Kagame, Where Will You Get US$520 Million For Building Bugesera Airport?

By David Himbara

General Paul Kagame has spent a fortune on tourism infrastructures. RwandAir has consumed at least US$1 billion. Kigali Convention Center (KCC) swallowed over US$500 million. And now, under the new scheme, Qatar has bought a 60% stake in the US$1.3 billion New Bugesera International Airport (NBIA) while Rwanda retains 40 percent. This means, therefore, that Rwanda’s share of 40 percent is US$520 million, while Qatari share of 60 percent amounts to US$780 million.

Where will Kagame get the US$520 million to pour into the new airport?

Under previous arrangements, NBIA was to be built by Mota Engil, an international construction and infrastructure management company. Mota Engil had a concession agreement under which the company was to build and operate NBIA for 25 years. The airport was to cost US$818 million with the initial phase costing Mota Engil half of that amount. Kagame has dumped Mota Engil and entered into a new agreement with Qatar which requires Rwanda to raise 40 percent of NBIA financing. The question is — where will Kagame get US$520 million? Stay tuned.