Canadian investors are among those who have expressed interest in a project to construct 1,250 ‘affordable’ houses on a 19-hectare plot of land in Ndera, Gasabo District of Kigali, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Infrastructure Minister Ernest Nsabimana said that investors, including those from Canada – called Tebo Group of Industries – are among those who want to put money into the project.

Tebo Group of Industries is a Canadian firm whose work includes engineering and construction.

Nsabimana made the disclosure on Wednesday, May 24, during a session with the Lower House’s Committee on Land, Agriculture, Livestock, and Environment. The session was looking at impediments to the affordable housing programme in the country.

He was responding to parliamentarians’ query on why the government had bought the land in Ndera, but it was lying idle (not redeveloped).

He told parliamentarians that the government purchased the land in 2016, and allocated it to an investor (firm), which, in November 2022, announced it was no longer taking part in the project because of financial constraints.

Giving an update on the progress made later, Nsabimana said that there are terms on which the new prospective investors were negotiating with the government through the Rwanda Housing Authority, adding that the process has reached the house design level.

The Acting Director General of Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), Noel Nsanzineza, told a local media house that investors who expressed interest in venturing into the project include Canadians and Chinese, adding that the government is going to consider how the investments they plan to make fit into the country’s affordable housing policy.

Under the country’s affordable housing policy, he said, an affordable house is that whose price does not exceed Rwf40 million (about $35,500 at current exchange rates), and that the number of rooms might vary depending on market or buyer preferences. This is how much a buyer has to pay for an 80-square-metre house.

He indicated that the price can be lower than that depending on the size, but pointed out that a square metre (m2) must not exceed Rwf500, 000.

According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda as a whole needs at least 2.1 million housing units by 2050, under the country’s 30 year-vision which started in 2020.

It means that the country’s housing demand stands at 70,000 a year – with Kigali accounting for about 26 per cent (or a quarter) of it.

Rwanda’s population is projected to increase to over 22 million in 2050, from 13.2 million in 2022, as per the 5th Population and Housing Census 2022 by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.

SOURCE: NewTimes

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