AFDB to finance 23.7km Uganda-Rwanda Expressway
BY MOVINCE ODUOR
The African Development Bank has inked a deal to finance construction of the 23.7km Uganda-Rwanda highway at a cost of $151m.
The multinational highway will connect Uganda and Rwanda via Busega and Mpigi districts and will be a four lane express highway.
AFDB East Africa Regional Development and Office Delivery Director General Gabriel Negatu expressed optimism in the project saying it will play a crucial role in boosting trade activities and diplomatic relations between the two nations. ‘’The AFDB thanks the Ugandan government for its commitment to develop infrastructure in the country,’’ he said.
Uganda’s Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Mr. Matia Kasija said AFDB’s support is of value to the nation to help improve the lives of its citizens, adding that the highway will offer a new experience to the transport sector. ‘This project is in line with our National Development Plan which emphasizes the need for inclusive and sustainable growth and increase competitiveness,” Kasija Noted.
Supervised and facilitated by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), construction will start in 2018 and it is expected to be commissioned in 2020. The project will include capacity building and training for Ministry of Works and Transport, youth and women at Busega market as well as training of cross-border traders at Mirama Hills. The highway will feature operation and maintenance units since it shall include rehabilitation of the 208km Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo road in Eastern Rwanda. It will have interchanges, underpasses and service roads as well as security lights on its entire length.
An artistic impression of the Busega-Mpigi highway whose design will foster regional integration. (Image: courtesy)
The expressway is designed to foster regional integration and tighten trade relations between Uganda, Rwanda and other EA countries. Uganda is leveraging its transport network as one of its major development agendas. It has heavily invested in road infrastructure under the new five-year plan to cut transport costs, create a vast room for trade and ease of access to products and services.