Since French President Emmanuel Macron’s historic visit to Rwanda in May 2021, during which he offered a formal apology for France’s responsibility in Rwanda’s dark history, more French companies have begun exploring opportunities in the country. Companies like Vivendi, Groupe Duval, and Total Energies have joined this trend, investing in Rwanda’s various sectors.
For example, Groupe Duval is currently developing Inzovu Mall, a climate-smart mixed-use property set to redefine Kigali’s urban landscape while adhering to stringent green building practices. Located opposite the Kigali Convention Center, Inzovu Mall aims to become a beacon for international visitors, further enhancing Rwanda’s economic landscape.
French Ambassador to Rwanda, Antoine Anfré, has confirmed the active involvement of French investors in Rwanda’s tourism and hospitality sector. This newfound interest has not only reinvigorated existing establishments like Umubano Hotel but has also introduced innovative concepts such as the Mantis Kivu Queen Uburanga, a floating luxury hotel experience on Lake Kivu.
Umubano Hotel, originally a collaborative effort between Rwanda and Libya in the 1980s, has undergone several changes in ownership and names over the years. Now, it is undergoing extensive renovations and is expected to be rebranded as Mövenpick Hotel, a part of the Groupe Accor, a prominent French company. The revamped hotel is poised to resume operations as one of Kigali’s iconic hospitality establishments, offering world-class services.
Moreover, French investors are venturing into the realm of lake tourism with the Mantis Kivu Queen Uburanga. This floating hotel will be managed by Acor Group and will cruise along Lake Kivu, providing tourists with exceptional dining experiences and the chance to unwind in the comfort of a floating hotel on the serene lake.
Amb. Anfré has revealed that the boat hotel will serve as a transportation service, connecting Kibuye, Cyangugu, and Rubavu, thereby contributing to Rwanda’s tourism industry. It not only enhances the tourism landscape but also underscores the safety of Lake Kivu.
The boat hotel is expected to commence its services in early 2024, promising to be a significant addition to Rwanda’s thriving tourism sector.