Rwanda: Urbanization and Housing Transformation in Kigali
Despite the breaking Genocide news in 1994 that left over a million Rwandans dead and thousands of orphaned children and widows, Rwanda has made significant steps of development. Various sectors including manufacturing, housing, and rural settlement, infrastructure and urbanization have been steadily growing. This has benefited the Rwandan community and boosted the country’s economy to new heights.
Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, has particularly hit the headlines for its development so far that was thought impossible. Kigali has undergone significant urbanization while other sectors especially housing and infrastructure have seen tremendous development. Currently, Kigali is among the top cleanest urban towns in the world in addition to its green and safe environmental standards. This has mostly been a result of the Rwandan government efforts in well-managed urbanization and sustainable human settlement development.
It was until 2004 when the government started regulating housing development in the country. Back then urban housing was completely unregulated, resulting to unplanned human development and settlement in High-Risk Zone, and underserviced residential settlements. The government made various efforts to regulate both use of land and housing to ensure that every Rwandan had access to safety and basic services.
Kigali is an epitome of the country’s pride in the rewarding efforts of regulated development so far. It has several rising building complexes such as the Kigali City Tower which is a high rise office and retail complex. Hatari Sekoko, a Rwandan businessman, developed the complex, while a Chinese engineering company constructed it. This complex contains a 20-storey tower which is the tallest in the country, a car park block, and a commercial center. Other notable complexes include the Kigali Conventional Center, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kigali Heights and Vision city project.
Today, Kigali is one of the fastest growing cities with the fastest rate of urbanization in all of Africa. The city aims at attracting both local and foreign investors by focusing on sustainable growth.