Govt invests Rwf76 billion in development of secondary cities

The Government has announced the launch of a project to develop road and sanitation infrastructure in six designated secondary cities around the country and upgrade one unplanned settlement in Kigali city’s Nyarugenge District.
Musoni (L) chats with Parfait Busabizwa, City vice-mayor for economic development, after the news conference. / Nadege Imbabazi.
Musoni (L) chats with Parfait Busabizwa, City vice-mayor for economic development, after the news conference. / Nadege Imbabazi.

The Government has announced the launch of a project to develop road and sanitation infrastructure in six designated secondary cities around the country and upgrade one unplanned settlement in Kigali city’s Nyarugenge District.

The project, dubbed “Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDP),” will be funded by a World Bank loan at the tune of $95 million (about Rwf76bn) over five years.

 

The initiative was jointly launched, yesterday, in Kigali by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the World Bank (WB), with officials touting it as a “great boost for the country’s urbanisation plans.”

 

“We expect this project to bring a lot of benefits to our people and the economy,” said Infrastructure minister James Musoni.

 

Under the implementation of RUDP, 81 kilometres of paved roads and 44 kilometres of drainage will be constructed in six designated secondary cities of Muhanga, Rubavu, Rusizi, Nyagatare, Huye, and Musanze.

Infrastructural upgrade will also be conducted on 86 hectares of unplanned settlement in an area that accommodates almost 19,000 residents in Nyarugenge District’s four cells of Biryogo, Rwampara, Kiyovu and Agatare.

Eligible investments under the project are those that are directly under the mandate of the local governments such as roads, drainage, solid waste management, and sanitation.

Officials said the priorities for the projects to be implemented have been set through a participatory process, working with local leaders in districts where the cities are located.

The six secondary cities will be supported to better position themselves as locations that attract private investment through a specialisation of their services and through branding based on each of their unique conditions.

Strategies for development

The six cities and their respective districts chose to connect different Agakiriro (small–and–medium enterprise centres), commercial areas in their urban cores, industrial parks, and business development and employment entres, while the City of Kigali chose to prioritise the infrastructure upgrading of the 86 hectares of unplanned settlement, officials said.

Mesky Brhane, a senior urban specialist at the World Bank and the Bank’s programme and team leader on the RUDP project, said the involvement of key stakeholders in the design of the initiative means that it will be seamlessly implemented.

“I am very confident that the implementation of the project will be smooth,” she said.

It is expected that more than 88,000 people in the six secondary cities and 19,000 resident in Nyarugenge District will directly benefit from the project.

Additional project beneficiaries will also include districts administrations of the secondary cities and the City of Kigali, with their technical staff strengthening their capacities to manage urban areas.

Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, the six designated secondary cities will be developed to achieve the country’s sustainable, well-managed and inclusive economic growth.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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