Construction has begun on an $820m airport in Bugesera, a district on the southern outskirts of the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
Portuguese firm Mota Engil will build Bugesera International Airport following an agreement with the Rwandan government last year. Funding for the development was delayed until the start of the financial year and Mota Engil now intends to fast track the project to meet its completion date.
When the $400m first phase is complete in 2019, it will have an annual capacity of 1.8 million. The second phase will expand that to 4.5 million.
Mota Engil will run the airport’s facilities for 25 years with an optional extension of 15 years.
Paul Kagame, the freshly re-elected president of Rwanda, is quoted by Xinhua as saying: "Bugesera Airport is an important part of Rwanda’s strategy for socio-economic transformation. We are as determined as you are to see this airport completed and operational. We may not be big but we will always strive to be our best.
"Rwandans to whom we are accountable are used to having high expectations and trust us to deliver. This will be no different."
Image: A bridge over the Nyabarongo River in Bugesera District (Wikimedia Commons/Antoinetorrens)