President Paul Kagame has launched the construction of the state-of-the-art Kigali International Finance and Business Square (KIFBS) in the heart of Kigali’s central business district.
The building, a twin tower by Equity Bank will be completed at a tune of $100 million and, officials expect that it will be ready within 24 months.
The building, estimated to 20 floors from ground level, KIFBS seeks to be an iconic and asset for the city much as it is located within the giants of Kigali’s skyscrapers.
In the plot between Kigali City Hall, ECOBANK and Grand Pension Plazza, Makuza Peace Plazza and Ubumwe Grand, no wonder the building comes to give Kigali’s Central business district a more stunning look of the capital city entrance.
“We are hoping this building will attract investment banks, finance companies, Africa regional offices and others,” said Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Equity Group Holdings Plc, the banking conglomerate with one of the largest customer bases on the African continent.
“We have started the journey, join us. We are hoping in the 24 months, we will have finished this building and we can have an event like this.”
Mwangi recalled the background of Equity Bank settling in Rwanda eleven years ago and said it has been a long journey and some of people who contributed to the quick process including Clare Akamanzi, currently CEO of Rwanda Development Board(RDB).
“Your excellency President, we started here eleven years ago and eleven years down the road, we grew to become number two largest bank in Rwanda due to good business environment in Rwanda,” Mwangi said.
At the launch, President Paul Kagame was thankful to Rwanda’s financial partners who put up facilities like the one whose construction is starting.
“This project is also about the future of our people and our most valuable asset that is our people,” the president said.
“Over the years, we have created meaningful partnership that contributed to our development. I think it will be the same for Kigali International Finance and Business Square,” the president said promising to the bank officials Rwanda’s full support.
“We always tell our partners we try to convince partners that we are reliable partners. We will make sure that you feel that every dollar you invest in us will have its full worth of return,” the President further said adding that he had an opportunity to have his input on the design of the twin tower.
“If you see a bad building in the city, you know I did not have a hand in it,” the President said sending the audience to laugh.
The building seeks to be environmentally sustainable and to be a globally competitive place of business.
It also seeks to show Rwanda’s experience with local construction materials and equipment inside out.
With an open space that extends to Imbuga, Kigali’s main car free zone, architects said they have brought a setup that will be inclusive, allowing every type of business to enjoy the place.
They also claim to be “the first LEED accredited development in Rwanda”, with sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy atmosphere, rigorous material and resource selection, indoor environmental quality, innovative design, awareness and education.
According to Dr. Mwangi, Equity Bank started thirty (30) years ago with a humble beginning, being the number 66 in Kenya, now largest bank in Eastern and central African in asset with 13 billion dollar assets and and 17 million customers.