Uganda’s head of state H.E Yoweri Museveni has officially commissioned the construction of the 37 km Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road. The groundbreaking ceremony wasattended by Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Abraham Byandala, acting Executive Director, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), James Okorir, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Director General, David Stanton and TMEAs Uganda Country Director, Allen Asiimwe, among other dignitaries.
TradeMark East Africa is funding construction of the $22 million road which will be implemented by the Uganda National Roads Authority. Construction is expected to take 18 months with the road ready for use in April 2016.
The Mirama Hills road route offers a shorter and less difficult route to Rwanda than passing through the Katuna/Gatuna border post. This unpaved section of 37 Km of Northern Corridor road network was a major constraint to the better operationalisation of a one stop border post at Kagitumba and Mirama Hills and is expected to decrease the time for goods to be transported between Kampala and Kigali and increase the volume of traffic using this route.
“This road construction marks another significant milestone in Uganda’s commitment towards enhanced regional integration. It fits well with our northern corridor infrastructure projects including the border post at Mirama Hills. We expect this road to promote increased trade with Rwanda. Coupled with the construction of the one stop border post at Mirama Hills, Ugandan and Rwandan traders will experience reduced times and costs. The government of Uganda is grateful to its development partners and in particular, TradeMark East Africa for supporting us on improving the much needed trade infrastructure”, said H.E. Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda.
TradeMark Director General David Stanton noted that trade infrastructure is critical to East Africa’s prosperity, and in creating the much needed jobs in the region. Currently East Africa’s trade corridors are characterized by long transit times and high costs. Freight costs per kilometre are more than 50% higher than costs in the United States and Europe, and for the landlocked countries, transport costs can be as high as 45% of the value of exports.
“This support to the government of Uganda is expected to cutdown significantly the time and cost of transporting goods to Rwanda and through the Mirama Hills one stop border post. This is an important project that will make a substantive contribution to the development of both the country and the East Africa region. We expect to see increased trade activity between Uganda and Rwanda. This investment in modernising the transport infrastructure is the catalyst needed to bring about prosperity to the region,” said Stanton.
The project focuses on upgrading and paving of the road to bitumen standards from Ntungamo to Mirama Hills Border (aprroximately 37 Km long). The works consist of upgrading the road from gravel to Class II Bitumen Standard, with 7m-wide carriageway of asphalt concrete surfacing and 2No. 1.5m-wide double surface dressed shoulders. The project is related to the TMEA supported projects that will provide:
- Improved IT infrastructure;
- Harmonised working procedures on both sides of the border;
- Training for border agency staff, freight forwarders and traders;
- Construction of the Kagitumba OSBP and Mirama Hills OSBP; and
- Construction of Kagitumba Bridge.
TMEA is providing financial assistance to the Government of Uganda (GoU) to assist in the financing of the project. The Works will be executed by a Construction firm and Quality Assurance will be ensured through a permanent supervision of works backed up by Project Managers from UNRA and TMEA. Both the Project Managers and Consultancy supervision firm will report to the UNRA/TMEA joint established Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), which will approve all project implementation decisions.