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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 

Kigali aims for ICT driven business city

KIGALI, Rwanda--Rwanda’s capital, Kigali is currently undergoing a rapid infrastructure change that will eventually see it becoming an ICT-driven city for the benefit of all types of business interests. 

“We will use the latest technologies to see that our city is developed into a better business centre like other cities in developed countries,” Fidel Ndayisabye, the Mayor of Kigali City said in a meeting held last week at the administrative headquarters.

With this ambition in mind, city authorities are involved in implementing an improvement plan for service delivery to ease business activity. 

Reforms are expected to be implemented in a time period of about two weeks.

Lillian Mupende, the Director of the One Stop Centre and Urban Planning said,

 “There are a few developed reforms we want to start with. These include introduction of a toll-free line which will help connect stakeholders with the One Stop Centre we have. 

“Removing fees on land titles which will help create more room for free leasehold titles, improve on the process of acquiring land occupancy and getting construction permits. And still we want to reduce on the number of days spent for someone to get such construction permits from the 30 days we are at now to 21 days,” she said.

Mupende said the annual average fee on land titles was at Rwf 70,000 (about $100) but this was going to reduce to a more appropriate amount to enable people get land and be able to develop it faster.

“We again want to save costs and time, and therefore create a more needed environment for carrying out business in Kigali. This is why we will still introduce electronic payments which will help people be able to pay for such construction permits easily,” she said.

Mayor Ndayisabye requested that engineers and other stakeholders help in suggesting new  good ideas for developing the capital and lifting it to the status of  a world class city.

Kigali is already well on the road of promoting a cashless society and the government has been active in supporting these innovations. The city, which is nestled among the surrounding lush hills, is widely considered the cleanest in East Africa. Polythene bags were banned in Rwanda.

According to the latest World Bank Doing Business survey, in the construction category, Rwanda improved from the 122 position the previous year  to 85 out of 189 countries.

Other different reforms implemented so far have seen Rwanda again reduce from the 13 procedure in dealing with construction permits she was on to four procedures.

To get a residential construction permit now, one has to have Rwf 20.000- Rwf 60.000 from the Rwf 100.000 and for commercial buildings it is now Rwf 20.000- Rwf 60.000 from the Rwf 625.000.

“With such a reduction most Rwandans will be able to get land, develop it and therefore help the city develop”, noted Mupende.

Different stakeholder welcomed in such new reforms saying that these were going act as mainly cost saving strategies in the construction industry.

“These are going to address the different challenges in the construction industry,” Eng. Dismas Nkubana, who is the chairman of the engineers council in the CoK said.

Others said that such reforms were brought in on time as was agreed in the city laid out targets in the developed Master Plan.

Different stakeholders here therefore promised to work well with the CoK leadership which will help implement the different projects needed in the construction industry.

According to the Master Plan there are clear strategies for every city District. 

Nyarugenge will be ‘The Financial Hub’, Gasabo ‘The Administrative Centre’ and Kicukiro ‘The Knowledge Hub’. 

By Agnes Bateta, Tuesday, December 10th, 2013