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The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Rwanda signed a new African Development Fund loan financing agreement and an European Union (EU) –Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund grant agreement for the amounts of US$ 93.1 million and USD $ 22.4 million respectively to finance the rehabilitation and widening of the Kagitumba-kayonza-Rusumo road (208 km) and the associated activities, provision of market facilities, support to communities through enhancing raw milk trading and transportation and community water supply in Rwanda Eastern province.
The Rwanda minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete and AfDB Negatu Makonnen, Resident Representative in Rwanda, Negatu Makonnen, signed the agreements
In parallel, the Government of Rwanda also signed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) – that is also co-financing the project, a JICA loan agreement amounting to USD 56.3 million. The JICA loan agreement was signed by the Ambassador of Japan in Rwanda, Mr. Miyashita Takayuki and the Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Takada Hiroyuki.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Gatete thanked the AfDB for taking the lead in starting this strategic road project and mobilizing funds from other development partners. Gatete highlighted that the project will ease access to markets and reduce the cost of doing business. It will also increase the value of agricultural produce and household income. According to the Rwandan official the road is an important link to both the northern corridor port of Mombasa and central corridor port of Dar Es Salaam.
Gatete also urged the implementing Agency, Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) to expedite the implementation of the project and the Bank to fast track disbursements.
AfDB Resident Representative Makonnen commended Rwanda for the excellent collaboration accorded to fast track the advance procurement activities. He also congratulated the European Union and JICA for co-financing the project in line with the aid effectiveness agenda. He further added that the project is transformational in nature and has the potential to transform Rwanda into a regional logistics hub.