Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rwanda, Tz discuss cross-border business

Brig. Gen. Dan Gapfizi (L), Massawa (in black suit) and Uwamariya listen to Eng. Kameda explain how the construction project is panning during a tour of the border facility at the weekend. The New Times/ Steven Rwembeho

On Monday, leaders from the two regions discussed security and cross-border issues, including challenges in the Rusumo One-stop border post project and operation.

Odette Uwamariya, the governor of Eastern Province, said the meeting intended to review the implementation of resolutions as stipulated in the 2011 agreement.

Uwamariya said the three-day discussion would dwell much on security, economic and social issues the regions share.

“The objective is to implement what we agreed in the memorandum of understanding It is time to review what we agreed on, harmonise them and keep on track. This is the right time for us to do what our people need most, which is maximum cooperation,” she said.

Uwamariya said construction works at Rusumo border post are on course.

The project, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), will cover the construction of a new bridge, a 2-kilometre road connecting two customs points as well as equipping both sites with necessary tools such as computers, printers, scanners, generators and phones as well as a suitable parking.

“The project is progressing extremely well. There are issues of insufficient power for example that the two countries will address. The progress done is vivid and stakeholders will keep sorting out issues,” Uwamariya said.

According to Hitoshi Kameda, an engineer at the project, there was need to increase electric power at the facility.

“There are challenges, of course, but we are at 16 per cent progress. There are two projects; hydroelectricity and One-stop border post that may conflict. But this will be handled technically,” he said.

Massawa reiterated the need to implement the memorandum of understanding.

He said the two regions have been sharing experience, adding that the experience enlightened two sister regions.

“Peace and development is what we crave for…this is what the people of the two regions and nations need the most. The two countries will automatically benefit, but, our provinces are the primary beneficiaries,” he said.

Construction activities of Rusumo one-stop border bridging Rwanda and Tanzania are set to be completed by November 2014, costing a shared amount of Rwf21 billion.

By Stephen Rwembeho, The New Vision

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