The modern RUSIZI II border post between Rwanda and DR Congo under construction is expected to boost trade and ease free movement of goods and people in the respective countries.
It is expected that on the completion of this modern border post, the quick service delivery at this border post will increase the pace it was working on hence smoothening trade between Rwanda and DRC.
Occasionally, the cargo trucks would spend 1 to 2 hours on the border post but with the new development it is estimated the cargo trucks will not spend more than 20 minutes at the checking point and this will enable servicing of 200 cargo trucks in just 24 hours.
These service deliveries will be facilitated by the Integrated Border Management (IBM) a modern national immigration system that tracks an eye on all incoming and outgoing commodities digitally.
The project is sponsored by the European Union and Trade Mark East Africa.
While launching the event, Francois Habitegeko, the Governor of Western Province said Rwanda and DRC were both members of CEPGL but now that they are East African Community partner states which is an opportunity for both countries to boost bilateral trade.
Governor of Western Province said the flow of goods and services will increase via transiting to and fro in both countries. “Through this project we wish that people shouldn’t stay long on the border standing and waiting. Therefore, for movement of goods and services to be delivered smoothly, we must have infrastructures that smoothens the speedy deliveries,” he said
“Time is money and therefore to reduce the time people spend on the border post,” he added.
RUSIZI One Border Post will have an established office in Rwanda border and another in DR, a customs union and staffs houses, banks, RSSB offices, a cargo truck park among other construction necessary.
The governor of the Southern Kivu province, Marc Malago Kashekere said the border post will be complete in the nearest possible period. “The technical work and the environmental study are already accomplished only what we are remaining is the expropriation and compensating the settlers in the area.”
Officials also say, Rwanda and DRC are in negotiations on the 266 families that must be expropriated and given equal and fair compensation in the border areas of two countries.
It is expected that the 18 months’ project will start by January 2022 with 20 20 million euros and the construction companies will be starting their initial construction according to officials.
The immigration statistics indicate RUSIZI border post II received 12,000 travelers but dropped to 6000 to 7000 to pandemic disruption. Also, before COVID-19 almost 150 crossed the border but now they are 70 to 100 only crossing the area.
Statistics indicate that cross border trade with DRC amounts to an average of USD$100 million annually with approximately US$30 million going through RUSIZI border post.
Rwanda and Congo remain the biggest trade allies over the past year. In 2019, Rwanda exported goods worth US$372 million to DRC accounting to 32% of Rwanda’s total exports.
The two countries have been cooperating on the diverse projects especially those related to energy investments along its borders. In 2019, Rwanda and Congo alongside other CEPGL member countries meet in Kinshasha and signed RUSIZI III hydro power project agreements worth US$700 million that was expected to offer 147 MW hydropower regional project between Burundi, DRC and Rwanda.