New Rubavu cross border market handed to government

Officials cut the ribbon to mark an inauguration of Rubavu cross border market. (Regis Umurengezi)

Officials from Government and partners have on Thursday inaugurated Rubavu cross border market complex that locates at ‘Petite Barriere’ border linking Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The facility and a surrounding tarmac road both worth $3 million, were built under the funding of the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).

The market will significantly boost the development of Rubavu District and the country at large by empowering small scale traders in the district and other neighbouring areas, according to the district vice mayor for economic development, Janvier Murenzi.

“This facility will promote cross border trading with our neigbours from DRC as they will be getting goods close to them at ease, it will also boost the country export given that it contains cold rooms for perishable produce,” He said   

The just-inaugurated Rubavu market has 192 spaces, 5 cold rooms, stores and warehouses, grocery stores, as well as a children’s centre for female traders with toddlers.

It also contains mini-shops and offices for different businesses like forex bureaus and banks.

The Private Sector Federation (PSF) president in Rubavu, Jeanette Nyota Kayumba said the market was timely stressing that women who are in small scale cross border trading are the ones to benefit a lot given different calamities they were previously encountering such as leaving their toddles stranded at the border. 

Speaking at the event, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Michel Minega Sebera reiterated Government initiative to construct more cross border markets in a bid to boost the country’s economy, he thus called on beneficiaries to optimise the opportunity.

The chief executive officer at TMEA, Patience Umutesi revealed that the firm sets to build the same market and a modern port in respectively Rusizi and Rustiro Districts from Western Province.

Rubavu currently has one of the busiest borders, and the district which borders Democratic Republic of Congo, is one of the fastest growing secondary cities, according to recent studies.

The district sets to get the first ever cargo and passenger port on Lake Kivu as the construction works are underway in Nyamyumba Sector and it will be operational in 2020, according to officials