Rush to upgrade Kigali roads ahead of CHOGM

Prince House-Giporoso road is among the roads that will be used most by the delegations during CHOGM. / Sam Ngendahimana

Upgrades on roads in Kigali ahead of next year’s Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will start next month with contracts for two roads; Kabeza - Alpha Palace; and Nyabisindu – Nyarutarama having been awarded to contractors.  

Preparations are underway across different sectors as the country gets ready to host meeting, for the first time, the biennial summit of the heads of government from 53 nations most of which are former British colonialists.  

Rwanda joined the bloc in 2009, becoming the second member to be admitted into the commonwealth club of nations without any direct colonial ties to Britain, after Mozambique.

Preparations for the summit

In June, the government allocated over Rwf20.1 billion to various build-up activities ahead of the summit, and a big part of the funds were apportioned to infrastructure development where over Rwf10.87 billion will be for the expansion of the apron at Kigali International Airport as well as other airport-related infrastructure; and Rwf3 billion for roads in the City of Kigali.

Jean D’Armour Rwunguko, the Acting City Engineer, confirmed that the contracts for road upgrades are set to be inked in September, though he did not divulge details of how much money it will cost.

The City Mayor, Pudence Rubingisa highlighted the need for the upgrades during a press briefing on Wednesday.

“They are meant to avoid congestion in some of the main roads in the city during that big event (CHOGM),” he said. “We are borrowing this practice from the previous big meetings we hosted. Considering that this one is going to be bigger, it requires a lot of preparation in form of putting in place some specific infrastructure. There is a plan that is being implemented not only for roads, but also for enlarging the airport apron,”

Among other things, he also said that the city is getting ready as far as hospitality is concerned, since the meeting will host a high number of delegates from across the world.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rwanda is preparing to receive up to 10,000 guests during the meeting.

Priority areas the Heads of State and Government will consider during the 2020 CHOGM, include security, development challenges, climate change and the commitment to upholding the Commonwealth Charter, according to information from the organisation. 

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