On the other hand, this has become an investment opportunity where investors continue to build more and more modern housing estates, which can be afforded by middle-income earners.
One of them is Village Umutuzo. Inaugurated on Thursday 29th September 2022, Village Umutuzo is a real estate that seeks to help people get rid of rental fees.
The first phase of this project has seen a total of 67 houses built in Gahanga Sector in Kicukiro District. The estate comprises modern buildings built under an innovative concept to settle a large population on a small plot of land.
The project is run by GiRiNZU, a French-Rwandan real estate developer founded by a French national, Stéphane Monceaux in collaboration with a female Rwandan, Jacqueline Wibabara to help individuals wishing to own modern homes in Kigali city.
This estate seats on two hectares and has three sections with different structures for people to buy houses of their choice.
The company has offers that range from Rwf35 million to Rwf120 million for houses and apartments from 2 to 6 bedrooms.
There are multi-storey houses comprising two bedrooms, a modern bathroom, a kitchen and a well maintained garden, built as bungalows. One of them costs Rwf35 million.
The second category consists of one-storey houses, with three bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and a landscaped garden. A house under this category costs over Rwf74 million.
The third category, which is more costly, consists of houses with four bedrooms, a living room, two bathrooms, a modern kitchen and a large garden. Each costs Rwf120 million.
Village Umutuzo is built of bricks. Construction activities were executed by quite a large number of employees, majority of whom being Rwandans.
These houses are equipped with household furniture such as beds, chairs, tables and more.
Those who want to own these houses are encouraged to link up with the company for direct payments or seek loans from respective financial institutions to own houses.
One of the founders and president of GiRiNZU, Stéphane Monceaux, said that he once came to Rwanda and saw a government with good plans to settle the people which inspired him to build modern estates.
"We are a company which is unique and highly innovative at a global level. We build urban villages which are very sustainable where we would be happy to see our children live. We worked with the City of Kigali to be able to build houses like these that will house a large number of people and on a smaller land," he said.
“With our team made of local architects and engineers, we reinterpret the living atmosphere to create a Rwandan solution that brings Umutuzo [comfort],” added Monceaux.
Jacqueline Wibabara, a co-founder and vice president emphasized that they are committed to building affordable houses, and to support the government’s plan to settle the population decently.
She also said that the company has prioritized women empowerment where it seeks to reach 50% of women representation in hiring process at all levels in the years to come.
Wibabara disclosed that they consider lowering prices to help people with various economic backgrounds own a decent house easily.
The Mayor of Kigali City, Pudence Rubingisa, praised the initiators of this project, saying that this program will support the national policy of settling people on small land.
"The fact that the city has gained the houses in this village and the others being built under GiRiNZU project is a great achievement. These houses are offered at a moderate price encouraging many people to buy them," he said.
“We have a national policy to improve housing in order to resettle a large number of people on small land to ensure efficient use of land in accordance with the master plan and environmental preservation measures. So, this project came in handy," added Rubingisa.
The Ambassador of France in Rwanda, Anfré Antoine, praised the collaboration between the French national and the Rwandan woman, which led to the project beneficial to many people.
GiRiNZU has another project to build two urban villages in Gahanga, on two and more than three hectares respectively.
So far 85% of the houses in ’Umutuzo Village’ have been purchased.