A FEASIBILITY study for the rehabilitation of the 79-kilometre road network stretching from Ngororero, Nyabihu and Musanze town to the Rwanda-Uganda border at Cyanika is complete and the works will begin soon.
The rehabilitation project will require at least $85 million (about Rwf70 billion) to complete, according to the feasibility study done by Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA).
Olivier Kabera, the coordinator of Single Project Implementation Unit at RTDA, told The New Times yesterday that the study was completed few weeks ago.
“We are trying to mobilise resources. We will rehabilitate the tarmac area which is old and damaged from Musanze to Cyanika border and then put new tarmac on other parts with murram,” he said.
Kabera said, currently, they are repairing badly damaged parts although the works are not part of the project.
“We are now filling potholes as a temporary solution. The rehabilitation itself will involve expanding the road, as well as designing pedestrian and cyclist paths. The current short-term solution is to address challenges faced by many traders conducting business between Rwanda and Uganda,” he said.
Kabera reassured that resource mobilisation is underway in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and some development partners.
He said the African Development Bank (AfDB) could be one of the financiers of the project with an agreement expected to be sealed in March next year.
The road is expected to be completed in 2019 once works begin.
The four districts where the road passes have two potential bridges to be constructed.
Meanwhile, officials say another 63-kilometre road from Rulindo District to Cyanika border through Burera District is being paved.
The works, which started in April, will cost over Rwf80 billion and is expected to be complete in three years.
Transport and cross-border trade
Burera District, which borders Uganda, has investment opportunities in hotel business but investors have been dragging their feet due to poor road network, according to officials.
Christophe Mwiseneza, a farmer in Butaro Sector, said improved road network in the area would facilitate transport of their produce to different markets and across the border.
Vincent Niyonzima, a driver who plies Musanze-Cyanika road, told The New Times: “Due to the potholed road, vehicles easily breakdown leading to costly repairs every week.”
Kabera said the road construction will see expansion of the 79-kilometre road network from six to seven metres wide, with pedestrians and cyclists’ ways.
Traders from different districts of Rwanda, DR Congo (Goma) use Cyanika border road to and from Uganda.
The National Bank of Rwanda shows that the country’s informal cross-border incomes (24.6 per cent of all exports) amounted to $66.2 million in the first half of 2016 from $51.6 million compared to the same period last year.
Uganda accounted for 26.9 per cent while DR Congo accounted for 65 per cent of Rwanda’s cross border exports.
Uganda accounts for 58 per cent as main trading partner in informal imports, according to the figures.
The Rwanda’s formal cross-border experts to neighbouring countries amounted to $83.4 million from $66.4 million.