President Paul Kagame says Rwanda could have found a solution to the challenge of lack of affordable housing for many Rwandans following the unveiling of an eco-friendly housing project built through a public-private partnership.
The Head of State and the First Lady, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, on Friday officiated at the opening of the first units of a multibillion housing project known as Bwiza Riverside Homes, located in Nyarugenge District, in the City of Kigali.
The project which will see 2,400 housing units built and sold at an affordable price is being developed by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and ADHI Corporate Group, a private construction and investment company with origins from Gabon.
Speaking at the launch of the first phase which will see at least 252 units built before the end of 22, President Kagame said that the project could be the answer to the challenge of lack of affordable housing in Rwanda.
“I want to thank Mr. Soleman for the collaboration that has taken place between you, ADHI and our Government institutions to demonstrate what is possible in the area we have been seeking to make some progress for a long time without making good progress,” President Kagame said.
The Head of State said that the idea was born out of his chat with businessman Soleman Idd, the Chairman of ADHI Group, who he met several years ago and interested him in a housing project that would rely on modern technology and eco-friendly materials to deliver affordable units for many Rwandans.
He said Soleman showed him how the project can lead to achieving affordable housing for the population, especially the majority who need to have access to housing but don’t have high incomes.
President Kagame said he had faith in Soleman because whatever he said to him made sense and committed government involvement and today the idea came to fruition.
He said that the completed units are proof that they are a solution to the challenge of lack of affordable housing the country has been grappling with for a long time.
“This is just the beginning. There is a lot of work to do as we saw in the presentation. There is the training of our people that has to go into it, materials that have to be accessed, mostly locally and the sustainability model of all this is self-explanatory,”
“I don’t think we can have any better than this- To have it affordable, sustainable and most of it arrived at through local materials, I think is the best combination we can have,” President Kagame said.
He said that following the pilot phase, the Government of Rwanda will continue to partner with the developer to build as many homes as possible.
“We are going to be good partners. We have been but now even stronger partners we are going to be and if we can move faster, that’s our aim. We should be,”
“On the side of government, we feel we should do whatever is possible within our means to have our people access the kind of affordable houses that are needed in so large numbers,”
“Today we saw what is possible, we are going to stick with it,” he said, adding that government institutions will play their part in making sure that there is significant progress in achieving affordable housing.
He promised the investor that he will be available 24 hours for his own input to ensure that the project succeeds.
On his part, Soleman said that there are an estimated 300 million new homes that will be required globally by 2030 and the deficit is concentrated on the Africa continent.
“At ADHI we believe that the only answer to tackle this global shortage is by building affordable, safe and accessible housing that is environmentally friendly and built on sustainably developed land and infrastructure and by locally skilled technicians, using locally produced materials,”
“At ADHI Rwanda, we are convinced that urbanisation is more than just building houses,” he said, adding that they also focus on climate change, adaptation mitigation and resilience in housing rather than looking at it as just a business.
“Our construction method is innovative yet uses proven technologies and materials that, when combined, result in faster, cheaper, stronger, and long-lasting buildings,” he added.
Among other things, he said the housing units suffer minimal impact from the weather, seismic damage, wind and fire, rust, rot, and humidity while local builders have been trained to use the technology.
Soleman commended the Government of Rwanda for believing in the idea and partnering with ADHI to bring it to fruition, which will lead to many Rwandans being able to afford a house. Bwiza Riverside affordable homes project, according to officials, is expected to cost over $100 million.