PUBLISHED ON January 12th, 2015

Rusumo border post to boost regional trade says Rwanda minister

Rwandan minister of Infrastructure James Musoni has said that the Rusomo one stop border will unlock Rwanda’s business opportunities and boost intra-regional trade.

He was speaking on Saturday while officially launching the Rusumo international bridge and One Stop Border post in Ngoma district, Eastern Rwanda.

Rusomo Bridge lies between Rwanda and Tanzania and it facilitates cross border movements between the two neighbouring countries.

The project that was funded by the Japanese government to a tune of 32 million U.S. dollars is expected to help address the challenge of increased traffic on the central corridor, an important regional route connecting the region to the port of Dar es Salaam.

“This is quite an important mile stone towards facilitating regional trade and deepening East African Community (EAC) integration.”

“This structure will help eliminate traffic congestion and improve the efficiency of cargo transportation,” Musoni told journalists shortly after the launch.

He noted that the plan to construct border posts at borders in EAC is in line with the regional integration plan to help ease movement of people and goods.

“Rwanda being a land locked country, this is an opportunity for us to increase trade exchanges with our neighbours and other countries that connect us to the sea,” he said.

The project works included the construction of the new Rusumo International Bridge with 80m of length and 13.5m width, and other facilities such as the administration building.

It consists of a control shed for vehicle control purposes, guard quarters, and car park for large vehicles.

The new two-lane bridge has replaced the old one-lane bridge constructed 40 years ago.

The new bridge has the capacity to support 180 tonnes from the current capacity of 53 tonnes.

“We are so happy because this is going to ease our business.

“The traffic congestion is going to considerably reduce and the time we spend at the border is going to reduce,” Hamza Ntirenganya, a Rwandan truck driver.

He added that it was very challenging for them because they would spend too much time at the border clearing their merchandise because of too much traffic caused by trucks.

Presently Nemba One Stop border post between Rwanda and Burundi in eastern province is operating as well as Ruhwa border post in Rusizi District, that also links Rwanda to Burundi.

Kagitumba border post is under construction while others to be constructed include Gatuna border, the busiest post between Rwanda and Uganda as well as Cyanika border that also connects to Uganda.

Plans are under way to upgrade La Corniche border post in Gisenyi Sector, Rubavu District in western province that connects to DRC.

The Rusumo international bridge that has been under construction since May 2012 was on Wednesday opened to traffic.


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