US$ 150 million Grant for the Burundi-Rwanda Road Project

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Tunis, December 16, 2008 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Board of Directors approved an African Development Fund (ADF) grant of 100 million Unit of Account (UA*), equivalent to US$ 150 million, to Burundi and Rwanda for financing the Nyamitanga-Ruhwa- Ntendezi -Mwityazo Road Project.

Rwanda and Burundi, which are landlocked countries far from any sea ports, have experienced a long period of political instability, leading to the deterioration of their infrastructure and a cumulative maintenance deficit. This situation constitutes a major handicap to regional integration and accessibility to the two countries, which have the highest population densities in the world (305 and 373 inhabitants/km2 respectively). Thus, in their medium–term investment programmes (2008-2012 for Rwanda and 2007-2010 for Burundi), both governments put high priority to the rehabilitation/improvement of the main highways.

As part of the development of their Transport Corridors, Burundi and Rwanda have defined a programme to facilitate transport on the Mugina-Bujumbura-Nyamitanga-Ruhwa-Ntendezi-Mwityazo-Gisenyi Corridor, linking Burundi to Rwanda and to Tanzania. This corridor, which will be implemented in phases, is 497.5 kilometres long. The Nyamitanga-Ruhwa-Ntendezi-Mwityazo road project covers construction of 101 km of road and related works; the removal of impediments to traffic fluidity by building and equipping a Single Border Control Post (SBCP); and capacity building for project executing agencies.

More specifically, the project aims at facilitating the movement of goods and persons along the Nyamitanga-Ruhwa-Ntendezi-Mwityazo road, and at improving the living conditions of the inhabitants of the project area.

The project beneficiaries are estimated at around 3.2 million inhabitants, i.e. 17% of the populations of Burundi and Rwanda.

It is expected that this project will help to strengthen cooperation between the countries of the East African Community (EAC) in general, and between Burundi and Rwanda in particular, as well as to an increase in intercommunity trade.

As a result of the transport facilitation component and the related improvements, the project will help to: (i) reduce transport costs and travel time; (ii) improve access to basic services; (iii) increase opportunities for commercial activities and increase the marketing of products. This project is in keeping with the national and regional priorities.

The Bank’s involvement in this project is within the context of financial support for the implementation of road projects with a regional focus and the development of infrastructure in support of the productive sectors. Its intervention is justified by its leadership role in the implementation of the actions proposed under the NEPAD component dedicated to regional infrastructure.

The project will be implemented over a period of 48 months (January 2009 to December 2012). The total coast is estimated at UA 101.28 million. The grant is broken down as follows: UA 49.38 million to Burundi and UA 50.62 million to Rwanda.

*1 UA = US$ 1.48797 as at 16/12/2008

CONTACT:Lotfi Madani– Tel.: +216 71 10 31 98 – E-mail:

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