Kigali Master Plan implementation projects



Kigali City in its bid to drive the investment climate improvement has embarked on development of its Central Business District by enhancing better physical service especially infrastructure to facilitate the City’s economic growth.

To cope with the current existing slums in Lower Kiyovu and Muhima Sectors, the city council has engaged the private sector in the exercise of planning and creation of a new Central Business District as an expansion of the current central business area of Kigali. Subsequently the City is addressing the social impact of the relocation of the residents of these slums by creating new planned residential hubs in various areas of the suburb such as Kinyinya, Akumunigo, Masaka among many. This will be achieved in two phases:

Phase 1: Central Business District 1: Which will cover a total project area of 150Ha of Muhima Sector.

Phase 2:
Central Business District 2: Which will focus on the upgrading of the existing Central Business District. This will be an ongoing scheme that will involve the active participation of the existing business community of this area.

Focal to these renewal and upgrading projects will be the introduction of mixed land use to support a vibrant city centre that lives on late into the evenings. Currently studies are ongoing to develop detailed land use plans for these areas. These plans will then be opened to the private sector for various investment opportunities-infrastructure, real estate, landscaping projects etc.



As a prospective expansion zone for the Central Business District highlighted above Kimicanga is currently occupied by slums over an area of 75 Ha. This harmonizes with the extensive national program for regaining our marshlands (currently occupied by our Industrial Area which will be relocated to the new Industrial Area). The scenic value will be incorporating the introduction of a recovered water body between the Central Business District and the Kimicanga Zone. Kimicanga zone may therefore be applied as an expansion zone for CBD, high end residential hub, commercial mixed use entity or touristic hub that will serve the residents and business community established in the CBD.



This area covers an area 53 hectares of prime land to be released for planned development. For this reason the City came up with a development plan to optimally use this space. Considering the prime nature of this location, the City wishes to promote the establishment of signature development into an international gateway into the city. Careful measures have been taken to include proposals that will ensure that the strategic development of the land will engulf its uniqueness while embracing the holistic environment.

Phase 1: Infrastructure on an area of-53 Ha.

The nature of the developments expected in this area will require state-of-the art infrastructure to the tune of 7.5 billion Rwandan francs.


Using the example of Kimihurura Development Zone we highlight major principles applied in the development of this design as outlined in the Master Plan. In order to achieve a vibrant pedestrian friendly tourist and financial hub key elements were taken into consideration as defined in the basic principles that guided the development of the first draft land use plan for the area:

  • Increased building density and vitality.
  • Build upon the existing developments.
  • Extend greenbelt with pedestrian ways, bicycles, park and recreation areas.
  • Road, street and infrastructure network improvement.Common sewage and solid waste treatment system.
  • Public transport stops and building “back” side parking for vehicles.
  • Further beautification of the fountain area.
  • Promenade walkway along buildings at the street with storefronts, coffee shops and outdoor meeting and gathering spaces.
  • Pedestrian bridge over roadway to act as a “gateway” from the existing airport to City Centre.

Kigali City management is also focused on providing affordable and sustainable housing for all city dwellers; specifically low, medium and high income earners. The City Conceptual Master Plan is completed and will be followed by neighborhood development plans. These plans will be characterized by mixed use development that will facilitate city residents to cross benefit from infrastructure, utilities and services. The city therefore, has a vision to improve housing conditions by promoting effective planning methods and provision of adequate infrastructure and public utilities.

The housing fabric in the developed area of Kigali, is mainly composed of informal settlements; some with slums and others with modern houses in unplanned settlements. The slum areas are largely occupied by low and irregular income earners and are neither healthy, safe, and do not even have access to basic infrastructure and utilities. These projects focus on an initiative by the city to provide alternative and safe housing for inhabitants of such slums; to give them an opportunity to enjoy their basic rights to basic infrastructure and public utilities. This is just one of the steps being taken by the city to address the housing problems. The other steps which include; real estate development, sites and services schemes, upgrading and private sector involvement in housing provision are examples of on going initiatives.

Consequent to the described projects above for the transformation of prime land currently populated by slums into profitable schemes for maximum use of the land, there has been the challenge of providing alternative good quality yet affordable housing with all amenities provided for our people. The projects are being developed to allow for profits gained from these schemes to be applied in the development of subsidized and affordable planned residential hubs for the relocated residents. These are Akumunigo and Kinyinya Residential Hubs which will exhibit easy accessibility to all services such as banking, shopping, recreational, income earning opportunities among many.



This is an ongoing project covering an area of 58 Ha designed to develop plots of land for low and medium cost residential development. It is a project that has been partially funded by a PIGU-WORLD BANK grant to the tune of RWF 507,196,665 for the development of all infrastructural requirements for the area. The City has engaged in partial expropriation of the area in order to avail land for the creation of the ideal future residential hub. This is a unique project in its consideration of integrating the already existing population in the upgrading scheme. It will also be focusing mainly on housing low and medium income earners and will apply an element of high densities in order to ensure maximum yet sustainable use of the land. In its element of incorporating existing developments major services such as a hospital and school are already provided for in the existing infrastructure.



The emphasis of this project is on adequate housing availability for city dwellers over an area of 240 Ha. Under this scheme a sub pilot project was initiated to provide for those with no, low, medium or irregular incomes. Kigali inner city is characterized by approximately 50% of informal and indecent settlements that require to be addressed. This does not rule out the different slums in the other parts of the city, however, the inner city slums are being immediately addressed because some of them have been established on prime land for modern development in the Central Business District. The current central business district of Kigali, which lies on about 100 hectares of land, is very limiting on a growing city such as this, with an overwhelming demand to expand. Ubumwe cell is one of the inner city slums that is being relocated to a planned neighborhood fully equipped with housing and infrastructure to open up land for modern development.

Currently in collaboration with the National Social Security Fund, 250 low cost houses have been set up in Batsinda as a pilot project at a total cost of RWF 1.9 billion with subsidized infrastructure inclusive. The project seeks to expand to the entire area of Batsinda and further to the whole of Kinyinya sector which covers an area of 240 Ha. The key focus of this residential hub would be to integrate the low, medium and high end residential areas to absorb the ongoing relocation program that the city has embarked on.



An area extending over 60 Ha of land on the top of one of Kigali’s hills with an exquisite view overlooking a marshland that will undergo a beautification process, upcoming medium-high range housing schemes on the slope of the hill; this area is targeted at providing an alternative resort area within the city centre. It will support the establishment of 5-6 star exclusive hotels with a hotel training school suitably located close by to ensure the channeling out of qualified hotel staff.

With the growing influx of tourists and investors attending a variety of meetings, this will not only provide a peaceful environment away from home, but also a secluded area for key meetings that call upon a large delegation of participants.