Bujumbura, Burundi – (African Boulevard News) – In a bid to improve cross-border infrastructure and bolster economic ties between Burundi and Rwanda, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has allocated funds for a new road project connecting the two countries.
With the reopening of the border last September after a six-year closure, there is a need for better connectivity to foster trade, movement of people and goods, and regional integration. The project will involve the renovation of the Rukomo-Kayonza-Kananga road, a crucial link that connects the two nations. The upgrade will enable seamless cross-border trade and support the growth of the agriculture and tourism sectors.
According to AfDB’s Director General for East Africa, Nnena Nwabufo, the project is a significant part of the bank’s strategy to enhance regional integration and stimulate economic growth across Africa. “This project has the potential to unlock significant economic benefits and promote social development in the region,” she said.
The African Development Bank will provide US $119.5 million to finance the project, with €6.6 million from the African Development Fund. The funds will be used to rehabilitate the Rukomo-Kayonza-Kananga road, extending about 54 kilometers, and construct a new cross-border market infrastructure, sanitation facilities, and border crossing infrastructure.
The project is set to begin in 2023 and will be implemented in phases. The first phase will involve the rehabilitation of 12 kilometers of roads, the construction of two markets, and the establishment of sanitation facilities in Kayonza and Rukomo. The second phase will cover 23 kilometers of road construction and the establishment of border crossing infrastructure. The final phase will involve the construction of 19 kilometers of the road to Kananga.
The initiative has been applauded by various stakeholders, including government officials, business leaders, and development partners. They laud the AfDB for its efforts to support African countries and boost regional economic growth.
This cross-border road project aligns with the AfDB’s goal to promote inclusive growth and regional integration in Africa. It will help bridge the development gap between Rwanda and Burundi and provide an avenue for economic growth and social transformation in the region.
The project is set to create job opportunities and boost trade between the two countries, unlocking the potential for more extensive regional economic integration in Central Africa. As such, the African Development Bank’s achievement will have far-reaching impacts on the region, unlocking opportunities for growth and development.