The Ugandan Government is going to partner with Dr. Congo to construct a 222-kilometer road in the Eastern part of DRC. The project which will cost 334.5 million US dollars is intended to boost trade amongst the two countries. Uganda will contribute 66.9 million US dollars towards the project.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic development is expected to get a supplementary budget for the activity.
While speaking at the media center in Kampala, the Minister of Works and Transport General Edward KatumbaWamalasaid that;
‘If we were earning 532 million dollars by 2018, by participating in this joint venture we can earn 2 or 3 times more than this much and this will enable us to address our own infrastructure requirement without going back to borrowing’
The Minister further says that this partnership will boost trade as well as ignite Bi-lateral relations with other countries
‘There’s always a start for everything, it may not have been there before but we have started. For example, the concept of the standard gage railway which is a regional project between Uganda and Kenya will be developed from port to interior’
The project which was approved by the Ugandan Cabinet will involve construction and upgrading of the road from Kasinditown at the border to Beni and the connection of the Beni-Butembo axis to the main road and the Bunagana border to Ruchuru- Goma road.
Dr. Congo is one of the countries that have a good business relationship with Uganda. Most of the goods that go to Eastern DRC pass through Uganda and transport has been a big hindrance to the smooth trade amongst the two countries. This prompted the two governments to reach an agreement to partner and put up this infrastructure. Many Ugandan manufactures export their goods to Eastern Congo by road and the Congolese to come to Uganda to buy goods to take back home.
This move is a fulfillment of the bilateral talks which President Museveni held last year with newly elected DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi at State House in Entebbe, and among the key issues they discussed were trade, security, and bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries. The two countries signed agreements to enable business and infrastructural partnerships which will improve trade amongst Uganda and DRC.
During that meeting, President Museveni said that
“We need the market of all of Africa and there should be no taxes at the borders. What we need to concentrate on is the quality of production that can be done in the country where it is cheapest and there will be comparative advantages”
Uganda hosts a lot of Congolese refugees who come in search of many things and Congo also harbors a lot of Ugandan citizens who go for business. It also harbors rebels who fight with the Ugandan government and with such partnerships, the Congolese government can be able to help eliminate these rebel groups and bring peace to the region.