Optimising the construction permit process in Kigali, Rwanda

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A recommendation was made at the last two City of Kigali Advisory Council meetings in February 2018 and December 2018, to peg construction permit fees to the value of the development seeking approval. The objective of this project is to investigate whether and how Kigali can increase revenues from construction permit fees, by restructuring them, while also improving on the World Bank's Doing Business Index.

Construction permit fees matter for three reasons:

  1. The process of issuing permits constitutes development control; the principal way to enforce urban planning and safety regulations;
  2. Since the construction sector is an important part of most economies, permits constitute a transaction cost in terms of time and money, which research shows affects levels of investment;
  3. Construction permit fees are the primary source of income for local government councils to resource their urban planning and development management departments that handle construction permits and development control.

The methodology is a desk review comparing Rwanda’s construction permit processes with those of neighbouring countries and those of the global top performers, combined with analysis based on professional experience and, if needed, an interview with key stakeholders in the Kigali One Stop Centre.