The 18-storey luxury tower, the tallest in Rwanda’s history, epitomizes the Kigali skyline’s metamorphosis.
KCT, in the center of Kigali Central Business District, clad in a smooth silicate glass skin, glazes with lustrous radiance, consuming the colours of the sky as they melt in the marvel glasses, casting the sky in brilliant shades of blue, grey, violet and orange. The building’s colours, virtually, change with the smiles, glows or the gloom of weather. But either way, you can’t mistaken the beauty of this new Kigali architectural monument. The main façade, facing Avenue du Commerce, is pampered with glass and steel, which, as you ascend towards the main lobby, past four levels of cars and wagons parking, you realize is pampered with glass—more glass, and tessellated white, grey and brown floor tiles making an interior that is gorgeously wrought as it smilingly unfolds before you.In fact the person I went with to give this story some breath commented thus; “The aura here makes it feel more like a luxury hotel than a commercial complex.” Couldn’t agree more.
The floodlights that wash the corridors and the angular window bays all give an intimate feel to every space in the building. The Bauman Associates, the architects behind the sky-high building took many things under consideration. As you read this, the building is 97 per cent complete due for official launching sooner. But the airs about the building are already ecstatic. Owned by a Rwandan, Hatari Sekoko with a 60% stake, and some foreign shareholders from Mauritius, The UK and Switzerland, the multimillion dollar establishment (estimated at $30 million) comes with a whole distinct emanation in the accommodation industry.“You see at first we intended to erect an intelligent building—that sees, talks and feels. But given the Kigali environment, we ended up with a smart building which falls between the intelligent and the standard,” says Hatari Sekoko the Executive Director of Doyelcy Limited, with a reasoned pride of strength. With the Smart building that KCT is, it is able to communicate to a certain level of security. “With the technology being installed, tenants will be able to view what is happening in their offices or stores at any given time—even when they are not in the country.
The CCTV system will be able to monitor all the time. A smoke detector is being placed in every room— and all these are directly linked to a 5-Star security room operating 24/7, with the personnel working in shifts. Massive monitoring screens are also being installed in the security room. And that is not all as the Executive new aura and Director enthuses. “At KCT we make it easy for our tenant to access the outside world. A tenant will find a telephone installed, high speed internet connected to different redundant fibre optics operators with direct connections to the sub-marine cables. All these will terminate their optic fibre to the KCT demarcation point.
Once this is complete, then we shall purchase what they call bundles—all intended at providing high-speed data and telephony services at affordable rates.” The Tower has 26,000 m2 of built up space, with about 22,100m2 as rentable. The tenants targeted will benefit greatly from the infrastructure so installed. “The Tower will offer extremely high-end business lifestyle. Retailers, office space occupiers and service providers will all have an interactive style,” considers Sekoko. About the potential tenants? “A variety. KCT offers premium-quality facilities for nearly every type of business. A split-level four-storied parking bay and a commercial center housing over 10,000 square meters of retail, including NAKUMATT Supermarket and more than 60 other shops, the center will make life easier for the Kigali shoppers,” notes a KCT employee.
And that is not all. Kigali City Tower will also host banks, day-care centers, restaurants, Bourbon Coffee, sports and fitness facilities and a movie theater, in addition to 740 square meters of exhibition space. The buzz goes all the way to the top floor, where a high-end restaurant and nightclub will occupy the 18th floor and terraced roof. According to information from the KCT archives; “The building’s commercial center represents the heart of the entire development and is designed to host a variety of facilities on five floor levels operating virtually on a 24- hour basis.”
Hatari Sekoko adds; “The top-tower will have a high-end restaurant dubbed the Signature Chef, with the magnificent view of Kigali city, and to be served with a basement Night Life Pub to complete the whole enchilada of day and night leisure.” Doyelcy Limited, the holding company of Kigali City Tower is a proud winner of the Rwanda Development Board New Investor Award. How does it feel, I ask Mr Sekoko, to win such a prestigious honour even before you open up the gates? “It is an encouragement and a sign that when you have a vision, you translate it into reality, and with unwavering focus you can get there. It also, in totality, means a lot to entrepreneurs and developers— that an effort always pays back.
This project has been implemented in phases, but now a formerly empty space is occupied by this complex entity.” With this enormous whizz of activity, tenants and their clients clamouring for parking, is KCT ready to handle? “Catered for!” Declares Sekoko with a knowing smile splashed across his, again, knowing face. “There is a split-level four-storied parking bay. This accommodates about 300 cars. May be I can add that there is also a Public Announcement System, at all levels, so if there arises any need for instant communication—whether somebody has got lost, a suspicious person to be sought out—anything, that system comes in handy.”
“And in case of the intermittent power supplies, a 1.2MW generator has been secured. So, much of the infrastructure is in place, and over 99 per cent of the work, as you can see, is complete. Much of the ground space—for retailing, banking, night-club, and others, has been booked. So, interested tenants should book now. Thank you for coming,” the 50 year old Sekoko, father of six, ends our conversation with a firm handshake.