The government of Rwanda has secured US$68mn of financing from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the construction of a road connecting the country to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

The funding tranche signed on July 27 is the third of a three-phase loan provided by AfDB, and covers the construction of a 47.9 km stretch of road from Rubavu (Rwanda) to Gisiza (Burundi). About 88% of the US$68mn has been provided under a loan agreement, with the remainder under a grant agreement.

The first and second phases funded the US$89mn development of a 100 km route between Ruhwa (Burundi), Cyangugu, Ntendezi and Mwitvazo (all in Rwanda).

Once completed, the Kivu Belt road will be 180 km long, and it is expected to improve trade and tourism along Rwanda’s north and south corridors. The overall project is estimated at US$320mn, and has received financial support from the government of Rwanda, the Export-Import Bank of China (US$116mn for a 66 km stretch), the Kuwait Fund For Arab Economic Development, the Saudi Bank For Economic Development, the Opec Fund for International Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (US$47mn for a 23.6 km stretch).