Rwanda Development Board (RDB) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mitrelli Group, an Israeli conglomerate that specialises in large-scale long-term projects.
Mitrelli Group is seeking to develop up to 10,000 housing units in Rwanda with a majority of them under the affordable houses catergory.
Signing the MOU, Haim Taib, Founder and President of Mitrelli Group, lauded RDB for the government's readiness to cooperate and partner with them.
"This project is a very nice challenge for us. We have the knowledge, the funds, the expertise and the ability to complete this project. I believe that the two sides have the same goal. The goal being to develop the best project for the people of Rwanda. We have come to Rwanda to stay," he said.
Signing on behalf of Rwanda Development Board, Chief Executive Clare Akamanzi, said that the investment was timely as there is a growing housing demand in the country.
"Mitrelli Group is the kind of investor that we want in Rwanda. We are happy to work with you in providing housing for the growing housing market," she said
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Mazen Al Sawwaf, the Chief Executive and founder of Global Investment Holding Company, a Saudi Arabian holding company.
Access to affordable housing remains one of the key priorities for the Government of Rwanda and there are a number of strategic incentives to attract local and international investors in the sector.
According to a 2012 study "Housing Market Demand, Housing Finance and Housing Preferences for the City of Kigali" conducted by Planet, it is estimated that the annual demand for new dwellings were 31,279 housing units per year against the supply of about 1000 units.
The housing demand is expected to reach 340,000 units by 2022, mainly for affordable and mid-range housing.
RDB says that more investors are needed in the real estate and construction sector so as to ensure affordable housing as well as the reduction of the cost of imports of construction materials in the country.
The real estate sector constitutes more than 8 per cent of national GDP and therefore it needs potential investment.
The investment in this sector has grown from $100 million to $596 million over the last 14 years driven by rising consumer demand and improvements in public infrastructure according to figures from the central bank.