THE completed $40 million Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road, which was launched over the weekend is a timely shot in the arm of regional integration efforts. The new road will accelerate free movement of goods and services in the east African region, especially between Rwanda and Uganda.
The completion of the road is good news for Rwandan traders engaged in import and export business as it will reduce the cost of doing business along the Northern Corridor.
However, to maximise benefits from the road, traders should increase their trade volumes since it will be easier to move goods in a short time.
In the context of bilateral ties, the road is significant for Uganda and Rwanda as close trade partners. Uganda is Rwanda’s major trade partner, accounting for over 26% of Rwanda’s informal cross border trade.
Also, Rwanda and Uganda share a wealth of similar investment opportunities across many sectors. Traders in the two countries should take advantage of the new road to take trade between the two countries to the next level.
Also, the road will ease traffic on the Gatuna border, which has been the preferred connection route for traders. This will lead to efficient service delivery at border posts and faster movement of goods and services between the two sister states.
The faster it is for goods to come from Uganda to Rwanda and vice versa, the cheaper they become and consumers will be able to get goods at a lower price.
With such projects, efforts to achieve the EAC integration will come to fruition. But this can only be possible if traders take advantage of such facilities to ensure faster and free movement of goods and services across the region.
Government has put in place initiatives to help local traders become more competitive within the region. They should leverage on this to boost Rwanda’s export base within the EAC region.