The Government has signed two loan agreements, on Sunday, with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) amounting to $11m as part of the financing of a multinational road linking Rwanda and Burundi.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa represented the Government while Abdelaziz Khelef, the Director General of BADEA signed on behalf of the bank.
The agreement is part of the bank’s commitment to co-finance Lot Nº 6, from Rubengera to Gisiza on the road which will link Bujumbura-Rusizi-Karongi-Rubavu, linking the western part of the country to neighbouring Burundi.
The section of Rubengera-Gisiza is 23.6 Km long and will cost a total cost of $52.7m.
Khelef is in the country to discuss matters of mutual cooperation between BADEA and Rwanda and also assess the status of some of the ongoing and future projects with an objective of exploring the various ways to enhance the cooperation.
During the signing ceremony, the BADEA chief stressed the bank’s commitment to continue supporting different programmes in Rwanda, particularly those that boost trade and development.
Rwangombwa said that once completed, the multi-national road will among other benefits promote regional integration and contribute to regional trade, provide easy access of the land locked countries in the region to the sea ports of Tanzania and Kenya.
It is also expected to stimulate international trade between the region and the rest of the world and increase the potential for tourism and fisheries on lakes Tanganyika and Kivu.
According to a statement released by BADEA, the cooperation between the institution and Rwanda started with the bank’s establishment in 1974.
“Since then the total amount allocated by BADEA in the framework of supporting Rwanda in its economic development amounts to $105.42m representing contributions towards financing 24 development operations,” reads the statement.
Eight of these are in form of technical assistance grants while 14 are project loans and 2 financial assistance support loans.
The total length of the multinational highway is 265.7km, with 185 kilometres on Rwandan side, otherwise known as the Kivu Belt Road.
The design studies were completed in 2008 by Studi International and construction works started in 2010 by Lot 3, Rusizi-Mwityazo, 50 Km, with funding of $63m from the African Development Bank.
The discussions on the construction of the remaining Lots are at an advanced level.
The other co-financers are the Government of Rwanda which is raising $5.7m, Saudi Bank for Economic Development contributing $13m, Kuwait Fund For Arab Economic Development committing $13m and OPEP Fund for International Development, contributing $10m.