Kigali city roads that are currently under expansion will ease traffic jams experienced whenever the city hosts major meetings, an official has said.
Bruno Rangira, the spokesperson for the City of Kigali, was speaking about response plan to ease heavy traffic jams on city roads whenever the country hosts major meetings.
This week, Heads of State and Government from around Africa for the 10th Extraordinary African Union Summit in Kigali, during which 44 countries signed the historic African continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement.
As the main road from Kigali International Airport to Serena Hotel in the city centre was reserved for VIPs and delegates, motorists were diverted to alternative routes connecting to the Central Business District, which caused thick traffic jams.
The alternative routes were Nyabugogo-Yamaha-Kinamba-Kacyiru-Nyarutarama-Kibagabaga-Kimironko; Nyabugogo-Yamaha-Kinamba-Poids Lourds-Kanogo-Rwandex-Sonatube-Niboye-Kabeza-Busanza-Kanombe; and Nyamirambo-Rugunga-Kanogo-Gikondo-Rwandex-Sonatube-Niboye-Kabeza-Busanza-Kanombe.
According to the City of Kigali, the road network expansion is meant to facilitate easy traffic flow and is aligned with the national MICE strategy.
In 2014, Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) developed the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) strategy that seeks to make Rwanda a top tourism and conference hub.
“Between 2010 and 2017, the City of Kigali added over 117km of asphalt to the road network. As you know, we embarked on a 54km road on upgrades, the City Centre-Nyabugogo-Gatsata road; Rwandex-Remera road,” Rangira told Saturday Times.
“There are also other ongoing projects to rehabilitate Kanogo-Rwandex road; construct Nyanza (Kicukiro)-Rebero-Gikondo-Nyamirambo road; Nyacyonga-Batsinda; and Kimihurura roads like Rwandex-Gishushu road, which will connect Kigali Convention Centre to different roads. All these projects are aimed at addressing issues of congestion and connecting different parts of the city with many alternative routes in such cases when some roads are closed temporarily,” Rangira added.
“There are other road projects in the pipeline including the expansion of Sonatube-Bugesera bridge road, rehabilitation of Poid lourde road and construction of ring roads that go around the city.”
According to Police, the summit was “successfully incident-free”, which the force partly attributed to the responsiveness of the general public by “complying with the abrupt temporary diversions.”
“We thank the general public and motorists in particular for bearing with the changes and using the alternative routes, which experienced heavy traffic jams,” Senior Supt. Jean Marie Ndushabandi, the spokesperson for the Traffic and Road Safety department, said.
Rwanda National Police (RNP) had significantly increased the number of officers on the roads and took to social media to inform the public about the alternative routes and regular updates on open and closed roads.
“Security was good, traffic well managed and, above all, the public was cooperative and supportive. No doubt, the ongoing road network expansion will address the challenges of traffic jam we experience in such times,” SSP Ndushabandi said.
The Prime Minister, Edouard Ngirente, while presenting a detailed government plan for the next seven years, last year, said that a total of 350km new road network will be constructed in Kigali and six secondary cities; Nyagatare, Muhanga, Rubavu, Rusizi, Musanze, Huye.
Among those, the Premier said, will include construction of 22km of road network dedicated to only big buses.