Rwanda and DR Congo Commit to Boost Trade through Transportation

In a strategic move by Rwanda and DR Congo, representatives of both parties – the Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure, Ambassador Claver Gatete, and Cherubin Okende Senga of DR Congo met at the 33rd plenary session of the African Civil Aviation Commission meeting and held a bilateral exchange on the development of air, road and railway infrastructure projects. The parties emphasized support for one another, discussed how to boost trade, and spoke about projects both parties are involved in.  

It was reported that the parties were assessing the implementation of agreed on projects in the transportation sector that are meant to improve bilateral relations and how they can be accelerated. According to Minister Gatete the parties “discussed the railway line project from Tanzania, through Rwanda and then to places like Goma, Masisi, Walikale and Kindu in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” The Minister added that Rwanda and DR Congo have a bilateral air service agreement in the aviation sector, facilitating Rwand Air flights to Kinshasa, then to Lubumbashi and finally, Goma, noting that the national carrier will soon launch a flight to Kisangani and other parts of DR Congo. Rwanda is “also partnering with them on rural construction projects in their country, in addition to a one-stop border post that is yet to be constructed in Rusizi. We also agreed that we should build four ports on our borders (Rusizi, Karongi, Rutsiro, and Rubavu).”

Mr. Okende Chérubin Senga, the Congolese Minister in charge of transportation and communication reiterated DR Congo’s willingness to boost trade and cooperation in Rwanda through easing cross-border movements. Accordingly, the Congolese airline (Congo Airways) will begin flying to Rwanda in the coming days: According to the Minister, “As the DRC government, we want our people from both countries to benefit from this cooperation and develop themselves. The ball is currently in Rwanda’s arena and as I have told my Rwandan counterpart, soon, our airline will launch its maiden flights to Rwanda”, he commented.

“Our president has continued to champion the gear towards regional integration in Africa and the continent should be integrated indeed, that people are able to live in peace and prosperity,” said Okende, explaining that the developments will transform Africa, to replace the notion of continent of divisions and insecurity with peace and development.

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