The Government and the World Bank Group have signed a financing agreement worth €75.9m (about Rwf71 billion) for rehabilitation of the road linking Ngoma and Nyanza districts.
Ngoma is in Eastern Province and Nyanza in the south and the new infrastructure is envisaged to ease the much-needed connection between the two regions and beyond.
Amb. Claver Gatete, the minister for finance and economic planning, and Yasser El-Gammal, the World Bank country director, signed on behalf of the two parties yesterday.
The road is a promise by President Paul Kagame to the population and Government has been mobilising funds to ensure that it is delivered to spur socio-economic growth in the area, according to Minister Gatete.
“The road stretches 119 kilometres from Ngoma, near the border with Tanzania, to Nyanza, near the border with Burundi. The project was split into two; a part from the Ngoma side that will be funded by the Japanese through JICA [Japanese International Cooperation Agency] and the other part that will be financed by the World Bank,” Gatete said after the signing.
The World Bank will fund construction of 66.5 kilometres of road from Kibugabuga (Bugesera) through Nshinga – Gasoro (Nyanza) and JICA the remaining 52.8 kilometres at $65 million.
The Government will contribute $23 million to the entire project.
“This is a good infrastructure not just for us. This road comes within the integrated corridor development initiative of the East African Community countries,” Gatete said.
Impact of project
The minister said the objective is to improve cross-border interconnectivity by developing an integrated, efficient, cost-effective and adequate transport system for economic growth and trade facilitation along the regional corridor from the border crossing at Rusumo to the border crossing to Burundi through Nemba and Rusizi.
He said the project will help ease traffic on the Central Corridor.
If the new road is completed, the trucks will not have to go through Kigali, they will use the new, shorter road to connect between DR Congo and Burundi, which Gatete said will also decongest Kigali of traffic.
The World Bank country director, Yasser El-Gammal, said over 500,000 people living along the road link from Kibugabuga to Gasoro are expected to benefit directly from the project.
“This road will benefit over half a million people in Ngoma, Nyanza and Bugesera, and it will generate employment opportunities during the construction as well as afterwards as it will open opportunities for income generating activities along the road,” said El-Gammal.
The project does not only finance the construction but also three years of maintenance for the road.