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Kigali’s Car-Free Days: A Fun Way to do sport, Stay Healthy and Protect the Environment

H.E Paul KAGAME with Rwandan citizens in Kigali Car-Free day happening every month

Kigali, Rwanda, September 24, 2023 – Kigali, the lively capital of Rwanda, is making a name for itself by promoting healthy living and taking care of the environment through its Car-Free Days. This exciting sports event happens on the first and third Sunday of each month, giving people a two-hour window from 7:00 am to 9:00 am to have some active fun. Whether you live in Kigali or you’re just visiting, you’re invited to join in and enjoy eco-friendly activities like running, walking, biking, basketball 3on3, and ping pong.

Everyone participating in the sport

Kigali’s Car-Free Days began in 2016 as a way to make our city cleaner and healthier. On these special days, we all leave our cars and motorbikes at home and use more active ways to get around. More Often, because many people loved it, we started having Car-Free Days twice a month in 2017. Even important people, like Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, thought it was a great idea and joined in the fun.

Different people enjoying the different sports in Kigali-Rwanda

While we still care a lot about the environment, Car-Free Days have become about more than that. They encourage everyone to be healthier by doing exercise and even offer free health check-ups. There are special clinics along the route where you can get checked for free, reminding us how important it is to stay healthy.

Mugisha Blaise, a skilled basketball player from AZOMCO Basketball Club, loves playing (3 on 3) basketball during Kigali’s Car-Free Days. He enjoys the competition but also sees a bigger picture. “Car-Free Days in Kigali are about sports, health, and caring for our environment. It’s not just a game; it’s our city getting cleaner and healthier, and we’re all proud of that.” Blaise said.

Mugisha Blaise talking to our journalist Darius

BYARUGEMA Bienvenu, a professional runner, swimmer, and basketball fan, has joined Car-Free Days as a runner. For Bienvenu, these days are about more than just working out; they represent sports, staying healthy, and caring for the environment. “Kigali’s Car-Free Days combine sports, good health, and nature,” Bienvenu says. “Being part of this group that values all of these things and works towards a cleaner, healthier city is really thrilling.”

BYARUGEMA Bienvenu in the frame with our journalist

Devis Genga, a budding basketball player, attends Car-Free Days as a runner. Beyond the sports, he enjoys the lively atmosphere with DJs, MCs, and the convenience of sellers like JIBU Water providing refreshments. “Car-Free Days are an experience beyond sports. They unite diverse people and services, showcasing our city’s spirit and commitment to a greener, healthier future” Genga said.

Genga Devis talking to our journalist how he enjoys more moments in the Kigali Car-Free Day

Kigali’s Car-Free Days have gained international recognition as a model for combining recreation, environmental consciousness, and public health. The addition of sports like basketball 3on3 and ping pong in 2022 has further diversified the event’s offerings, attracting enthusiasts from various disciplines.

As the sun set on another successful Car-Free Day, the people of Kigali and their leaders promised to keep doing it. They’ll work together to make our city cleaner, greener, and more fun for everyone.

Different games and sport practices are done by different people from different places hold in Kigali city

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