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The African Development Fund (ADF) and Rwanda have signed a loan agreement of 13.50 million units of account (UA), equivalent to US$19.33mn and a grant of UA1.50mn equivalent to US$2.15mn to finance the Road Infrastructure Project in Rwanda.

Olabisi Ogunjobi, vice-president of the African Development Bank Group in charge of West and Central Operations and Microfinance, and Claver Gatete, secretary general and

treasury secretary of Rwanda, signed the agreements.

The project will contribute to the attainment of objectives defined in the transport sector policy whose priority is to preserve existing infrastructure, in particular the rehabilitation of the country’s roads and bridges which remained unmaintained for about 10 years or were destroyed during the conflict from 1990 to 1994; torrential rains and exceptional flooding in 1997 and 1998.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ogunjobi emphasised “the very good relations prevailing between the bank group and Rwanda”, underlining the importance of this project for the country.

In his comment, Gatete commended the speed with which the bank had studied the project. “The bank’s interventions in Rwanda have had a huge impact on the country’s infrastructure”, he said, adding that this sector was vital for countries like Rwanda.

The project will help reduce poverty by opening up farm and industrial production areas located in the Cyangugu, Kibungo, Kigali-Ngali and Gikongoro provinces; improve accessibility to basic social and administrative structures (hospitals, schools, etc); reduce transportation costs; sensitise the riparian populations on environmental protection, road security and HIV/Aids. Through its training and logistical support components, it will strengthen project planning, implementation and monitoring capacities.

The following works will be carried out: (i) 39km of paved road between Cyangugu and Bugarama, rehabilitated with asphalt concrete, two lanes and a 6m wide pavement, 1-1.5m wide shoulders each, and a 4.8km slip road between Mutongo and Rusizi II, reconstructed with the same features as the main road; and 70km of related feeder roads resurfaced; (ii) a bridge with a 62m span located on the Kibungo-Ngenda road at Gashora, redesigned; (iii) detailed engineering designs, tender documents prepared for the Butare-Cyangugu road upgrading works.

The ADF contribution covers 90% of the project’s total cost amounting to UA15mn.

Bank group operations in Rwanda started in 1974. Commitments to date amount to UA329.83mn equivalent to US$471.59mn for 51 operations. Total disbursements stand at about 68%.