The Minister of Infrastructure Vincent Karega has said that the Northern Corridor is currently threatened by road insecurity that has been on increase of late.
He made the revelation while officiating the Northern Corridor Transit Transport Coordination Authority (NC-TTCA) meeting held here in Kigali.
The Northern Corridor is the transport corridor linking the Great Lakes countries of Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya and Uganda. It serves Northern Tanzania to the Kenyan sea port of Mombasa, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.
“The level of insecurity around the corridor is worse than it was in the past and this has highly affected the infrastructural development in the region,” said Karega.
He called on regional countries to work on improving road safety.
Comparing countries in the Northern Corridor with western countries, Karega said that it is worrying how regional countries are spending money on curbing several malpractices like corruption instead of investing in improving infrastructure.
“The Northern Corridor is the backbone of economic transformation of the region and a linkage of member States to the entire world,” he said.
The meeting is being attended by all Ministers charged with transport in countries of the Northern Corridor.
The corridor is currently faced with high costs of transport, which the Executive Board of the Corridor has recommended it be worked on by reducing delays though streamlining administrative procedures and operational practices.
Meanwhile, the Kigali meeting endorsed the preparations of the 20-year infrastructure master plan.
On he current transport situation of the corridor, experts have indicated that on the part of Rwanda, the entire corridor linkage is generally in good condition with several roads constructed and rehabilitated.
A report compiled from the meeting indicates that the activities curried out, and the means allotted by Member States in the Sector of Road safety are still insufficient, but it singled out Rwanda as the only country that has embarked on a study for the installation of road signs and signals.
In a bid to improve road security, the African Regional Trade Safety which was initiated by the World Bank and Total Group, is being introduced along the Northern Corridor and its pilot phase is expected to start from Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.