Home Special Reports The $2.3 Bn Bugesera Projects

The $2.3 Bn Bugesera Projects

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
7:59 am

It’s no longer a place of death. History has it that the people who resided in Bugesera district-Eastern province of Rwanda until 1994 included children whose parents were expelled from other regions of Rwanda, to die with deadly flies-Tsé-Tsé.

Under the government of national unity, re-imagining Bugesera started by cost effective approach that consisted in greening, re-forestation which brought back rain to the region that was nearing to a desert.

From there, a competition over land started with Kigali dwellers crossing river Akagera to buy plots for a permanent home and that’s how Bugesera and Kigali became literally one city with a river between.

Following this new green land in Rwanda, the government started mega projects in Bugesera and the private investors of international caliber joined for a public – private partnership.

This partnership earned the country important agricultural projects, an international airport that will soon link Rwanda to the world, among other projects that may insure visitors of the capital Kigali that they would get the same treatment across the river.

Rwanda’s Biggest Project Ever

In a couple of months, Bugesera will become the country’s main gate courtesy of Bugesera International Airport which is by far, Rwanda’s biggest project ever. It is expected to cost $ 2 billion at completion phase.

Bugesera international airport artistic impression

While speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum in May this year, President Paul Kagame said that before end of this year, Rwanda will have achieved seventy per cent construction activities of the first phase.

In 2024/2025 financial year, this phase is expected to be completed and inaugurated with 8-million passenger capacity annually, while the second phase would be delivered by 2026.

At this level, the airport will have the capacity to receive 14 million passengers, and 150,000 tons of luggage annually, but the latest accomplishment will be reached by 2032.

Last week,the CEO of Aviation Travel and Logistics Holding Limited(ATL) Jules Ndenga, told KT Press that horizontal construction has reached 80%.

In charge of Bugesera International Airport, ATL is a a government holding established with the mission of managing aviation related activities including travel, logistics, ground, freight and cargo handling, as well as charter services.

Bugesera International Airport(BIA) has a long history. In September 2016, Government of Rwanda signed deal with Portuguese firm Mota Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa to deliver this airport facility.

One year latter – August 2017, President Kagame laid a foundation stone to flag off construction activities.

The construction was planned in two phases, as per terms of the deal between Rwanda government and Mota Engil.

The first phase would cost $418 million and be scheduled for completion by December 2018.

After this phase, the extension works worth $ 400 million would then be undertaken, bringing the total cost of the project to $818 million.

Barely had the company started construction activities however, Rwanda realized that the airport was not at the desired standard, thus, the airport plan was redesigned and expanded.

Therefore, the government needed a new investor ready for the greater task and, in December 2019, Rwanda and Qatar Airways concluded an investment partnership for the new international airport.

According to the government statement, the partnership featured three agreements to build, own, and operate the state-of-the-art facility.

Under the new deal, Qatar Airways agreed to take a 60% stake in the project, which, as a whole, was valued at around $1.3 billion.

Sonatubes-Kicukiro-Gahanga road

Bugesera airport will be linked to capital Kigali via an express way in two sections. First one is Sonatubes- Gahanga – Akagera road whose expansion was finalized in 2021 at $54 million (Rwf48 billion) financed through a concessional loan from Exim Bank of China to the Government of Rwanda.

Another section from Akagera River Bridge to the airport is yet to be finalized. It is expected to be built by the airport developers, according to Imena Munyampenda, Director General, Rwanda Transport Development Authority(RTDA).

Ntare School: OBs Give Back to the Community

In 2015, the Ntare School Old Boys Association (NSOBA) Rwanda Chapter launched a fundraising project for the construction of the same school that gave them decent education a couple of decades ago when they were refugees in the neighboring Uganda.

Ntare School-Bugesera District-Photo credit: Igihe.com

At the launch were two important figures including a guest OB Yoweli Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, and his Rwanda’s counterpart President Paul Kagame. The former graduated at Ntare School in 1966 while the latter was part of the class of 1976.

At the event, President Kagame pledged Rwf 100 million and his guest, $ 500,000 while other participants who included senior officials, investors among others pledged different amount, and this gave the project a good start.

