Regional and foreign multinational contractors like China Construction, Strabag International, Roko Fair Construction, Seyani Brothers & Co. among others, have flocked to Rwanda to play game. The stakes have been raised by the prospects of a fat pay check based on the high demand for modern infrastructure in the country. Local players, will not have their cake and eat it despite having full backing and promotion by the government.

Rwanda is counting on its vibrant construction sector as one of the pillars to achieve economic growth and meet its 2020 development targets. The country’s construction industry, which is one of the fastest growing subsectors of the economy, accounts for 30 per cent of turnover in the industrial sector. Rwanda’s GDP growth currently averages 8.1 per cent.

At the heart of this growth has been the industrial sector which grew at 9.8 per cent during the First Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 1), driven by rapid expansion in construction which grew at 15% annually, providing 15.4 per cent of national output.

The country’s construction boom has built up since ten years ago when the government began initiatives for modern housing and commercial infrastructure. The sector, initially driven by regional construction companies has seen a number of local players rise to claim market share, with backing and support from the government. However, Ugandan based Roko Construction Company has seen the largest part of the action in the Rwandan market.

Roko has been at the heart of most state-of-the-art construction projects in Kigali including the Bank of Kigali head office, Marriot Hotel, Kigali Convention Center interior (which cost over US$400 million), Dfid offices, and a Rwf. 4billion Eco-tourism lodge in Nyungwe National Park in addition to other projects.

A study by the City of Kigali and the European Union revealed that Kigali could face a housing deficit of 344,000 homes by 2020. According to the Kigali city master plan, the city will require at least 43,436 social houses and 186,163 affordable houses will be required annually, reflecting 54% housing demand. Housing development in Rwanda is largely government backed as a large percentage of the population cannot afford to build modern housing.

Rwanda has undertaken a stream of Doing Business reforms which have helped the country improve its global rankings in many respects, attracting more investors. Kigali was recently ranked the cleanest city in Africa.