RTDA is a public institution with legal personality, administrative and financial autonomy.
It is under the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) responsible for managing all day-to-day aspects of the transport sector in Rwanda, with major objectives of; controlling transport costs, ensure the quality and durability of the rural, urban and international transport network; improve safety for goods and passengers on the principle modes of transport; increase mobility of the population in order to improve access to essential services, education, and employment; establish a system to ensure sustainable financing of road maintenance and facilitate access to cost effective transport services
To gain modern infrastructure, cost effective and quality services, while ensuring sustainable economic growth and developing eco-friendly, safe and seamless integrated multimodal transport systems for passenger and goods both at national and regional level.
To contribute towards the realization of the economic development and poverty reduction objectives as formulated in strategic policy guidance, such as Vision 2020 and EDPRS, by the establishment and rational management of transport infrastructure and services
In Rwanda, land transport is the main utilized mode of transport. Thus, the government of Rwanda, through RTDA under Ministry of Infrastructure MININFRA, is ensuring that the national road network is expanded, rehabilitated, upgraded, and maintained appropriately.
This infrastructure development aims at both ensuring the mobility connecting different areas of the country and opening up the country to ease land-locked status. In addition, with land transport using roads will be complemented by a railway with the implementation of a Multinational Railway project “the Dar Es Salaam – Isaka – Kigali/Keza – Gitega – Musongati Railway Project” which is under implementation.
Rwanda has made significant achievements in developing transport Infrastructure in recent years. The government also thought of revamping the transport sector by ensuring provision of adequate transport services to ensure door-to-door mobility and accessibility of people and goods; which is key to economic growth.
The development of asphalt roads started in 2003 and, to-date, has seen construction of 368 km with ongoing projects such as Base-Butaro-Kidaho Road, Base-Gicumbi as well as Rubenger-Rubavu which will add 189.2 km. RTDA has other planned projects for 453 kilometers with studies already completed and construction is set to begin.
So far, the Authority has rehabilitated roads of about 635 km and works on 42 km are underway. Over 345 km are to be rehabilitated; including the Rusumo-Kagitumba and Huye-Cyitabi among others.
The development of Kivu belt road connecting Rusizi to Rubavu via Karongi along Lake Kivu in addition to the Muhanga-Ngorero- Mukamira has boosted the economy of western province. Nyagatare to Base via Gicumbi as well as the road Base-Kidaho are expected to shorten the transit travel time; bringing transport cost down and opens up the north-eastern and northern region of country.
One Stop Border Posts put in place
One Stop Border Post (OSBP) is a border facility that combines two stops for national border control processing into one and consolidates border control functions in a shared space for exiting one country and entering another. It uses simplified procedures and joint processing wherever appropriate.
Honore Munyenshongore, the project engineer, Rusumo-OSBP says the aim of OSBPs in the country is to reduce transit costs incurred in cross-border movement by combining the activities of both country’s border organizations and agencies at either a single common location or at a single location in either direction without increasing risk to public safety or revenue collection.
Munyenshongore says the project also constructed an 82-metre bridge that connects Rwanda and Tanzania. The project was supervised by the Ministry of Infrastructure through Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), while the Tanzania National Roads Service supervised the Tanzanian side.
The new bridge replaced the old one that had reached almost 40 years of service life. Border facilities at Rusumo are now sufficient including; ample parking spaces, staff offices, smooth traffic flow and proper management of the border.
A good transport system has greatly improved the quality of life and economy in Rwanda both in rural and Urban Rwanda.
“It is common knowledge that economic development depends on an efficient, effective, comprehensive, and coordinated multimodal system that provides choices for the movement of people and goods and allows quick transfers between modes when and where they are needed,” says Alphonse Kamugisha, Co-ordinator Urban Transport at RTDA
Outcomes of OSBP and new Rusumo Bridge
The project Engineer, stresses that the elimination of the present traffic congestion through the introduction of an OSBP system has greatly improved the efficiency of cargo transportation between Rwanda and Tanzania with the end result of an increase of the physical distribution volumes and a reduction in transportation costs.
The modern bridge, with a load capacity of over 400 tonnes, was constructed at a cost of Rwf6 billion, financed by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The bridge was the first of its kind in the country, with all features of a modern bridge. “The old bridge supported only 56 tonnes. It was risky because freight carriers sometimes cheated and loaded 100 tonnes,” Munyenshongore explains.
The bridge links an important route—the Central Corridor, that connects not only Rwanda, but also neighbouring countries to the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Meanwhile businesses operating along the border have welcomed the new infrastructure.
Juma Ssaidi, a truck driver with Faraji Company, said the new bridge and the OSBP, in general, have given the area a major facelift. We no longer fight for the space to park our trucks, you can now see how big this parking space is, we also have toilets, bathrooms and houses where we rest as we are waiting for customs’ transactions’’, he said.
Munyenshongore said that other two OSBPs of Nemba and Ruhwa have been completed and are operational.