Full trading between Rwanda and Uganda is scheduled to resume on Monday January 31st following Kigali announcement that it had opened locks on its borders shut in March 2019.
“Rwanda has taken note that there is a process to solve issues raised by Rwanda, as well as commitments made by the government of Uganda to address remaining obstacles,” Kigali said in the statement.
Since the border closure Rwanda and Uganda recorded a significant reduction in trade flows and was further worsened by the covid-19 pandemic that struck a year after Rwanda had slammed its doors to the northern neighbour.
Before the border was closed in 2019, Uganda export revenues fetched from trading with Rwanda were valued over U$600million. During 2020 Uganda Exports to Rwanda was US$2.31 Million, according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.
President Paul Kagame said in his new year address that Rwanda prospered in the economic front.
“We are beginning the year 2020 after a successful 2019.Our country remained safe as a result of our efforts”.
The Africa Development Bank in its 2019 outlook on Rwanda, projected robust growth prospects even as the standoff with Uganda heightened.
For example, Rwanda and Tanzania signed the standard gauge railway (SGR) deal dubbed, sub-Saharan Africa’s first 570 Km bullet line with Tanzania worth US$2.5 billion.
Also Rwanda by December 2019 signed a U$1.3 billion deal on Bugesera Airport with Qatar.
One of the biggest blows that Uganda suffered in its standoff with Rwanda was the emergence of Tanzania as Rwanda’s new major trading partner.
Uganda exports to Rwanda include; mineral fuels, oils, distillation products ,plastics ,textiles ,cereals , electronics, vehicles, machinery, fish, edible fruits, soaps, cement, lubricants, waxes, candles and an assortment of manufactured articles.
With the border slated for opening on Monday, the gesture is expected to boost the movement of goods, transport, persons and services and under strict observation of restrictions against covid-19 pandemic.