Artistic impression of how the new Kigali Business Centre will look like when it is completed.

Artistic impression of how the new Kigali Business Centre will look like when it is completed.

The works on the Rwf17 billion project will start in August, Janviere Mporanyi, the Kigali Business Centre (KBC) managing director, has said.

The project, adjacent to the Kigali Convention Centre, and opposite Kigali Heights, is located at the Kimihurura roundabout. It will add 24,000 square metres of commercial and office space in Kigali, according to Mporanyi.

Already 40 businesses that were tenants at KBC have relocated paving way for the two-year multi-million dollar project to commence.

Mporanyi said the works will include refurbishing the existing KBC building into a modern commercial structure of 10 levels, with a ?common? base and a tower.

According to the plan seen by Business Times, the ?common? base will be composed of parking and commercial space located on the ground, and an office tower of eight floors.

More job opportunities

It is anticipated that a minimum of 300 jobs will be created during the construction phase, and over 1,000 others once it is completed. Mporanyi said they are targeting supermarkets, big retailers, insurance companies, banks, travel agencies, telecommunication companies and restaurants.

Project funding

The funding for the project will be 40 per cent equity from KBC Limited, while 60 per cent will be a bank loan, Mporanyi said.

?The new KBC building was designed in accordance with local and international building standards that ensure safety for occupants.?

Demand for commercial,?office space in Kigali

Kigali presently faces a growing shortage of commercial and office space. However, with projects like ?new? KBC, Kigali Heights and the Kigali Convention Centre, all located in Kimihurura, a sustainable solution to the challenge is in sight.

Demand for office space in Kigali is rising, and most commercial buildings in the city are doubling roles as retail stores and office rentals.

Currently, office space costs an average of $15 (Rwf10,000) per square metre a month, which is expensive, according to experts, who however, say this presents the private sector an opportunity to invest in the lucrative real estate industry.

Liliane Mupende, an expert on urbanisation, said such a strategy could help boost the sector?s competitiveness and fast-track the rate of urbanization in the Country.

No land wrangles?among shareholders

There have been reports that one of the three shareholders has been complaining about ownership of the project.

However, Mporanyi, who is the majority shareholder, said the complaints will not any way antagonise the project.

?We are aware that someone is spreading false information about the ownership of the project. However, it?s not true and his concerns will not jeopardise the project.

?We are fortunate that the business environment is increasingly getting better, which gives us confidence that this is a good investment,? Mporanyi noted.

On 2017 and Rwanda?s future

Mporanyi added her voice to the ongoing debate on Rwanda?s future and, as a prominent business personality, her take on the way forward, including why President Kagame should keep steering the country.

?President Paul Kagame has lead us very well and as a result of his good leadership, there is stability and peace,? Mporanyi said. ?This gives us confidence to invest in the economy and that is actually the reason why we are undertaking such a project.?

Peterson Tumwebaze, The New Times

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