KIC is a pan-African focused innovation hub that will house four international universities, innovative firms focused on agriculture, healthcare, and financial services; and supporting infrastructure including commercial and residential space. Africa50 will apply its expertise in infrastructure development to ensure the effective implementation of the project.
Under the JDA, RDB and Africa50 will establish a joint venture company and work with strategic partners to co-develop, finance, construct and operate commercial components of KIC.
The Government of Rwanda will provide land and fund ancillary infrastructures such as roads, lighting, power supply, and other horizontal “plug and play” enablers.
RDB, along with the Government of Rwanda, will also ensure the facilitation of macro and micro enablers including policy-led tax incentives that aid the bankability of the transaction and allow for effective private sector participation.
“It will attract innovation-driven enterprises and stimulate strategic partnerships that will further develop our growing tech sector, by nurturing inclusive growth and impacting the lives of thousands of people in Rwanda and beyond,” she noted.
Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government emphasized that it of great relevance to have reached another key milestone and to partner with Africa50 in the development of Kigali Innovation City.
“Africa50 has the expertise to speed up project development, and the ability to structure the financing while leveraging funds from development finance institutions and private sector investors. KIC will build on our economic success, helping us further diversify and modernize our economy while positioning Rwanda as a business hub in the heart of Africa. KIC will enable investors to develop technologies, prove new concepts and scale in Rwanda,” she said.
commenting on the signing, Paula Ingabire, the Minister of ICT and Innovation of Rwanda said that Kigali Innovation City is a key component of Rwanda’s strategy to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy and leading investment destination.
Africa50 CEO, Alain Ebobissé emphasized that the agreement is in line with ambitions to promote infrastructure development on the continent.
“We are proud to be part of this landmark infrastructure project, working with the Government of Rwanda, RDB, and the private sector. Innovation and technology are critical for Africa’s sustainable development, providing higher value-added exports and improved services. Signing the JDA will help crowd in private sector investment, which is in line with our mandate to mobilize financing to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure in Africa,” he said.
KIC has set ambitious targets: to create over 50,000 jobs, over the life of the project, to generate $150 million in ICT exports annually and to attract over $300 million in foreign direct investment.