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The European Union (EU) has mobilized an additional Euro 10 million (about Rwf9 billion) to top up the Rwf5 billion government had earmarked for the completion of the Kigali-Gatuna road rehabilitation project.

Kigali Gatuna road
Kigali Gatuna road

The road is a vital link in Rwanda’s road connection to the Indian Ocean, and is part of the Northern Corridor that is being developed by three East Africa Community members states (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya).

The highway connects Kigali via Kampala to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya.

The fresh injection of funds from Rwanda and the EU will allow additional reinforcement of the road structure and the widening of the road shoulders to bring it in line with regional EAC road standards. It will extend the life cycle of the road from 15 to 20 years.

“I am delighted that the European Union has agreed the additional funding for this crucial road link between Rwanda and Uganda,” said Michael Ryan, the head of EU delegation to Rwanda.

“It is a major transport route for land-locked Rwanda, and will provide a substantial boost to trade, and bind Rwanda more closely with its East African Community partners.”

Ryan added that the government’s financial commitment is a clear testimony of the importance of extending road networks in Rwanda, and of the closeness of the Rwanda-EU partnership in building national infrastructure.

Grossing the funds

This now takes the total European Union financing for the Kigali-Gatuna road to Euro 57 million (about Rwf52 billion), covering the rehabilitation of 78 kilometres of the road, and support for the Rwandan Transport Development Authority (RTDA) and the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Amb. Ryan met with the Minister for Infrastructure, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, yesterday to discuss the road project after which the two signed the agreement.

Works on the road are already ongoing and completion is expected before the end of 2014.

The EU is a leading provider of technical and financial assistance to Rwanda, with spending, mainly in the form of budget support, averaging some Euro 150 million per year.

A large part of this has gone to infrastructure development. A 65-kilometre road was rehabilitated between Musanze and Rubavu districts with EU funds in 2008. Last year, an additional Euro 40 million was earmarked to support rural feeder roads.

Source: The New Times