Rwanda and the Arab Bank for Economic Building in Africa (BADEA) have agreed to fund the development of basic infrastructure at the Kigali Innovation City (KIC) project with US$ 20 million (about Frw 20 billion).
KIC is a major government programme aiming at accelerating Rwanda's transition to a knowledge-based economy by developing an ecosystem centred on high-tech, innovation, and talent development.
It is a 61-hectare development within the Special Economic Zone that will include a work-live-play community that will include universities, Grade A offices, residential and student accommodation, retail facilities, and business hotels in an innovative and environmentally friendly smart-city design.
Africa50 has joined the KIC as a co-investor, working alongside the Rwandan government to create the necessary ecosystem in the Kigali Special Economic Zone.
Africa50 and Rwanda Development Board are investing 50/50 in early-stage development initiatives to strengthen the project's bankability, with the goal of attracting other strategic sponsors and co-investors.
"The Kigali Innovation Center Project will support the implementation of our National Strategy for Transformation, with an emphasis on positioning Rwanda as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy," said Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana.
This support from BADEA will enable the government to satisfy its execution promises, which primarily include the delivery of vital infrastructure such as roads, utilities such as power and water, and digital infrastructure.
"We are excited to be involved in this important and historical project, which is a fruit of your country's ambition," stated BADEA Director General Dr. Sidi Ould TAH.
BADEA is committed to increasing its support for Rwanda, particularly in the areas of ICT and innovation, because we believe that digital transformation is not only an opportunity, but also the only path for Africa to accomplish the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions.
"Innovation is a significant element of Rwanda's Vision, thus the Kigali Innovation City project is crucial for the development of our country," stated Claire Akamanzi, CEO of Rwanda Development Board. We are pleased that BADEA will assist in the provision of critical basic infrastructure."
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), as well as pharmaceutical Cooper Pharma, have already joined KIC.
Cooper Pharma, CMU, and ALU are among those that have begun functioning within KIC, while the UR-Center of Excellence in Biomedical Engineering (CEBE) is under construction, and the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences is also contemplating it.
The Rwanda-BADEA partnership focuses on infrastructure development, such as the construction of a solid road network, boosting electricity coverage, and improving water and sanitation.