Rwamagana district in the Eastern province of Rwanda has released a new Master Plan that will turn the former Arab trading town into a green, clean, and business satellite town next to Kigali city.
The distance between Kigali and Rwamagana is 42 kilometers (26 miles) while the driving distance from Kigali to Rwamagana is 60 kilometers (38 miles).
Rwamagana town was founded and built on trade activities by early Arab settlers from Tanzania in the early 1950s who opened markets, coffee, and retail shops.
The 2021-2050 district Master Plan blueprint with 16 major projects to be implemented in the next 50 years is a joint venture between Geosurveys International Ltd and A+J and Partners which was unveiled on August 5, 2021.
Some of the new and unusual projects in the plan include: opening up the first planetarium in Rwanda, a mega-conference and hotel facility, youth innovation and entertainment villages, a green public square, a shopping mall, and a high-density residential precinct.
A planetarium is a theatre devoted to popular education and entertainment in astronomy and related fields, especially space science, and traditionally constructed with a hemispheric domed ceiling that is used as a screen onto which images of stars, planets, and other celestial objects are projected.
Among other infrastructure, the plan looks to construct a transport hub to connect one of Rwamagana’s old markets (Uswahilini) to the CBD, green zones and pedestrian paths, a university hospital building, revamped Rwamagana hospital, a modern genocide memorial site, and a fruit market.
Joshua Ashiimwe, the project manager in charge of implementing the plan said the Planetarium is a new idea that will attract many Rwandans to live in Rwamagana town instead of Kigali City.
“The Government has invested in infrastructure to enable people to live in the town center but here we have few people living in Rwamagana town because most prefer to live in Muyumbu and Nyakariro which are near Kigali. With such investment more will be attracted to live here,” Ashiimwe said.
“We need these facilities to attract investment here with all this traffic passing through we intend to see investment resulting from facilities put in place in the long term,” Ashiimwe said.
The Master plan comes with an expansion of the Central Business District (CBD) area from 52 to 65 square kilometers to pave way for more development activities.
The earlier master plan only covered two sectors-Kigabiro and Muhazi out of 14 sectors of Rwamagana district but the new plan added more sectors such as Gishari and Mwulire.
The Mayor of Rwamagana Rajab Mbonyumuvunyi, said the new plan is citizen-oriented and forward-looking to accommodate anticipated population growth in the next 50 years.
“The expansion of the city center area in the plan is supposed to accommodate more residents while also allowing existing activities to stay intact but with improved lifestyle,” Mbonyumuvunyi said.
For the next 28 days, citizens will be allowed to view and place in complaints or suggestionss on the new master plan which will be considered before its final approval by the central government.