investors that all infrastructure bottlenecks such as water, electricity and internet connectivity at the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Nyandungu will soon be fixed. This is a very positive message.

As industry minister Francois Kanimba, who made the assurance, pointed out, there would be no point of establishing a special economic zone without basic facilities to enable investors set up shop and embark on production.

After all the decision to relocate industries from their current home in Gikondo to Nyandungu was informed by the need to provide a better planned environment - fully equipped with all amenities any investor would need to operate cheaply and efficiently.

Therefore, better roads, a good supply of water and electricity; as well as good internet connectivity were taken into account right from the planning stages of the economic zone.

What therefore has caused the delay in putting in place this very basic infrastructure; that actually qualifies a place to be called a "special economic zone?"

The minister points to lack of close monitoring and poor coordination among relevant state agencies. These lapses in project implementation must not be allowed to dent Rwanda's hard-earned reputation as one of the best countries in the world to do business.

Concerned parties must therefore move quickly to address these concerns so that investors settle down to business. The faster these minor issues are fixed the better for the country as more jobs will be created for the growing population of young people. Above all, more tax revenue will be generated as industries boost production.

And above all, our investment climate will become even better and attractive to more investors out there looking for the best spot on the globe to put their money. With growing competition for Foreign Direct Investment, this is not time to be complacent.

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