The new U.S. Embassy Compound in Kigali, Rwanda encompasses 145,000 SF across ten different buildings. The new embassy is located in the business district of Kacyiru, and its prominent location on top of one of the many hills in the city makes it one of the most impressive buildings in Kigali. The structural work comprised over 16,000 cubic meters of concrete, and the project was completed almost three months ahead of schedule.
The most significant obstacle on the Kigali NEC was the lack of skilled labor available in Rwanda.
As in other African countries, finding the large number of personnel with the construction experience necessary to complete a complex, aggressively scheduled project such as this is a huge challenge. Although the work force in Rwanda lacked certain skills required to produce the high quality standards specified on this project, they compensated for this with a solid work ethic and a desire to learn. Realizing the skilled labor force available in Rwanda was limited, our staff built a diverse team comprised of Rwandese tradesmen, plus personnel from Nigeria, Benin, Ivory Coast, Togo, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Lebanon, Philippines, Canada, South Africa, France, Turkey, and of course the United States.
Other obstacles in completing this project were the lack of available construction materials and equipment. The only materials purchased in Rwanda were concrete, fill materials, concrete pavers, topsoil and plants. All other materials were either shipped from the U.S., Europe, South Africa, Turkey, or were trucked in from neighboring east African Countries. BLHI shipped and received over 350 40-foot shipping containers over the course of the project.
The construction equipment in Rwanda was both unsafe and unreliable. To overcome this obstacle, BLHI imported and re-exported high-quality construction equipment including; two 50m tower cranes, a backhoe / loader, a front-end wheel loader, a skidsteer, two telescopic material handlers, a 45 ton Mobile Crane, and a warehouse forklift.