Qatar Airways agreed to a 60% stake in a new $1.3 billion international airport in Rwanda, state-run Rwanda Development Board said on Twitter.
The board said the first phase of construction would provide facilities for seven million passengers a year in the Bugesera district, south-east of Kigali. A second phase, expected to be completed by 2032, would double capacity to 14 million passengers a year.
The country’s infrastructure minister Claver Gatete told a news conference a construction company was still being sought to build the airport and once work started, the first phase would take five years to complete.
Qatar Airways declined to comment outside normal business hours.
Plans for the new airport are a modification of those drawn up in 2017 for a smaller facility with a maximum capacity of 4.5 million passengers a year at the same location.
Company and government officials said at the time Rwanda signed a deal with the African division of Portuguese construction firm Mota-Engil to build an international airport at a cost of $818 million.
Gatete said the investment from Qatar Airways would enable it to build the larger airport.
“We are looking for a bigger airport. That’s why we are looking for a bigger investor,” he said.
Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani is currently visiting Kigali for the presentation of the International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Award.