A high level Steering Committee meeting bringing together Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and partners has approved construction of a One Stop Border Post (OSBP) on Rusizi II border.
The construction under European Union (EU) funded Action “Secure Cross-Border Social, Economic and Commercial Activities in the Great Lakes Region” is geared towards strengthening the economic integration and social cohesion of the cross-border communities.
This action is anticipated to benefit some 3 million people living in Bukavu in the DRC and Rusizi in Rwanda.
The meeting held this November 29, 2021 aimed to review project progress was attended by officials from Rwanda and DRC.
It included laying a first foundation stone and exchange of One Stop Border Post (OSBP) designs by the two countries.
The project will implement an integrated border management approach, facilitated by improved infrastructure, including the construction of relevant border facilities comprising the OSBP, warehousing and truck parking, complemented by road construction to and from the border post.
This border project is also significant in the scale and nature of movement of the cross-border communities.
Imena Munyampenda, the Director General of Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA)- said this project is in line with Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) as well as the country’s vision 2050 but also a regional integration initiative.
“Upon its realization we expect an improved cross border trade between DRC and Rwanda,” Munyampenda said, and asked the meeting to fast track the project to the benefit of the border communities.
“This mechanism will be a win –win situation which will facilitate trade and commerce and human mobility but also forging regional economic integration and social cohesion of the populations,” vice- Governor of South Kivu, Marc Malago Kashekere said.
Given the extensive scope of this Action, worth €22million, with construction to start early 2022 for 18 months, it will be implemented by the IOM and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), in close collaboration with relevant government authorities in Rwanda and DRC.
DR Congo is a big market for Rwandan small traders as it receives 86 percent of goods from informal trade in Rwanda.
In 2019, Rwanda exported goods worth $372 million to DRC accounting for 32% of all Rwanda’s total exports, but this amount reduced to $88 million in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic that affected cross border trade.