KIGALI - The government yesterday signed an agreement with COMESA that will see the country host the Communication Navigation Surveillance /Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) for all COMESA member states.
COMESA is the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and it brings together 19 states.
The agreement to host the major infrastructure project was signed by Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo and Sindiso Ngwenya, COMESA Secretary General.
After the signing, Ngwenya said that Rwanda was chosen to host the regional project due to its commitment to COMESA programmes.
“its indeed in recognition of this leadership and commitment to COMESA progammes that the COMESA council of ministers decided Rwanda should be the lead country in implementing our regional project (CNS/ATM),” said Ngwenya.
He pointed out that the project will enhance safety of human life since it will be modern and conforming to international standards.
“Aircraft accidents are rampant in Africa, which is the reason we decided to have a regional unified air space management that would control our navigation services,” he told reporters after the signing.
The COMESA secretariat will sign an agreement worth $6.8m with the African Development Bank to finance the project.
The centre will be based at Karisimbi in the Northern Province, where the Government already has communication infrastructure.
Mushikiwabo thanked the COMESA secretariat for the efforts it exerted to ensure that Rwanda hosts the regional surveillance centre.
“On behalf of our government, I appreciate your effort in the realization of this project. It’s very important and it will not only benefit Rwanda, but also other regional countries.”
Richard Masozera, the Director General of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, told The New Times that the project will also generate income for the country.
“I am sure that when the project is complete, it will boost our economy through generating income and elevate the information technology in the country,”” Masozera said.
Once complete, all member countries will also use the facility to observe climate change.