PROTAIS Mitali, Minister for Industry, Trade, Investment, Tourism and Cooperatives, has signed a transport agreement with his Tanzanian counterpart, Basil Mramba.
In Dar es Salaam on January 16, Tanzania and Rwanda came to an agreement which will enable the latter to use Dar es Salaam’s port to import petroleum products.
This comes after continued unrest in Kenya has disrupted imports through Mombasa. Mitali, who led a seven-person delegation, said Rwanda will use Dar es Salaam if products are unable to come through Mombasa.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mramba said his country had agreed to provide Rwanda with a route for petroleum products. "The port authority will ensure goods are not delayed," he said. The journey from Dar es Salaam to Kigali is longer, slower and more expensive than that from Mombasa, but there is no alternative if Kenya’s crisis prevents goods from reaching Rwanda.
Vincent Karega, State Minister for Industry and Investment Promotion, said that the arrangement is a temporary mechanism put in place in case the Kenyan situation persists and Rwandan cargo is obstructed.
"To date Rwandan cargo has not been blocked but the arrangement has to be in place for vital products such as fuel and medicines," he said.