Rush for a piece of Kigali special economic zone

Friday May 30 2014

By KABONA ESIARA Rwanda Today

There is a rush for space at the Kigali Special Economic Zone, signalling a thirst for serviced land for investors.

John Bosco Sendahangarwa, the head of the Special Economic Zones Authority of Rwanda said 80 per cent of plots in the second phase of the economic zone have been booked.

Mr Sendahangarwa said the rush has been caused by the recently published regulations to support the operations of economic zones in Rwanda.

“Whereas phase one took three years, phase two is bound to be fully booked within one year,” he said.

Located near Kigali International Airport, phase one of the economic zone is on 98 hectares, Phase II on 178 hectares while phase III is expected to be on 134 hectares.

Rwanda’s Minister for Trade and Industry Francois Kanimba told a recent African Development Bank meeting in Kigali that the idea of a special economic zones in Rwanda came about in 2006 when the government thought of building a Free Trade Zone, and an industrial zone on the adjacent side.

“In 2010, we merged the two and created a special economic zone, rethinking about what kind of activities should be eligible to be in the zone.”

“This is facilitating our ambitious objectives of attracting investors, many of whom are looking to Rwanda as a potential distribution zone in the region. We are yet to benefit from this special economic zone.”

The Kigali Special Economic Zone is a merger of two projects: Kigali Free Trade Zone and Kigali Industrial Park. Other special economic zone initiatives including provincial industrial parks and flower parks are being developed.

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