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Who gains from Kigali’s building boom?

May 22, 2009

Economic growth is fuelling a building boom in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, and the city is likely to be unrecognizable within a decade.

A government initiative called ‘Vision 2020′ is intended to transform Rwanda into a middle income country, with a healthy annual growth rate of seven percent.

Rwanda is one of Africa’s most densely populated countries and Kigali needs to deal with a rapidly growing population that already numbers 1 million.

The Vision 2020 construction boom is creating employment opportunities in a country where many have no jobs. At the same time foreign investors are also flocking to Kigali.

But there’s a negative side to the boom. Structures that don’t meet building standards are being demolished.

Absalom Mvuyekure is a landlord whose one-bedroomed house and two other houses that he owns will be demolished. Though the government has compensated him, he is unhappy.

“For this house of mine the government gave me $9,000 while if you look at the current market value I should have been given about $18,000 dollars. So definitely I am not pleased with this,” he told Reuters Africa Journal.

In Kigali most people live below the poverty line. As much as residents welcome the new improvements, many worry that Vision 2020 is being implemented at their expense.

As resident Mbonigabo Emmanuel observed: “There is a lot of money in this country but it’s like they are hiding it from us.”


What is fueling this boom, Rwanda’s main exports are coffee,tea,hides and tin ore, not the kind of commodities investors line up for.


Any house owner who has no money to build nice looking building, should sell it and go to another district. we need our Kigali to have a capital city standard like other country.
Reuters should have been interviewed also city council officials for a proper response.
No government in the world satisfy every citizen!

Posted by sam | Report as abusive

Rwanda has been a source of inspiration and in as much a si have not visited it and seen the development that has occurred …It still stands as a country to be applauded seeing as it went through horrors that we cannot imagine not begin to contemplate.That said,indeed it would be a demerit against the Rwandese government if all the fruits of the advancement been seen in the country would only fall into hands a of a few.Indeed it would be a shame if the country followed the footsteps of its neighbours for whom corruption is the order of the day


Surely the demolition of buildings that don’t meed building standards is a good thing in the long run.

Posted by TZ | Report as abusive

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