28 November 2017

Rwanda: RDB Outlines Potential Investment Opportunities in Real Estate Sector

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times
An upmarket apartment block in Kigali.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has said that more investors are needed in real estate and construction sector so as to ensure affordable housing as well as reducing the imports of construction materials.

Philip Lucky, the investment and marketing manager at RDB, who was addressing a delegation of business people from Angola that is in Kigali for a study tour as well as to explore markets and business opportunities, said real estate sector contributes more than 8 per cent of GDP and, therefore, is attactive for investment.

"We need affordable houses for our people. The investment in this sector has grown from $100 million to $596 million during the last 14 years driven by rising consumer demand and improvement in public infrastructure," he said.

The housing demand is expected to reach 340,000 units by 2022, mainly for affordable and mid-range housing.

Lucky said the Government was interested in a real estate developer to establish and operate industrial parks that provide advance factory units, the kind of which provide ready-built light industrial space for early or immediate occupation.

He added that Government has secured land of about 13,180 square metres connected via roads and national grid.

In the manufacturing sector, he said, opportunities are in textile and garments as well as construction materials.

"In 2016, $76 million was spent in importing new textiles and apparels. Light manufacturing is growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent and is expected to contribute to 26 per cent of GDP by 2020. The construction sector currently accounts for 10 per cent of imports. This demonstrates the presence of investment opportunities in such sectors," Lucky said.

Other opportunities

The delegation was also briefed on other opportunities in ICT sector, tourism and medical tourism, and agriculture particularly meat production and floriculture.

Philip said tourism is projected to reach 25 per cent growth rate by 2018 from 11.2 per cent per annum, adding that the opportunities include building hotels, eco-lodges and resorts, hotspring eco-resorts along Lake Muhazi, while medical tourism requires medical services in cardiology, oncology and nephrology.

Talking about the ICT sector, Muhazi said government was looking for international investors to provide specialised Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services in the sector with greatest growth potential such as telecom, tourism, finance, among others.

BPO sector comprises firms engaged in providing information technology and back services to a range of clients inside and outside the country.

RDB estimates current domestic demand for such BPO services to be $50 million and projects $200 million by 2020 as Rwanda can reach $275 million by serving local and regional markets.

ICT sector also attracts investors in cyber security, agri-tech, biomedical, logistics, among others.

The delegation was also briefed on fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such a assistance in tax related services and exemptions, assistance in access to water and electricity, one stop center with notary services and migration, fast-tracking project implementation among others.

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