A Kenyan company has been picked to lead the construction of a smart city in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) capital Kinshasa.
AVLC Group, a consultancy firm, will offer consultancy services in the project for MC Telecom, a Kinsasha-based firm.
The project dubbed, Kasangulu Smart City will cover 40 hectares of land valued at Sh32 billion or 210 million US dollars.
It will have multi-storey houses, a level 4 hospital, a school, a train station, a water theme park, malls, shopping centres, a hotel, clubhouses, a lake, an artificial beach and other facilities.
This comes as the demand for quality housing, commercial spaces, and infrastructure in the East African region rises due to economic growth and urbanisation.
Investors from the East African Community (EAC) and citizens from the region have been urged to invest across the region to boost the integration and development of infrastructure in the EAC federation.
Speaking in Kinshasa during the official unveiling of the project, MC Telecom Chairman, Sam Yongo appealed to East African citizens to invest across borders in order to boost integration and social-economic development in the region.
“This is an initiative that can bring us together as the East African Community since we no longer have barriers of movement between our nations,” said Yongo.
Yongo further projected a population surge in the region which he said necessitated the construction of more houses and facilities for the growing population.
According to the EAC, the total population of the region is projected to increase to 500 million people by 2043 from the current estimated 300 million citizens, of which over 30 per cent is urban population.
DRC has a third (31 per cent) of the population of the East African Community.
“This is the first smart City in DRC and the project presents the opportunity to champion the first of its kind smart-gated city in the province of Kasangulu, Kongo Central, away from heavy traffic and pollution, while simultaneously delivering quality and affordable housing for the middle and upper classes of the country”, added Yongo.
He says that the project will be completed by 2027 adding that the advent of a smart city in Kinshasa signifies an exciting and transformative period for the region's real estate market, promising increased investment opportunities and a redefined urban living experience.
DRC Minister of Digital Technology Eberande Kolongele, who graced the event, termed the project as a significant leap in the region's development of the real estate market.
“Smart cities represent the convergence of cutting-edge technology, sustainable living, and economic growth. This initiative aims not only to transform the physical landscape of DRC but also to elevate the overall standard of living for residents in the region,” said Kolongele.
AVLC Group Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Kanyutu said the project will transform the DRC’s real estate market and also serve as a beacon of progress within the broader EAC region.
“We envision a future where such projects become a model for sustainable development, a testament to the power of innovation and collaboration across borders. We see this project as an integral part of a united East African Community, contributing to the region's economic growth, social well-being, and environmental sustainability,” he said.
He added that the project will have a great impact on the region by creating jobs and helping to stimulate the economy of the EAC economic block
On his part, AVLC Group Director Charles Karanja expressed optimism that the EAC member states will soon be more integrated with the expected unveiling of a common currency for the region.
“The EAC region is growing at a very high rate economically and with the huge population in the region, the project will help to serve the growing population in the EAC region and improve lifestyles within the region's real estate market,” Karanja said.
The construction project will be managed by Kenyan-based UDesign Architects led by the firm's CEO, Mutahi Wariithi.
The groundbreaking of the project will take place in the second week of December 2023 with Phase One of the project estimated to be completed in 2025.