The African Development Bank, the European Union (EU) Delegation in Rwanda, Embassy of Japan in Rwanda and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) joined the Government of Rwanda to launch the rehabilitation and widening of the Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo road works in the Eastern province of Rwanda.
The Bank’s US $93.1 million contribution represents 51% of the total cost for the project, which will directly serve 1.1 million and facilitate travel and trade between Rwanda, Uganda and the Eastern African region.
Speaking at launch of the road construction work, Martha Phiri, Country Manager of the African Development Bank in Rwanda, expressed appreciation for the strong partnership that the Bank continues to enjoy with the Government and the people of Rwanda.
She observed that the road project aligns with Rwanda’s ambition to become a regional logistical hub.
“We are very proud to continue partnering with you at this very exciting time, as you embark on the final stretch in your journey of transition from a low-income to a middle-income country in line with your National Strategy for Transformation and Long Term Vision,” she said.
She observed that the project aligns very strongly with three of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, namely Feed Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
The project is a component of a regional operation designed to strengthen transport links, while opening up and consolidating the market. The Rwanda section involves the rehabilitation and widening of the 208-kilometre Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo Road. This will include two cross-border markets at Kagitumba (on the Rwanda/Uganda border) and at Rusumo (on the Rwanda/Tanzania border) and the rehabilitation of 10 milk collection centres and 10 water boreholes among other activities.
The project will also provide training for 1,600 women, 7 women associations and facilitate the planting of 41,500 trees. In Uganda, it involves the construction of the four-lane 23.7-km Busega-Mpigi express highway. The total cost of the multinational project is US $376.5 million, out of which US $183.39 million is for the Rwanda component.
Resources were also mobilized from the Japanese Government through JICA, the EU through the EU Infrastructure Trust Fund, and the Government of Rwanda.
Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure James Musoni thanked the partners led by African Development Bank for the financial support to the project, stressing that the collaboration was evidence of the fruitful collaboration with the Bank and other partners.
The project will ease access to markets, reduce the cost of doing business and increase the value of agricultural produce, create jobs for the local people and therefore increase household income, the Minister said.
The Bank’s ongoing portfolio in Rwanda stands at an estimated US $892 million targeting transport, energy and water infrastructure and support to skills and private-sector development.