Rwanda has signed a financing memorandum of understanding (MOU) worth an estimated US$50 million with China aimed at funding the expansion of a major road 13.8 km road linking its upcoming new airport with the city of Kigali. Both countries signed the deal during the recent state visit by China’s president visit to Rwanda.
The deal was part of a record 15 bilateral agreements signed during China’s President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Rwanda. President Xi’s visit to Rwanda revealed China’s eagerness to escalate China’s participation in Rwanda’s reconstruction efforts that is hinged on infrastructure and property development.
Going by an opinion article President Xi penned in the wake of his state visit to Rwanda, China is eager to increase its share of participation in Rwanda’s reconstruction program.“
The friendship between our two countries is an epitome of the friendship between China and Africa”, he wrote adding that, “For decades, China and Africa have treated each other with sincerity and friendship. We are a community with a shared future and common interests, featuring solidarity and win-win cooperation”. Both countries say that China is lending Rwanda US$50 million through Exim Bank of China to fund expansion a major road linking Kigali city to Bugesera International Airport.
The newly planned dual carriage way is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.
The new Bugesera international airport billed as Rwanda’s biggest infrastructure project estimated to cost US$600 million is part of the big ticket projects Rwanda is pursuing in order to increase the competitiveness of its economy.
In September 2016, Rwanda signed a ground breaking deal with Portuguese firm Mota Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa to carry out construction works of the project.
The airport was is to be delivered in phases. The first phase expected to cost$418 million is scheduled for completion by December 2019. Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) say that the expansion of the Sonatube-Gahanga-Akagera Bridge Road, is expected to start within the next six months and the execution period is estimated at around 24 months.
Rwanda has lined up hosting a series of high level meetings as part of its focus on business tourism to shore up its economic competitiveness. Among the high profile meetings includes the next edition of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020 which the new airport is expected to service.
The expansion of the trunk road linking the new airport to the city of Kigali is seen as part of a strategic move to make Rwanda’s business tourism more competitive in the region.