Rwanda has set its sights on bringing Wakanda into reality with the first-ever “green city” project in Africa. The city will have environmentally-clean mini-factories, all-electric vehicles, environmentally sustainable affordable housing, and integrated craft production centres on 620 hectares of Kinyinya, Gasabo District, Kigali City and will cost a whopping 5 billion dollars.
Two projects are currently developed on two parts of the site: phase 1 – Cactus Green Park, a housing development with 410 houses on 13 hectares and phase 2 – a housing development by on 125 hectares. The next phases will include commercial and office buildings. Relevant studies and designs are set to complete by December. Development of the project will start in January 2020.
Eudes Kayumba, Deputy Team Leader of the Green City Pilot, disclosed that the city aims at having clean technologies, electric vehicles, electric bicycle and motorcycle lanes, renewable energy, sustainable waste treatment, biogas plants, and urban forests, among others, complete with a system that prevents environmental degradation and air pollution. He added that the project serves as a yardstick in showing the viability of green cities in Rwanda and in revealing elements that could be replicated in the development of secondary cities across the country with green technologies and innovations for green and climate resilient urbanisation.
Kayumba says that the funding for the project will come from different stakeholders. The Rwanda Green Fund, with the financial support of the German Development Cooperation through the KfW Development Bank, is undertaking a feasibility study for the project. The Rwanda Green Fund contracted Sweco, a European engineering and architecture firm, to support the implementation of the project. “We are conducting a study to estimate the jobs that will be created based on how the residents of the area generate income,” Kayumba added.
To make houses more affordable and environmentally sustainable, construction will mainly use local building materials. “When studies get completed later this year, we will start the implementation of the project, beginning with key infrastructure such as water, electricity and roads which will also benefit neighbouring communities,” said Kayumba, adding, “the project will not displace low-income earners, rather the proposed city will be built in such a way that low-income earners will be empowered. In fact, a section of the green city will be earmarked for low-income earners.”
On low-income earners, he added, “There are aspects on social aspects, gender, and credit and loan schemes that will make it possible for low-income earners to access funding to buy affordable houses from the project. Some of them will pay for houses, others will get social houses because they cannot totally afford them on their own.”
Rwanda is already celebrated as the ‘third greenest city in the world’. The country banned all non-biodegradable plastics, has a monthly day of community cleaning service, and has tackled noise pollution by ordering sound-proofing of religious buildings and clubs. With this Green City project, Rwanda is showing its commitment to protecting the environment. Wakanda is here.