Rwanda And South Korea To Work Together On Infrastructure

19 April 2024

Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure has agreed to deepen engagement with the South Korean government on infrastructure development in the East African country.

A bilateral meeting was held between Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure Jimmy Gasore and South Korea’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Sangwoo Park Lee on 12 April at which the pair agreed to cooperate in areas including urban mobility, smart city planning, airport city development and informal settlement upgrading. The two governments will also look at other opportunities in Rwanda’s infrastructure sector.

According to reports by South Korean news agencies, the Rwandan government has requested active participation in the Kigali Green City pilot project, the new Bugesera International airport and the Hinterland City development, as well as a 310,000-unit housing project.

The South Korean minister was touring the region ahead of the Korea-Africa Summit planned to be held in Seoul on 4-5 June.

The US$1.5 billion Kigali Green City scheme entails the development of a sustainable city across a 600-hectare site in the Kinyinya Hill area of Gasabo, a district in Rwanda’s capital city Kigali. The first pilot stage will see a mixed-use development built across 16 hectares. 

According to a 2021 feasibility study, the pilot project is planned to comprise 1,680 housing units, of which 1,430 will be affordable housing, in addition to a neighbourhood centre and market square, a nursery and primary school, community hall, parks and public squares and spaces.

In 2022, the UK’s Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBStudios) was selected to develop the masterplan for the city as well as the detailed designs for the pilot phase. 

The Kigali Green City project is being implemented by the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) with financial support from the German Development Cooperation through the KfW Development Bank and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The new Bugesera airport is under construction 25km south of Kigali International airport. The airport is being built in two phases across an area of 2,500 hectares. It will have the capacity to handle 8.2 million passengers and 150,000 tonnes of cargo annually when phase one is complete. Following the end of phase two, the airport will have the capacity to handle 14 million passengers and 300,000 tonnes of cargo.

In December 2019, the government of Rwanda and Qatar Airways signed an investment partnership agreement for Bugesera airport, with Qatar Airways taking a 60% stake. According to a November 2023 report by Rwanda's The New Times publication, the project involves an estimated US$2 billion of investment and is expected to be completed by 2026.