Alphonse Rukaburandekwe, 47, who was appointed the new Director General of the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), on Wednesday outlined his priorities, including affordable housing, upgrading unplanned settlements, and relocating people from high-risk zones.
In a brief interview with The New Times, he expressed his excitement about the appointment, saying, “I am delighted to have been entrusted with this responsibility. I am eager to collaborate with the Rwanda Housing Authority team to fulfill our objectives and achieve more.”
Rukaburandekwe completed his high school education at Groupe Scolaire de La Salle in Gicumbi district. He later received a scholarship to study engineering in urban planning abroad.
In 2007, he earned a master’s degree in urban planning and design from Wuhan University in China. Urban design encompasses the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, transport systems, services, and amenities. It involves giving form, shape, and character to groups of buildings, neighbourhoods, and entire cities.
The urban planner shared that he has spent most of his career abroad, accumulating 15 years of experience in engineering, project management, and urban planning and design, primarily in China, Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Vietnam.
Previously, Rukaburandekwe worked as a senior urban planner at NDA Group, a one-stop design agency specializing in large-scale projects from strategic planning to detailed design and pre-opening assistance. NDA Group offers a wide range of services, including strategic planning, urban planning, architectural design, interior design, hospitality consultancy, operation consultancy, landscape design, sustainability, and conservation.
He also held positions as a senior consultant at APEX Consulting and as a Project Urban Designer at AECOM, a globally recognized infrastructure consulting firm.
Additionally, he served as a senior urban design manager at VinaCapital, a leading investment management firm headquartered in Vietnam, and as an urban planner at Atkins, a world-leading design, engineering, and project management organization.
Affordable housing remains one of his top priorities. Rukaburandekwe noted, “In the face of rapid urban development, Rwanda must address housing issues. Many people are still living in high-risk zones, and there is a growing need for affordable housing. We will intensify our efforts and work as a team to address these urgent needs.”
The Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) has designated 6,100 hectares for the construction of affordable housing by the private sector as part of a 30-year plan to alleviate Kigali’s affordable housing shortage.
In Kigali, approximately 54 percent of residents fall into the low-income category, earning between $38.0 and $225 per month. Around 13 percent earn less than $38 per month, while the middle-income group accounts for 21 percent, with monthly incomes ranging from $225 to $678.
Rukaburandekwe emphasized that the housing market has predominantly targeted high-income households, which represent less than 12 percent of all urban dwellers. He is married and a father of four children.