Uganda launches road construction in Congo to boost trade

General view of the town of Bwera near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Bwera, Uganda on June 14, 2019. REUTERS / James Akena

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KAMPALA, Dec. 5 (Reuters) – Uganda on Sunday announced that it had started a road construction project in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo aimed at boosting trade between the two countries.

The sites for the roads have been handed over to the contractor, Dott Services Limited, a Ugandan construction company, the government said in a statement on Sunday. He added that the roads “will open the eastern part of the country (DRC) to cross-border trade with Uganda.”

The statement did not specify the cost of the 223 km (138 miles) of roads that will link Uganda to the towns of Beni, Goma and Butembo in eastern Congo. Uganda had announced its intention to build roads in Congo in 2019.

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Uganda is keen to tap into the eastern Congo market where decades of insecurity have made local manufacturing virtually non-existent and the population relies on imports of goods ranging from textiles and construction materials to food and drink.

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

During a roadworks handover ceremony, Congolese Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works, Alexi Gisaro Muvunyi, said the roads “would bring jobs and interconnection with Uganda,” according to the Ugandan statement.

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Reporting by Elias Biryabarema Editing by Frances Kerry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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