Rwanda’s Marine transport project to boost trade relations with DRC

Rwanda looks to improve inter-trade activities in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with its new marine system water project. The Lake Kivu water project will be a vital project for the two countries to spur their trading ties stated the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA)

According to RTDA manager for planning and research, Fabrice Barisanga, “the project that is set to be implemented in November this year will ease cross-border trade with DR Congo and studies are ongoing for River Akagera navigability, which we hope will enable Rwanda’s marine transport system to connect to Lake Victoria.”

“Under the Lake Kivu water project, five ports will be established around the lake, but we will start with four ports in the first phase in Karongi, Rusizi, Rubavu and Rutsiro districts. We have already secured almost 44 percent of required funds and are mobilizing the remaining resources from stakeholders and funders,” said Fabrice.

The first phase of the Kivu project, which is to begin before the end of the year will cost $27.3 million and it is expected to be completed by 2020.

Over the years, DR Congo has enjoyed a partnership with Rwanda, as well as Tanzania and the marine system will be seen as an alternative to curb congestion issues at the Tanzania, Dar es Salaam port and improve time efficiency as well as delivery of perishable goods.

The Kivu transport project will serve as a more efficient and effective way of transportation, even as both parties seek to mutually benefit from the water sector as the project plays a crucial role in the industry and trade market as well as boost the tourism sector.

DR Congo is Rwanda’s largest regional trading partner with 79.7 percent of the export market. In 2017, Rwanda’s exports to the DR Congo accounted for 83.3 percent of the country’s total informal cross-border and Rwanda still looks to expand further with more projects that will suit larger cargoes and add additional volumes.