A Kenyan firm has been tapped to lead the construction of a Sh32 billion smart city in Kinshasa as demand for housing surges in East Africa.
Kenyan-grown financial consultant firm, AVLC Group, has been picked by MC Telecom – a Kinshasa-based firm – to offer lead consultancy services in the construction of a multi-billion-shilling project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The project dubbed, Kasangulu Smart City, covers an imposing 40 hectares of prime land valued at Sh32 billion ($210 million).
The project is designed to accommodate 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 an array of other essential facilities.
Speaking during the official unveiling of the multi-billion-shilling project in Kinshasa, MC Telecom Chairman Sam Yongo said the East Africa region is rapidly becoming a hub for emerging real estate markets due to a rapid growth of population.
He pointed out that as countries in the region continue to experience substantial economic growth and urbanisation, the demand for quality housing, commercial spaces, and infrastructure has surged.
“This is the first smart City in DRC and the project presents the opportunity to champion a 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,” said Mr Yongo.
According to Mr Yongo, the project is anticipated to be over by the end of 2027.
“We are excited because 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,” he said.
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 Mr Kolongele.
AVLC Group Chief Executive Officer Mr Andrew Kanyutu hailed the project’s vision adding that it will transform the DRC 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 stated.
The ambitious project is anticipated to attract considerable attention from investors across the EAC region seeking to capitalise on the burgeoning potential of a smart, modern urban hub.
It’s poised to draw in a diverse spectrum of residents - prospective homeowners, businesses, and innovators eager to be part of a cutting-edge, sustainable community.
AVLC Group will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the project by establishing the financial structure for the project, contract negotiations, financial coordination, and quality assurance among others.
The construction project will be managed by Kenyan-based UDesign Architects led by the firm's CEO, Mutahi Wariithi.
The actual 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.
MC Telecom is a Kinshasa-based telecommunication and resources provider group, specialising in construction work, civil engineering, transmission, power and logistics for telecommunication operations.
Mr Kanyutu added that AVLC Group will oversee the project’s implementation to ensure its success by bringing together the dynamic forces behind the venture including; the developer, the contractor and the technical team of architects, engineers and quantity surveyors.
“The project will have a great impact in the region by creating jobs and helping to stimulate the economy of the EAC economic block. This joint venture is poised to bring about substantial infrastructural changes, potentially acting as a magnet for both local and international investors,” Kanyutu said.
For 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 region and improve lifestyles within the region's real estate market,” Mr Karanja said.