December 24, 2021: Government of Rwanda and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) today signed a financing agreement worth US$ 20 million (Approximately Frw 20 billion) to support the development of basic infrastructure at Kigali Innovation City (KIC) project.
KIC is a flagship government program aimed at creating an ecosystem centered around high-tech, innovation and talent development to accelerate Rwanda’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. It is a 61-hectare development within the Special Economic Zone that will encompass a work-live-play community that integrates universities, Grade A offices, residential and student housing, retail facilities and business hotels in an innovative and green smart-city concept.
The KIC has attracted Africa50 as a co-investor together with Government of Rwanda to build the required ecosystem in the Kigali Special Economic Zone. Africa50 and Government of Rwanda through Rwanda Development Board are investing 50/50 in the early-stage development activities to increase bankability of the project with a view to also sourcing other strategic sponsors and co-investors.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana noted: “The Kigali Innovation Center Project will support the implementation of our National Strategy for Transformation, with a focus on positioning Rwanda as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy. This financing from BADEA will allow Government to meets its execution commitments which are mainly to deliver key infrastructure including roads, utilities such as electricity and water as well as well as digital infrastructure”.
The Director General of BADEA Dr. Sidi Ould TAH said: “We are excited to be involved in this important and historical project which is a fruit of your country’s vision. BADEA is committed to upscale its support to Rwanda especially in areas of ICT and innovation, as we believe digital transformation is not only an opportunity for Africa but the only way for Africa to achieve the fourth and fifth industrial revolution
Claire Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board said: “Innovation is a strong element of Rwanda’s Vision so the Kigali Innovation City project is an important for the development of our country. We are happy that BADEA will support the delivery of key basic infrastructure.”
KIC has already attracted universities such as universities Carnegie Mellon University, the Africa Leadership University, the Africa Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the University of Rwanda Centre for Biomedical Engineering and E-Health (UR-CEBE), and to pharmaceutical Cooper Pharma. Some of them have started operating within KIC and include Cooper Pharma, CMU, and ALU while UR-Center of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering (CEBE) is under construction and African Institute of Mathematical Sciences is also considering the same.
Cooperation between Government of Rwanda and BADEA focuses on infrastructure development such as building strong road network, increasing electricity coverage as well as water and sanitation.