Saudi fund boost for Burundi-Rwanda road

road  cogdogblogThe total length of the multinational Burundi-Rwanda Road is 265.7km, with 185km on Rwandan side. (Image source: cogdogblog/Flickr)The Saudi Fund for Development has sanctioned an amount of US$13mn for construction of the Burundi-Rwanda Kivu Belt Multinational Road

Rwandan ministry sources have revealed that the country's government had signed the financing agreement with the Saudi Fund for Development last week, providing a major boost to the road project.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monitory Fund Annual Meeting in Tokyo by the Rwandan minister of finance and economic planning, John Rwangombwa, and the vice-chairman and managing director of the Saudi Fund For Development, Yousef Ibn Ibrahim Al-Bassam.

The money was pledged by the Saudi Fund during a fundraising project to co-finance Lot 6, the Rubengera-Gasiza portion of the Kivu Belt Multinational Road, during the Ninth Government of Rwanda Development Partners Meeting in November 2010.

The total length of the multinational Burundi-Rwanda Road is 265.7km, with 185km on Rwandan side and expected to cost about US$350mn. According to Minecofin and the Saudi Fund financing, the mobilisation of the funding has now been concluded.

Other contributors funding portions of the road includes the government of Rwanda, Kuwait Fund For Arab Economic Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

The design studies were completed in 2008 by Saudi International and construction work started on portions of the road in 2010 with funding from the African Development Bank.

The Rwanda ministry of finance and economic planning said that when completed the multinational road would promote regional integration, contribute to trade and provide easier access to the land-locked countries to the sea ports.

The road will also increase the potential for tourism and fisheries on Lake Tanganyika and Lake Kivu, the ministry added.

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