The Rwandan Government, Together with Africa50 and other Partners Set to Splash over $2 Billion on the Kigali Innovation City Development

Pursuant to its push for a knowledge-based economy, the Rwandan government, together with a number of partners, has instituted plans to roll out the Kigali Innovation city, a project bound to earn Rwanda a place of prominence on the world map with regards to technological facilities. One of the pivotal partners in the deal is the pan-African infrastructure investment firm Africa50, which is set to sink in some $400 million into the tech hub project. The deal comes fresh off the oven of the just-concluded African Investment Forum, which brought about the conclusion of 45 deals amounting up to $32 billion.

The Lowdown of the Deal

The cost, as well as other fine details of the project, was disclosed in a statement by the Africa Development Bank group, a shareholder of Africa50, during the forum which took place in Johannesburg.

The African Development Bank noted that the final details of and the arrangements for the $400 million cooperation agreement was concluded during boardroom meetings, which marked some high points of the event. According to the bank statement, the development “will help boost the innovation ecosystem in one of Africa’s top knowledge cities”.

The development, which is valued at over $2 billion, has been created to serve up high-impact technological infrastructure and amenities that will power a knowledge-based economy, which has been one of the cardinal objectives of the current Rwandan government. Nestled in Kigali’s Special Economic Zone, the development is set to be a constellation of world-class universities, biotech companies, tech firms, as well as commercial and retail spaces sprawling about 70 hectares of land.

The masterplan of the Kigali Innovation City shows the project is a mixed-use development that will provide buildings and facilities for people to work and live in. These real estate facilities will include commercial offices, rental space, multi-purpose space, hotels, and rental apartments.

According to a statement by Rwanda’s ICT and Innovation Minister, Paula Ingabire, Africa50’s part of the deal is to develop the real estate section of the development, including residential buildings and commercial and retail plazas. She also disclosed that a 2-year time-frame has been set for the completion of the section of the development to be handled by Africa50, which she noted were involved in the deal as equity investors. She also noted that Africa50 is set to develop a section of the project known as the Digital Innovation Precinct, a bastion for all the technology companies that will be flocking into the Kigali Innovation City. According to her, the Digital Innovation Precinct will also provide residential facilities for accommodating the crop of employees working for the various technological companies.

The minister also disclosed that the government, as well as the other parties in the deal, have carried out extensive market research and feasibility studies. The real estate section of the development, according to the government’s cost estimates, will gulp up some $315 million, for which Africa50 has opted to take up and provide $400 million worth of funding.

The terms of the deal also assign Africa 50 the mandate to recruit more partners such as financial institutions and private investors.