Rwanda Development Board (RDB) recently announced on Twitter that it has entered into a deal with a French media conglomerate, Vivendi Group. According to RDB, the deal will see the development and occupancy of Kigali Cultural Village. The deal signed on Monday 5th July 2019 is a 20-year lease agreement.
Vivendi Group is a subsidiary of French Bolloré Holdings. The primary focus of the company is on digital entertainment. The Kigali Cultural Village will be located on Rebero Hill in Kicukiro sector. However, the main aim of the project is to diversify Rwanda’s tourism sector. Consequently, the Kigali Cultural Village will open up new cultural entertainment avenues. Speaking on the investment, the RDB Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi said,
“This investment is a good step forward for the country’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) strategy that has been growing remarkably over the years.”
RDB yesterday entered into an agreement with @vivendi, a global leader in cultural content and media for the development and occupancy of the Kigali Cultural Village (KCV) on Rebero Hill in Kicukiro Sector. #InvestinRwanda #VisitRwanda pic.twitter.com/G64TyKEu5F
— Rwanda Development Board (@RDBrwanda) August 6, 2019
Events that led up to the Kigali Cultural Village project
According to Devdiscourse, the project is a follow-up to Cyrille Bolloré’s visit to Rwanda in January 2018. Cyrille is the son of French billionaire and CEO of parent company Bolloré Holdings, Vincent Bolloré. Following the visit, Cyrille was lured by several investment opportunities. Consequently, the Vivendi chief gave the idea of investing in Rwanda’s tourism sector a thought.
The details of the Kigali Cultural Village agreement remain sketchy. However, according to RDB’s Twitter page, Vivendi will invest 3 to 4 million USD in the first phase of the project. This phase is likely to last six months.
The entire Kigali Cultural Village will sit on 30.1 hectares. The project will have facilities that showcase Rwanda’s contemporary and traditional arts, lifestyle, history, biodiversity, and nature. This includes an open concert area and a food court with a capacity of 15,000 people, cinema hall with 300 seats, and children’s gaming area. The entire facility will run on sustainable energy.
The entire Kigali Cultural Village project is estimated to cost $40 million. However, the facility will host cultural and artistic festivals, 19 movies sessions per week, seminars and conferences, and live concerts.
The impact of the project on Rwanda’s economy
The Kigali Cultural Village is Vivendi’s first investment in East Africa. The RDB is aiming to diversify the country’s tourism sector. The board wants to increase Rwanda’s annual tourism receipts to US$800 million by 2024. The completion of the Kigali Cultural Village will also provide job opportunities for Rwandans. Consequently, Rwanda stands a chance of becoming east Africa’s entertainment hub. According to Akamanzi,
“Through the KCV, thousands of Rwandans will get access to good jobs and youths employed in the arts will gain skills that they will be able to earn sustainably from and even export to the region. We are glad this investment will be Vivendi’s first in East Africa. I am confident that Rwanda will not only become a regional entertainment and cultural hub, we shall soon be developing and exporting entertainment and cultural industry talent in the coming years.”
The second phase of the Kigali Cultural Village will include Gameloft e-gaming laboratory and testing facility, Universal recording studios, Escape games, bars and restaurants, children’s playground, and the Canal Factory. However, the Canal Factory will have the shape of a modern, compact TV. Consequently, the facility will give young Rwandan talents the opportunity to train in cinematography.