Rubavu and Rusizi cross border markets, completed, ready for occupation

An MOU between TradeMark Africa and Ministry of Trade and Industry marks the official completion and beginning of operationalising the markets
Upcoming activities including space allocation to traders
Construction of Rubavu and Rusizi markets was supported by TMA with funding from DFID and the Embassy of Belgium

Rubavu 21st March 2019: The Rwanda Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have today announced the official completion of Rusizi and Rubavu Cross Border Markets. The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to symbolise completion and official handover of the markets from TMA to the government of Rwanda. The handover marks opening the market space to traders for business.

TMA partnered with MINICOM and Rubavu and Rusizi District administration to oversee construction of the markets for the last 1 year. United Kingdom’s Department for Foreign Development (DFID) and Embassy of Belgium in Rwanda provide funding of USD$ 3, 302 ,255.35 and 2,165,250.17 for Rubavu and Rusizi respectively.

Rusizi market is all-inclusive with 186 spaces for trading in goods while Rubavu has 192 spaces. Markets facilities include cold rooms, Creche, warehousing, banks and forex bureaus, sanitary facilities as well as service parking. These cross-border markets directly respond to Rwanda’s National Cross Border Trade strategy that calls for the development of CBMS to promote trade between Rwanda and neighbouring countries; and it is expected that the markets will promote cross border trade between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The MOU stipulates that TMA will provide a two-year technical assistance support that will ensure efficient operationalisation of the market and will also support the continuous monitoring of emerging lessons and results of the markets. This will be a critical building block towards the long-term sustainability of the outcomes of the programme. The handover paves way for MINICOM to set up and operationalise the Cross-Border Market governance structure which will include a management board and property manager. MINICOM will play an oversight role.
Government of Rwanda commits to ensure that the facilities are used toward direct cross border trade activities, that the facilities will be distributed equitable to serve all categories of cross border businesses, ensure gender equity, support the private sector efforts in developing organised groups of cross border traders. To ensure sustainability revenues collected from traders will be used for maintenance of infrastructure.
The two partners have emphasised the need to ensure that the cross-border markets meet all environmental and social safeguards for sustainability.

Both districts will manage their respective Cross-Border Markets and will recruit a professional property manager with the skills, qualifications and experience in managing similar facilities.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, MINICOM permanent secretary said, “Today marks one of the major milestones for the cross-border markets in Rusizi and Rubavu. These structures will help our traders to plan better when bulking and reaching new markets.”

TMA Country Director Ms. Patience Mutesi-Gatera noted, “These markets are just an example of the linkages we create between our interventions at the policy level and needs at the grassroots impacting Rwanda people directly. Our joy is seeing the hundreds of traders, most of whom are women, soon occupy these markets and conduct thriving business because the modern facilities like cold rooms and bulk rooms will aid in better planning.”
The government of Rwanda is planning for an official launch later in the year; and once traders have occupied space. The Rusizi and Rubavu markets complement other programmes supported by TradeMark Africa including but not limited to capacity building of women cross border traders, One Stop Border Posts, and development of transport infrastructure on Lake Kivu in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Rwanda Transport Development Agency.

Notes for Editors

For more information please contact
For TMA Rwanda
Jackie Zizane
Sr. Programme Manager, Rwanda

For Ministry of Trade and Industry
James Tayebwa

TradeMark Africa
TradeMark Africa (TMA) is an aid-for-trade organisation that was established with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, UK, and USA. TMA works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.

TMA seeks to increase trade by unlocking economic potential through Reduced barriers to trade; and Improving business competitiveness.

Increased trade contributes to stronger economic growth, a reduction in poverty and subsequently greater prosperity. TMA has its headquarters in Nairobi with programmes in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda.

To find out more, please visit the TMA website at