Their dream came true after securing 40-hectare land for the project located in Musagara village of Nyamata sector, Bugesera district. They started construction in 2019.

The school with 35 classrooms of 30 places each and five science laboratories is now ready to enroll an estimate 1100 students in boarding.

Initially, the project was estimated to cost Rwf 6 billion upon completion, but the report of Rwanda’s Auditor General of National Treasury for 2021/2022 indicates that the cost has increased four-folds.

In May 2023, the Auditor General Alexis Kamuhire told Rwanda Parliament, that Ntare School had already cost Rwf 26.4 billion, equivalent to $ 21.2 million and 85,900 Euros adding that initial activities were yet to be done.

On December 6, the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Education told KT Press that they did not know the cost of Ntare School since they were not behind the project. He said they were waiting for the handover of the school which will be a government institution.

The Auditor General’s report indicates that NSOBA handed over the school management to government on January 28,2021.

Kanzenze Water Treatment Plant

Akagera is dirty water until you visit Kanzenze water treatment plant in Kanzenze sector, Bugesera district, just on the shore of the river.

Kazenze water treatment plant by Metito

By Metito, an Arab company, the project was completed at a tune of $ 63, according to Robert Bimenyimana, in charge of Communication at Water and Sanitation Corporation(Wasac).

The cost include distribution pipes up to the main water tanks in Kigali and Bugesera respectively,” said Bimenyimana.

With 40,000 cubic meter production capacity daily, the plant supplies 30,000 cubic meters to Kigali and 10,000 cubic meters to Bugesera.

The project came as a relief for places within the city of Kigali that were facing serious water-supply challenges, among which are Kicukiro, Remera, Kimironko, Kabeza, Kanombe, Busanza, and Nyarugunga.

Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture(RICA)

RICA, a partnership between Government of Rwanda and Howard Graham Foundation from Gahara village of Gashora sector, the school offers decent education since 2019, enrolling 84 students every year.


Apart from nurturing the students, the school offers extension services to the farmers who always need someone who can share farming tips.

Programs include beef rearing, small livestock production, milk processing, piggery and poultry, forage farming, horticulture, forestry and agriculture mechanization.

RICA’s Deputy Vice Chancellor of Institutional Development Jean Claude Kayisinga told KT Press, that RICA was completed at a tune of $ 84 million.

On top of providing decent education to students, RICA will also support farmers through agricultural extension,” said former Minister of Agriculture Gerardine Mukeshimana, while visiting the construction site, August 2018.

The Rwanda Seeds Centre in RICA

 Still at RICA, in October 2023 the institution partnered with One Acre Fund to build a seed centre at the campus. According to Kayisinga, the seed centre will be completed at a tune of $12 million.

Gako Meat Company Ltd

On 6000 hectares, the project located in Gako forest, Bugesera district brought together all it takes to offer a favorable environment to beef, goats and sheep meant for meat production.

The Chief Financial Officer Mbanda Jean Julien Adaoudatus told Kigali Today that water and energy infrastructure, among others, are available on site, and more is coming.

The company is looking forward to constructing a modern abattoir, irrigation and drainage system, Feedlot and Feed mil.

Mbanda told Kigali Today, that the project is estimated to Rwf 44 billion, equivalent to $ 35.3 million.

Two Partners Join the Government to provide fertilizer

The Fertilizers made in Rwanda now coming to the market, courtesy of partnership between Rwanda Fertilizers Company, OCP Group a fertiliser company from Maroc and the government of Rwanda.

Christine Kabanda, an official from the venture told Kigali Today, that the construction project cost $ 20 million.

The 52 kilometer Ngoma-Bugesera highway

Ngoma-Bugesera highway

This important road network in the Eastern Province will be completed at a tune of Rwf 64.1 billion, according to Imena.

Bugesera part alone will be as long as 29 kilometers worth Rwf 33 billion, equivalent to $ 26.4 million

Nyamata modern market

Now under construction is Nyamata Modern Market that is expected to be completed at a tune of Rwf 24.3 billion or $ 19.4 million, according Bugesera district official.

Additional reporting by Tarib Abdul

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