The 208-km long Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo road between Rwanda and Tanzania has won financing for over US$180.5mn from different international institutions.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Rwanda have signed a new African development fund loan financing agreement and a European Union (EU)-Africa infrastructure trust fund grant agreement for US$93.1mn and US$22.4mn respectively.

The Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has also signed a loan agreement of up to ¥6.9bn (approximately US$65mn) focusing on widening and repairing the 92-km long Kayonza-Rusumo section, and on consulting services.

The road improvement works are expected to make transportation smoother and reduce the costs of moving goods in Rwanda and in the neighbouring region, as well as providing market facilities and supporting communities by enhancing raw milk trading and community water supply in Rwanda’s eastern province.

The Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo road is part of the central corridor connecting the Rwandan capital of Kigali to Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam international port, 1,400km away. As a landlocked country, overland transport through roads is one of Rwanda’s only ways to access foreign markets. According to JICA, the transportation costs from Rwanda are extremely high, accounting for some 40% of the base cost for imports and exports and representing a major challenge to promoting economic development.