Rwanda Development Board signs US $40m deal with Vivendi Group

On August 5, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) signed a US $40m deal with Vivendi Group, a global leader in cultural content and media for the development and occupancy of the Kigali Cultural Village (KCV).

The KCV project, which is located on Rebero Hill in Kicukiro Sector, aims at diversifying Rwanda’s tourism offering by opening up new cultural entertainment avenues.Sitting on 30.1 hectares, the KCV will have facilities intended to showcase Rwanda’s traditional and contemporary arts, nature, biodiversity, traditional lifestyle and history.

Vivendi Group, a subsidiary of French Bolloré Holdings is a company primarily focused on digital entertainment. It owns the French TV channel and movie producer Canal+ Group, as well as music world leader Universal Music Group, book publisher Editis, communication company Havas, video games company Gameloft, and video hosting service Dailymotion.

The decision to invest in Rwanda came after French investors, among them President of Bolloré Holdings Cyrille Bolloré, visited the country in January 2018.

In a meeting with RDB, investment opportunities in different sectors including tourism were highlighted.Under the 20-year lease agreement signed Vivendi Group, will spend between US$ 3-4 million in Phase 1 of the project. Phase 1 is expected be completed in six months and will include a 300-seat modern cinema hall, a 15,000-people open concert area, a food court and a children’s gaming area.

The facility will run on sustainable energy.

The facilities will host 19 movie sessions a week, live concerts, cultural and artistic festivals, seminars and conferences.

Phase two will be initiated on completion of phase one and will include Universal recording studios, Escape games, Gameloft E-gaming laboratory and testing factory, a children’s playground, bars and restaurants and the Canal Factory.

The Canal Factory is a modern, compact TV, cinema and music recording studio. This infrastructure will be dedicated to Rwandan talents and students desiring to be trained in the fields of cinematography.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Clare Akamanzi, the RDB Chief Executive Officer said:

“RDB welcomes this new investment as we seek to diversify Rwanda’s tourism offerings and increase annual receipts to US$ 800 million by 2024. This investment is a good step forward for the country’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) strategy that has been growing remarkably over the years. Through the KCV, thousands of Rwandans will get access to good jobs and youths employed in the arts will gain skills that they will be able to earn sustainably from and even export to the region. We are glad this investment will be Vivendi’s first in East Africa. I am confident that Rwanda will not only become a regional entertainment and cultural hub, we shall soon be developing and exporting entertainment and cultural industry talent in the coming years.”