Rwanda, Uganda in £4.9m border post initiative

KIGALI - Rwanda and Uganda are set to benefit from a £4.9million fund meant for the establishment of a one stop border post at the Kagitumba and Mirama Hills border posts shared by the two countries.
A transit goods truck crosses to Rwanda through Gatuna border post. The border will soon be upgraded courtsey of funds provided by DfID. (File Photo)
A transit goods truck crosses to Rwanda through Gatuna border post. The border will soon be upgraded courtsey of funds provided by DfID. (File Photo)

KIGALI - Rwanda and Uganda are set to benefit from a £4.9million fund meant for the establishment of a one stop border post at the Kagitumba and Mirama Hills border posts shared by the two countries.

The funds which will be disbursed by the UK Department for International Development (DfID), will also cater for setting up of other one-stop border posts at other Rwandan border crossings like Gatuna (Uganda) Goma (DRC) and Rusumo, the border to Tanzania.

In a workshop held yesterday to validate a feasibility study commissioned by DFID and the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, the agency’s project manager, Kieran Holmes, said that DFID’s funding will largely cater for the installation of soft infrastructure at the one-stop border posts, and that another section of the fund will be used for construction.

Once established, the one-stop border posts will only require commercial trucks to access one customs point at either side of the borders without checking with both of them as is the case now. 

The DFID official noted that while Rwanda has registered remarkable progress in doing business, the country still lags behind in trade across borders, and that the initiative is aimed at ensuring speedy inflow of trade across borders.

“If we can increase the volume of trade across borders, then we shall easily connect Rwanda to her neighbours. As trade increases, growth also increases and poverty reduces,” Holmes said.  

The fund, Holmes added, will be supplemented by the World Bank and the Japan International Development Agency (JICA) which he said will fully be involved in constructing the posts at Rusumo and Gatuna.

The initiative is also in the framework of the East African community (EAC) integration agenda that targets creating a conducive environment for doing business in the region.  

Eugene Torero, the Deputy Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), commended the initiative saying that the overall goal is to ensure that all the country’s border crossings become one stop-border posts by 2015.

“This feasibility study will establish how much it’s going to cost, and the time required to start implementing the facility,” Torero said

Goods will also be taxed at the border without coming to Kigali and this means shorter customs procedures for the business community,” the RRA official added. 

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