Strengthening Rwanda's Special Economic Zone Regulatory System

Locus Economica in discussion with with stakeholders for the Rwanda SEZ program.

Building off our assistance the previous year, Locus Economica returned to Rwanda as part of a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) mission to implement the reforms recommended in our 2015 Report. This assignment focused on upgrading the capacity of the Special Economic Zones Authority of Rwanda (SEZAR) and drafting new laws and contracts for the country's SEZs and Industrial Parks.

Our work included:

  • 7 1/2 weeks of on-site training and legal assistance for the SEZAR team by Locus Managing Director, Michael Castle-Miller
  • Drafting a regulation on license and permit fees and an accompaning explanatory memorandum
  • Drafting an amendment to the SEZ Law to address issues identified in the 2015 report, along with an explanatory report
  • Advising on contract formation with SEZ developers, concession fees, and SEZ regulatory functions
  • Drafting a developer concession agreement for SEZs and industrial parks and an explanatory memorandum
  • Producing standard operating procedures and model forms for the issuance of user licenses, construction and occupancy permits, company reporting, labor compliance, environmental compliance, and resolving complaints.
  • Forming an organizational chart and job descriptions for SEZAR.
  • Interviewing stakeholders and conducting workshops and training sessions for government officials from SEZAR, the Rwanda Development Board, and the Ministry of Industry and East African Affairs.

Michael Castle-Miller with SEZAR Engineer Innocent Nizeyimana, at the site of KSEZ's planned wastewater treatment plant

Rwanda's SEZ program includes the Kigali Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), a strategically important project for attracting export-oriented foreign investment in manufacturing for Rwanda. We have been working hard to establish a solid legal, policy, and institutional framework that maximizes the potential of KSEZ.