Inaugurated on Sunday 8th August 2021, the golf course located in Kacyiru sector of Gasabo district, Kigali City has been undergoing expansion works for the past 15 months.
The implementation of the project was overseen by Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) through established company known as Rwanda Ultimate Golf Course Ltd (RUGC).
The golf course that previously sat on 18 hectares has been expanded to 52 hectares while holes increased from 9 to 18.
Apart from the first section which was renovated, the management developed a new section of the golf course which is the largest comprised of 12 holes out of 18 making the facility.
The two parts of the golf course and linked by a tunnel.
Designed by Gary Player, an expert in golf course design, Kigali Gold Course was constructed by French firm, Gregori International.
RSSB injected Rwf17.7 billion in the first phase of the project to cater for construction activities, acquisition of machines, shelter houses among other activities to upgrade the course to international standards.
Before the Rwf17.7 billion investment, RSSB took on assets valued at Rwf16.8bn which include land and clubhouse from the Government of Rwanda before upgrading the golf course.
The inaugurated course is the first phase of the project expected to continue until 2025.
The second phase includes a five-star hotel and apartment complex. With the second phase, the total investment is estimated at US$140 million (around Rwf145 billion).
According to the management of RSSB, the institution will work with other investors to complete the remaining phase.
The Director General of RSSB, Regis Rugemanshuro has said that renovating and expanding the golf course considered a potential investment opportunity was a concept of the Government of Rwanda.
“The Government of Rwanda was far-sighted, introduced this project and tasked RSSB to manage it. RSSB found it an ideal project, invested in it and supervised its implementation. That is how RSSB created RUGC as an institution mandated to oversee the project on daily basis,” he noted.
Upgrading Kigali Golf Course is believed to be a major and profitable investment in Africa taking into consideration of the shortage of similar facilities on the continent which generate huge returns.
Research shows that the global golf tourism market is projected to be valued at US$44.6 billion in 2021. Revenues from such activities have also been steadily increasing by 11% every year since 2019.
However, the African continent seems to lag behind such investments where it has less than 1,000 courses, representing about 2 % cent of courses in the world.
The majority of these courses (52%) are based in South Africa while a percentage of courses in Africa are not at international level. Some of them have nine holes which are below recommendations to meet international standards.
Rugemanshuro explained that the golf course will be among best facilities on the continent and generate huge returns once the entire project is completed.
“The Golf Course project being implemented in Rwanda will be amongst the best in Africa upon completion. It is a project of critical importance to the country and RSSB. The latter will subsequently promote golf and national economy through profitability of the project. It is also important to consider anticipated revenues from international tourism as the case for developed countries with advanced golf infrastructure,” he said.
Rugemanshuro revealed that over 500 people were employed during the construction of the golf course while more than 200 will get jobs at the course following the inauguration.
Kigali Golf Course features 23 bridges, nine lakes, three rain shelters, a hallway house and an underground tunnel.
Apart from the golf, the course will be also used for different sports including Tennis, swimming and marathon among others.
Kigali Golf Course is among high-end sports facilities built in Rwanda including Kigali Arena with 10,000 seats.
There are more projects in the pipeline including the renovation of Amahoro Stadium and developing new sports infrastructures in its surroundings among others pushing Rwanda forward to become sports hub in Africa.