The New Times (Kigali)

14 June 2012

Rwanda: Kigali Streets Get New Names

Kigali motorists, tourists, commuters and the general public will no longer have to face hurdles tracing their way to their respective destinations after the Kigali City Council on Monday kick-started the eagerly anticipated exercise to name all the city roads and allocating addreses.

According to the I.T. manager at Kigali City Council, Cedric Umuhire, the process would be completed within two weeks.

The project aims to have all roads, avenues and streets have road signs with letters and numbers based on location and district. If a street is, for instance, is located in Nyarugenge District, the street name be designated as: KN (Kigali Nyarugenge): 2 st.

"We want to make the city as simple as possible and internationally friendly in helping the public access their destinations without facing difficulties", Fidel Ndayisaba, the city Mayor said.

He revealed that city authorities intend to partner with American-based technology conglomerate, Google Inc. though Google Maps, to further ease the identification of locations within the city.

Google Maps is a web mapping service application and technology provided by Google; it offers street maps, a route planner for travellers and an urban business locator for numerous countries around the world.

Recently, Rwanda Development Board (RBD), in partnership with Google, launched a mapping exercise that would feature the country's tourism attractions on the web.

According to Mayor, the process would cover 20 out of 35 sectors in the city beginning with those in urban areas while those in rural areas will be be covered later.

A taxi driver, Jean de Dieu Habimana, welcomed the initiative saying it would ease business.

"It becomes hard when you're transporting a foreigner, especially when it is his or her first time to visit Kigali. Sometimes, he will direct you but knowing the exact area becomes tricky."

He mentioned some of the tricky areas as Nyarutarama and Kagugu suburbs of the city.

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