President Paul Kagame alongside first lady Jeannette Kagame on Friday launched the construction of a new eco-friendly housing estate in Nyarugenge District, Kigali.
The development follows an agreement signed between Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and ADHI Corporate Group, a construction company established more than 10 years ago in Gabon.
Upon his arrival, Kagame together with the first lady toured a total of five housing models which were showcased as a sample to the guests.
The leaders were accompanied by various high ranked government officials, at the ceremony hosted in Karama neighborhood.
ADHI plans to construct more than 2400 housing units in Kigali through five phases. The first phase, currently under construction, will see 252 units complete by 2022.
The head of state said that the initiative demonstrates what is possible in a sector that Rwanda has ‘for the past years’, made little progress.
“To have it affordable, sustainable and most of it arrived through local materials, I think is the best combination we can have,” he said.
However, he pointed out that the launch was only the beginning citing that a lot more was required to make significant progress.
“More work is still needed. Training of our people that has to take place, materials that have to be accessed locally… ..The sustainability model is self-explanatory.”
Rwanda, Kagame said, has been a good partner to ADHI and that the launch requires a stronger partnership.
“We should whatever is possible to have Rwandans access these houses in big numbers.”
Soleman Idd, the ADHI Chairman, highlighted that the construction method is innovative, leading to market preference.
“Our construction method is innovative yet uses proven technologies and materials that, when combined, result in faster, cheaper, stronger, and long-lasting buildings.”
He added, “Our built houses suffer minimum impact from the weather, seismic damage, wind and fire, rust, rot, and humidity. With our in-house training, skill development, certification and tools, we also empower both genders economically.”
The Bwiza Riverside affordable homes project, according to officials is expected to cost over $100 million.
With patented construction technology that uses modular parts, pre-made in a factory, for “plug-and-play” construction, the developers say the project aims to be environmentally friendly in both its construction methods and community layouts.
The method results in 53% on-site energy savings and future cost savings for homeowners.
Bwiza Riverside will use green infrastructure to develop a sustainable community with a low carbon footprint.
The development comes at a time Rwanda aims to create 150,000 new dwellings annually to meet the projected demand of 5.5 million dwellings by 2050.
“It’s also about different housing and we want to reduce the informal settings. We’ve seen some pockets of Kigali. If we can have this kind of houses that replace those informal setting then we have more decent living, more urbanization in a more organized way, which is what our government wants to achieve,” Clare Akamanzi, RDB CEO told The New Times.
According to her, the project is expected to boost the government’s goal of urbanization to reach 35 per cent by 2024.
“However, we need to see more houses being built as there is still a significant gap to meet the demand for affordable housing. We encourage more developers to take advantage of the existing incentives, which include the provision of infrastructures like roads, water and electricity, and a reduced corporate income tax of 15 percent.”
Transfer of skill
ADHI Corporate Group has also established a training academy for Innovative and Sustainable light steel frame construction, under which 120 Rwandan students are currently being trained.
Students, according to Hassan Hassan ADHI General Manager, receive on-site, competence-based training to prepare them for future employment opportunities.
“Besides employment opportunities, we empower them with the entrepreneurial skill, we want to establish satellites warehouses where they can be franchise shareholders,” Hassan added.
Watch a detailed video on the project below;