Fast-track key integration projects, senators tell govt

Senators have advised government to closely work with other East African Community countries to find solutions to the challenges facing major regional projects that have stalled.
Standard Gauge Railway under construction in Kenya. There are plans to extend the railway line to Kigali. (Net)
Standard Gauge Railway under construction in Kenya. There are plans to extend the railway line to Kigali. (Net)

Senators have advised government to closely work with other East African Community countries to find solutions to the challenges facing major regional projects that have stalled.

The joint projects include a railway line and oil pipelines that would connect different cities in the region.

The Minister of State in charge of Transport, Alexis Nzahabwanimana, told the Senate in May that the projects were marred by financial challenges and lack of local skilled labour.

During a session on Tuesday, Senators asked government to continue talks with other regional governments to ensure that the projects are fast-tracked.

“If these projects are completed, they will be very beneficial to Rwanda,” said Senator Marie-Claire Mukasine.

The lawmakers heard from Minister Nzahabwanimana that the government was ready to build its section of the railways should the parts on foreign land reach Rwandan borders and that it was committed to the projects.

Senator Narcisse Musabeyezu demanded that a deadline be set.

“If a deadline existed, it would give an idea of when Rwanda will start its own construction works,” he said.

The legislators recommended investing in training Rwandans in the area of railway construction and management. They also requested the government to sensitise the private sector to play a significant role in putting up infrastructure.

“The resolutions will be sent to the government given that these integration projects remain crucial for regional development,” said Senate president Bernard Makuza.

There are longstanding plans to connect Rwanda to the East African sea ports of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

Kenya recently lauched the Mombasa- Nairobi section of the rail but it remains unclear when the line will reach Rwanda, considering Uganda will also need to construct its section.

Several years back, a plan was also mooted to lay an oil pipeline from Eldoret in Kenya to Rwanda.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

Have Your SayLeave a comment