Rwandan veterans get into real estate

Rwandan veterans under the aegis of Abadahigwa Ku Ntego, have ventured in real estate, in a bid to address house shortages as a result of high population in Kigali.

The real estate’s housing site is located in Kicukiro village, Masaka Sector in Gasabo District.

Shortage of affordable housing, especially in urban centres like Kigali, continues to trouble authorities, with the situation being made worse by focus on high-end market by real estate developers.

According to research done by the city of Kigali in 2012, it is estimated that presently Kigali population growing each year, the city needs to build about 31,000 units annually, and 344,068 units will be required by 2020.

Kigali has a population of about 1.2 million people, and is projected to reach 3.8 million by 2040.

The City of Kigali Master Plan 2013 is the final step of a long planning process started in 2007.

Experts say there is a need for a clear regulatory framework in which government defines its support and facilitates private investors to construct low-cost housing.

This year, new policies and government incentives have encouraged some companies to venture into the business as government moves to fast-track delivery of decent homes on the market for low and middle-income earners.

Ease shortage

It is in this background that Abadahigwa Ku Ntego Ltd, a subsidiary of Kigali Veterans Co-operative Society (KVCS), has invested in the real estate to ease shortage of housing.

According to Steven Seka, the chief executive of KVCS, the total investment in real estate is over Rwf1.5 billion.

“We recently received a loan from Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) of Rwf833 million and Zigama–CSS for the construction of affordable houses,” he said.

According to Maj (Rtd) Frank Ntabana, the managing director of Abadahigwa Ku Ntego Ltd, venturing into real estate is to provide housing solutions to Rwandans.

The first phase of the project of eight houses cost Rwf138million, the next phase targets 24 houses at a cost Rwf456 million and last phase will cost the same amount.

“We are putting up unique houses that are not common in Rwanda,” Mr Ntabana said. “One block is 26 by 16 metres and we are having four houses, thus saving land, considering that Rwanda is not expanding but the population is growing.”

According to statistics, 43,436 housing units for Kigali residents who earn less than Rwf35,000 per month will have to be built. Each house costs Rwf25million and only the middle and upper class can afford.

Sixty people from Iwawa rehabilitation Centre were employed by the Abadahigwa Ku Ntego project.

Safari Aboubakar of Jali Sector in Gasabo, and a youth leader in Kabuga, thanked the government for empowering to venture into such mega projects.

“We are practising the skills we acquired from Iwawa Rehabilitation Centre and our families are getting basic needs,” said Mr Safari said.

He added: “We appeal to the government to help us join co-operatives that will make us prosper and be employed in different parts of the country.”