The agreement spells out that Qatar will own 60% shares of the airport while the Government of Rwanda will own the remaining 40%.
The new partnership with Qatar puts an end to previous agreements Rwanda signed with Mota Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa, a Portuguese engineering and construction company to build Bugesera International Airport.
Plans to build the airport were in two phases, with the first phase costing $820 million. Mota Engil had already invested $418 in the first phase. The second and completion phase was estimated to cost $382.
Mota Engil was supposed to supervise the maintenance of the airport for 25 years but was negotiating for 15 additional years.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete noted that three agreements have been signed including a share repurchase, where Mota Engil sold back its shares so that the new partnership with Qatar could be possible.
“Before, we had partnered with Mota Engil represented by ATL where they owned 75% of the shares while the Government of Rwanda had 25%. We bought back those shares to have a 100% so we could partner with Qatar that now owns 60% of the shares.”
He said that the decision to buy back Mota Engil shares was taken this year but that there still is a probability that Rwanda will keep working with the Portuguese company.
“We will still work with Mota Engil throughout the construction to the completion of the airport.”
The new airport’s first phase will be concluded by 2022 and will accommodate seven million passengers per year.
Gatete says that the airport will be seated on 2400 hectares, a futuristic airport that will also have room for expansion. He says construction will resume shortly as the Government of Rwanda is still finalizing agreements on who will be responsible for each activity.
The airport will provide job opportunities to many Rwandans, promote Made in Rwanda products and facilitate exports. It will also facilitate trade and transport in general.
Regarding the maintenance and security of the airport, the Government of Rwanda will keep partnering with Qatar.
In March, 2019, a Qatari delegation led by Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, the Deputy Prime Minister and Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs had talks with the Government of Rwanda and decided to partner with Rwanda for the construction of Bugesera International Airport.