After kick-starting the construction of the $2 billion Kigali innovation city project, Rwanda is now training its guns on green cities. The country has initiated a green city project, planned on 620 hectares of land in the Kinyinya Sector of Gasabo District in its capital, Kigali.

According to the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the Rwanda green city model which is the first of its kind in Africa, will capture the essence of ‘green urbanism’ whose aim is to create a green urban center; ‘a city’ with green housing, infrastructure, mixed use, amenity, workplaces and industry.

Engineer Eudes Kayumba, Deputy Team Leader of the Green City pilot project which was launched last year said the city will be equipped with green technologies and innovations for green and climate resilient urbanization.

The first phase of the project, entrusted to the British company Horizon Group, will involve the construction of the houses. For the second phase of the project, affordable ecological housing will be built on 125 hectares of land for the low-income population. The last phase will integrate commercial and office buildings to attract innovative green companies.

The city will apply the use of clean technologies, electric vehicles, electric bicycles and motorcycle lanes, renewable energy, sustainable waste treatment, biogas plants, urban forests, mini-factories with clean technologies, affordable housing and integrated craft production centres, disclosed Engineer Kayumba.

“We are conducting a study to estimate the jobs that will be created based on how the residents of the area generate income,” he said while assuring that it will be in partnership with the private sector and local building materials will be used in the construction to make the houses more affordable and environmentally sustainable.

The project which will be run under the Rwanda Green Fund (Fonerwa), has received financial backing from German Development Cooperation through the KfW Development Bank while Sweco, a European engineering and architecture firm will be overseeing the implementation.

“When studies get completed later this year, we will start implementation of the project, beginning with key infrastructure such as water, electricity and roads which will also benefit neighbouring communities,” Kayumba said.

It is estimated the city will cost about $5 billion to build, with construction expected to start at the beginning of next year.

The ongoing Kigali Innovation City project and the model green city project, are part of Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation 2017-2024 aimed at establishing Rwanda as a globally competitive knowledge-based economy.

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