Kigali,15th September,2015, Kigali-Gatuna road was jointly inaugurated by the Minister of Infrastructure, Honorable James MUSONI and EUCommissioner Naveen MIMICA.The Inauguration ceremony was held in Gicumbi District in the Northern Province. The event was witnessed by the European delegation including all Ambassadors from the European Countries and other stakeholders linked to this project.
Kigali-Gatuna road was first upgraded from murram to asphalt road in 1970s with financing of the European Development Fund and the Belgian Government.
The Government of Rwanda and European Union had come up with Rural Development and Infrastructure for regional interconnectivity as the main areas of focus for their cooperation.
Kigali-Gatuna road is one if the main route linking Rwanda to the port of Mombasa through the Northern Corridor ccurrently 50% of imports for Rwanda and Eastern DRC travelling by road passes through the Northern Corridor (1700km) and Kigali-Gatuna road.
According to the Minister of Infrastructure, Honorable James MUSONI, the Kigali-Gatuna road contributes to the social-economic development of the country by ensuring commercial exchanges at the international level, reduction of transport cost, increased international trade competitiveness, improved road safety and promotes cross border trade and regional integration.
The commissioner in charge of cooperation at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Naveen Mimica, said the refurbished road is an opportunity for Rwanda to boost business with the rest of the continent. The EU jointly funded the refurbishment of the highway with the Government of Rwanda.
“This road is part of the Northern Corridor. It does not stop only at Gatuna; rather it connects Rwanda with Kampala and Mombasa. I hope that it will play a key role in regional integration, in addition to improving business between Rwanda and its neighbors and reducing the cost of doing business in the country,” Mimica added.
“We will also provide another €20m grant to refurbish the Rusumo-Kagitumba road as part of our support for regional integration,” Mimica stated.
The road rehabilitation works started on 02nd January 2012 and was completed on 02nd March 2015 at a total budget of 62,156,000Euros (EU contribution: 57 Million Euros; GoR contribution: 5,156 Million Euros) covering rehabilitation works and supervision of the road. The road is currently in the Defects Liability Period during which rehabilitation of borrow pits and quarries will be conducted.
The road is 77.8km and was rehabilitated to 7m-width carriageway and 1.5m shoulders as per EAC road standards. It was rehabilitated for 20 years life span and designed to withstand international heavy traffic with a design speed of 80Km/Hour.
As a government policy, Kigali-Gatuna road will be regularly maintained by Local Community Associations, made of roadside dwellers, created and trained to conduct routine maintenance of the Rwanda road network. A local contractor recruited through a competitive bidding process will conduct periodic maintenance of the road.