The project consisting of a village with 15 modern homes, is currently on track under the watchful eye of Imara Properties Rwanda, a joint venture by former school colleagues who later became business partners and aligned their resources with the ‘impressive development of Rwanda.’
David Benazeraf, a French entrepreneur who is the CEO and Co-founder of Imara Properties Rwanda has told IGIHE that the idea to start a joint company had not surfaced until he was invited multiple times by his colleagues to come and learn about Rwanda from within.
Considering the existing conducive business environment, he was lured to the country and the decision to create a company in Rwanda was ‘no-brainer’.
The three colleagues from Rwanda namely; Serge Kamuhinda, the CEO of Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda; architect, Aimé Bakata Nkunzi and Alain Ngirinshuti, currently serving in the top management of Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) are shareholders of the company.
Within just three months; the rural, nearly abandoned plot at Rebero hill has been cleared, ready to proceed with further construction activities.
Once completed, David Benazeraf who spends most of his time at the site has expressed optimism that the housing project will be among architectural marvels of Kigali City.
“Three months ago, this land was rural. People were growing vegetables and you could see banana trees around. We are very glad to see urbanization ongoing and take pride to be part of the development of Kigali,” he said.
The village, which will be the first of its kind in Kigali, will comprise of 15 homes, each with its unique and private garden. Buildings will be in two main categories namely; a detached house, which is a stand-alone residential structure that does not share outside walls, and a semi-detached house which is a single-family home that shares one common wall with another.
Detached homes will be 170 square kilometers (sqm), comprising four wide bedrooms, three bathrooms, two kitchens, parking with the capacity to accommodate two cars and a staggering 280 to 360 sqm garden.
In fact, all detached homes have been sold out, as well as two thirds of the whole project.
Semi-detached units will be built on 136 sqm, and will have two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two kitchens, parking to accommodate two cars, and 180 to 270 sqm gardens.
The village sits at one of the best locations in Kigali, as residents will have all-time tremendous views of the hilly, yet glittering Kigali, and the flat, well-greened area of the rapidly developing Bugesera district.
According to David Benazeraf, the project is a big success in no smaller part, not only considering its location but also appealing designs that have impressed potential dwellers.
“When you look at the project, it is very unique. We have many apartments across the city and tried to come up with something different. Besides, there are standalone houses with garden, which is among other things luring customers”, he said.
Mr. Benazeraf has bet to complete the project by next year, and the soaring demand might push the company to enlarge the project.
“Of course we didn’t come to Rwanda for just one project, so we are hoping to do different projects, not necessarily the same [as Isange Estate]. We will give it a little bit of time […] we are looking to other projects that will contribute to the urban development of Kigali.”
Rwanda, especially the capital city, is in dire need of new and urban residential apartments to accommodate its rapidly growing population, which is expected to hit 14 million in the next four years and 22 million in 2050.
This stresses the need to draw attention to the country’s small land area and develop affordable homes to attract the growing middle class residents.
Rwanda plans to build at least 150,000 new residential houses annually for the next 15 years to cope with the growing population.