Workers at a construction site in Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian Province in March Photo: VCG
Workers at a construction site in Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian Province in March Photo: VCG

The municipal government of Kigali on Wednesday announced a series of legal and regulatory reforms in obtaining construction permits in order to attract infrastructure investments in Rwanda’s capital city.

The reforms are geared towards facilitating investments in the construction projects in the city, said Parfait Busabizwa, acting mayor of Kigali, at a news conference in the city.The reforms will be implemented next month, according to him.The reforms will help reduce the procedures an investor goes through to apply for a construction permit from 15 days to 7 days and reduce the number of days to obtain a construction permit from 113 days to 55 days, Busabizwa said.

They will also help cut down other associated costs, he said.He further said it will take only three days to obtain an occupation permit and a freehold land title when requested by a licensed firm.Topographic survey is not a mandatory requirement for obtaining a construction permit in areas where the city’s Masterplan features are available online, according to the official.Construction projects that fall in category one such as building single family houses and warehouses among others will be exempted from carrying out geotechnical studies before construction commences, he said.Construction projects will no longer be required to notify One Stop Center of commencement of work after obtaining the construction permit, he added.

According to the city authority, a risk-based approach in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will only apply to construction projects that carry risk to the environment instead of all construction projects.Last week, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) introduced new reforms in electricity provision, and export facilitation to ease doing business.The reforms target to decrease bureaucracy in construction, ensure timely electricity provision for investors, and reduce the amount of time exporters spend at customs, according to the RDB.Rwanda recorded Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth 1.041 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 compared to 650.4 million dollars in 2016, statistics from the RDB shows.In the World Bank Group report Doing Business 2017, Rwanda is ranked 56th out of 190 countries’ economies in ease of doing business.

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