18 June 2019

Rwanda, China Sign $42.8 Million Deal for Road Expansion

The 10.3km-long road will be expanded from a two-way, two-lane road to a two-way, four-lane road to help ease traffic flow

The governments of Rwanda and China Tuesday signed an agreement under which the latter will provide US$42.8 million toward the expansion of the Prince House Remera-Nyandungu-Masaka road.

The grant deal was inked at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning headquarters in Kigali, with the State Minister for Economic Planning, Claudine Uwera, signing for the Government of Rwanda, and Chinese envoy to Rwanda Amb. RAO Hongwei signing for his government.

Uwera noted that the 10.3km-long road will be expanded from a two-way, two-lane road to a two-way, four-lane road to help ease traffic flow on the route.

"As you all know cargo trucks use that road often causing heavy traffic congestion, so the expansion of the road will help ease traffic flow," she said.

The Chinese envoy to Rwanda noted that relations between the two countries have grown over the years and even grew stronger last year when the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Rwanda - the first Chinese president to visit the country.

Xi visited Rwanda in July 2018 shortly after his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame had visited China in March 2017 and during both visits the two leaders agreed to further strengthen bilateral ties, he said.

Amb. Rao recalled that during President Xi's visit to Rwanda the two countries signed 15 agreements covering several areas such as trade, infrastructure, air transport, among others.

He said his country was committed to supporting Rwanda in its development efforts, including in the areas of healthcare and education, citing plans to expand Masaka Hospital, IPRC-Musanze and Kibungo Hospital.

He said the soon-to-begin works on the Prince House Remera-Masaka road will not only help ease traffic congestion on the road but will also help ease access to the Kigali International Airport, Kigali Special Economic Zone, Masaka Hospital, and markets and suburbs, as well as several educational and religious institutions along the route.

He noted that the signing of the deal was not the only "good news" in bilateral relations between the two countries as it happened on the same day Rwanda's national carrier, RwandAir, launched its flights to China's leading commercial city of Guangzhou.

"Today's agreement isn't the only good news for us," he said. "It's also today that RwandAir has launched its flights from Kigali to Guangzhou, in Chinese, we call that double happiness."

The diplomat said 2019 will see even greater collaborations between Rwanda and China, especially in the areas of trade, investment, public health, education, tourism and people-to-people relations.

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