Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Factories relocation to Kigali Trade Zone on track – Kanimba


Some of the structures that have already been put up in the economic zone.
The planed relocation of Gikondo-based industries to the Kigali Special Economic Trade zone is on course as planned, the Minister of Trade and Industry said. 

The first batch of factories to lead the way include Rwandafoam, Uprofoam, Rwanda Industry, Aquasan, Sigma Paints, Adma, Mineral Suppliers, Afrifoam and Papyrus.

The relocation plan is part of efforts to help existing industries fit into the national industrial policy aimed at creating a conducive environment for industrial development.

According to Minister Francois Kanimba, the first phase will see 14 factories relocate. 

“The first batch of nine light industries is complete and the factories are almost ready. We will beat the deadline of May,” said Kanimba.

According to the minister, the need for sustainable industrialisation and urban environment management as highlighted in the country’s Vision 2020, prompted the government to review the industrial set up with a view to relocating the factories.

Phases one and two of the zone cover a surface area of 277 hectares while the third phase will cover approximately 134 hectares. The relocation exercise is expected to be complete by end 2016.

Individual factories are expected to cover the cost of moving their heavy equipment and installation.

However, some of the industries are facing a number of hurdles in their bid to beat the deadline.

For example, Rwanda Industries, a treading and plastics company based in Gikondo is renting the premises in which it is operating from. Apart from the buildings being ramshackle and old, it is perpetually damp because it is situated in a wetland.

“In order to get a free place in the economic zone, the industries must buy off the old place in order to exchange it with government. Negotiations with our landlord are still ongoing,” Anthony Nzunzali, the production manager of Rwanda Industries told The New Times on Monday.

“However, it’s also a blessing in disguise since we will be moving from a swampy area to well-built structures and I hope this will add value to our products.”

Minister Kanimba reassured the factory owners that the timeframe is fair. 

“We have given them four months after May, to slowly relocate and organise themselves,” Kanimba said, although some factory owners say they are not only incurring relocation costs but also the expenses of their manpower will increase.


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