RDB signs agreement with Africa50 to Further Develop Kigali Innovation City

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to further the development of the Kigali Innovation City (KIC) project. This follows the signing of a Term Sheet during the Africa Investment Forum in November 2018 in the presence of Right Honorable Edouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of Rwanda. 

KIC is a pan-African focused innovation hub that will house four international universities, innovative firms focused on agriculture, healthcare and financial services; and supporting infrastructure including commercial and residential space. Africa50 will apply its expertise in infrastructure development to ensure effective implementation of the project.   

Under the JDA, RDB and Africa50 will establish a joint venture company and work with strategic partners to co-develop, finance, construct and operate commercial components of KIC. The Government of Rwanda will provide land and fund ancillary infrastructure such as roads, lighting, power supply and other horizontal “plug and play” enablers. RDB, along with the Government of Rwanda, will also ensure facilitation of macro and micro enablers including policy-led tax incentives that aid bankability of the transaction and allow for effective private sector participation. 

Commenting on the signing, Honorable Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation of Rwanda said: “The Kigali Innovation City is a key component of our strategy to transform Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy and leading investment destination. It will attract innovation-driven enterprises and stimulate strategic partnerships that will further develop our growing tech sector, by nurturing inclusive growth and impacting the lives of thousands of people in Rwanda and beyond.”

Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government, added “We are excited to have reached another key milestone and to partner with Africa50 in the development of Kigali Innovation City. Africa50 has the expertise to speed up project development, and the ability to structure the financing while leveraging funds from development finance institutions and private sector investors. KIC will build on our economic success, helping us further diversify and modernize our economy while positioning Rwanda as a business hub in the heart of Africa. KIC will enable investors to develop technologies, prove new concepts and scale in Rwanda.” 

Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobissé emphasized that, “We are proud to be part of this landmark infrastructure project, working with the Government of Rwanda, RDB, and the private sector. Innovation and technology are critical for Africa’s sustainable development, providing higher value-added exports and improved services. Signing the JDA will help crowd in private sector investment, which is in line with our mandate to mobilize financing to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure in Africa.”

KIC has set ambitious targets: to create over 50,000 jobs, over the life of the project, to generate $150 million in ICT exports annually and to attract over $300 million in foreign direct investment.