Gowling WLG advises on development of the Kigali inland port in Rwanda

30 August 2016

In January 2016, Gowling WLG's infrastructure team, based in our Dubai office and led by partner Jonathan Brufal, closed a public private partnership (PPP) with the government of Rwanda and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) to develop the Kigali Logistics Platform, an inland logistics port designed to increase trade and boost the local economy.

The project is one of the first competitively tendered PPPs to close in Rwanda and the first logistics PPP of its type in Africa where the traffic risk is being borne by the concessionaire.

Gowling WLG was hired to advise the Rwandan Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) on the signing of a concession agreement with DP World to design, build, finance and operate an integrated logistics facility in Kigali, Rwanda.

The success of the transaction benefited from TMEA's unique model of both funding the transaction advisers for the project and providing direct technical support to the government sponsor, MINICOM. Its success means it should become a blueprint for similar projects across the East African region.

Gowling WLG initially advised MINICOM on the implementation of Rwanda's Logistics and Distribution Services Strategy. As part of this advice, a feasibility study of the development of the Kigali Logistics Platform on a PPP basis, including a full review of the legislative and regulatory landscape in the country and reviewing and commenting on its upcoming PPP law, was conducted.

Upon completion of the study, Gowling WLG went on to advise MINICOM on the structuring and procurement of three distinct projects, of which the Kigali Logistics Platform is the first to close.

The team then drafted all procurement and project documentation for the projects, including the Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals, a bespoke concession agreement and all other project agreements.

Gowling WLG also supported the evaluation, bidder and clarification and document amendment processes, working not just with MINICOM, but also with the Rwanda Development Board and Ministries of Finance, Justice and Infrastructure.

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