Uganda launches road-building in Congo to boost trade between African neighbors

2021-12-07 18:25:11
Uganda launches road-building in Congo to boost trade between African neighbors

Uganda said on Sunday it had launched a $330 million road-building project in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) aimed at boosting trade between the two African nations.

Sites for the roads would be built by the contractor, Dott Services Limited, a Ugandan construction firm, Uganda’s government said in a statement sent to Reuters on Sunday.

The roads will open the eastern part of DRC to cross border trade with Uganda, the statement added.

The statement did not give a cost for the 223 km (138 miles) of roads, which will connect Uganda to the eastern Congo cities of Beni, Goma and Butembo.

Uganda had announced the plans to build roads in Congo in 2019.

Uganda is keen to tap the market in eastern Congo where local manufacturing is near non-existent and the population there depends on imports for goods ranging from textiles and construction materials to food and beverages.

Better access to trade with Congo would also help Uganda make up for export revenues lost after Rwanda, formerly a big market for Ugandan goods, shut down its common border with Uganda more than two years ago.

During a function to hand over the road sites, Congo's Minister for Infrastructure and Public Works, Alexi Gisaro Muvunyi said the roads would "bring jobs and interconnectedness with Uganda" the Ugandan statement said.

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