Economie

Kigali, hard to think of the poorest continent

Life standards in Rwanda’s capital City, Kigali, are impressing people around the globe compared to that from the rest of the world. While there, it is very hard to believe that one is on the poorest continent of the planet, it’s an “other Africa”.

The fast growing capital city has emerged as a model of development for all of Africa through Luxury hotels, modern shops, impeccable streets and more.

French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ took a look into the rise and rise of the city where so much so that the human resources of the United Nations classify Kigali at the same level as the great Western metropolis in terms of comfort.

Nicknames like ‘Little Singapore’, ‘Switzerland of Africa’​​… do not fail to describe the success of Rwanda, whose president, Paul Kagame, was re-elected this week with 98.6% of the vote, including its capital, Kigali.

The city has indeed become the showcase of the economic dynamism of this small country of 12 million inhabitants, which has developed at high speed during the post-Genocide era. Between 2000 and 2015, Rwanda’s economy thus reached 7.9% per year on average, one of the strongest in Africa.

Kigali was the first to take advantage of the economic expansion, and changed radically in a few years. By walking through the city’s avenues, it is hard to believe that one is on the poorest continent of the planet: perfectly maintained parks, well-kept houses and brand new office buildings, an “other Africa”.

The city has thus become one of the cleanest and safest in the continent. It is indeed difficult to find the shadow of a waste on the ground, and the inhabitants walk there without problem day and night.

The capital is now a model of good management for neighboring countries, and continues the international distinctions. UN Habitat has declared Kigali the “cleanest city in Africa” ​​in 2016 for the third consecutive year. This year, she was crowned “Best African Capital”.

According to the Courrier International, which quotes the United Nations human resources services, living comfort would be almost comparable to that of New York.

A future ‘Silicon Valley’!

Under the impetus of the government, Kigali has equipped itself with efficient infrastructure, such as its international airport. Impeccable, it is equipped since 2016 with a state-of-the-art digital system to reduce the length of formalities for travelers. The fast asphalt roads ensure a smooth flow between the capital and its suburbs.

The efforts made by the State to modernize the city and make it attractive to foreign investors have quickly paid off, and cranes are now part of the landscape. The center bristled with modern buildings and luxurious hotels.

But the capital sees even further. By 2018, a “Silicon Valley of Rwanda” will open its doors in the periphery. This new city, called Innovation City, should bring together on the same site different players in the knowledge economy and new technologies.

Nearly 250 million euros will be injected into this “innovative city”, which will be covered by 4G, at 60% of the country. At the heart of the program, a university campus will host the Carnegie Mellon University, as well as the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, to train the country’s future elite.

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@Fred Irakoze

 

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