The construction of the 37 kilometers Mirama Hill road that connects Uganda to Rwanda is nearing completion.
The road starts from Mirama One Point Border Post which is a joint custom centre for the two neighboring nations that also relatively share common cultures.
The cost of the road is USD$ 40m jointly funded by Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) and the government of Uganda.
TMEA with full support from the British’s Department for International Development, contributed 50 percent (USD$ 20m) and the government also put in the remaining half.
The government also fully compensated the local owners of the land.
The Uganda National Roads Authority’s officials on ground, who briefed the minister of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambade on Thursday, said 90 percent of the work is done and they are expecting to complete it within the deadline which is to expire by the end of next month.
The minister, who also launched the cross border traders’ charter on the same day, said the completion of the road is going to strengthen trade relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
“The construction of Ntungamo, Mirama border post is going to strengthen trade relations,” she said.
According to Amelia, Uganda’s export to Rwanda grew from USD$ 245m in 2014 to USD$ 247m in 2015 while our imports from Rwanda was only USD$ 10.8m in 2014 and it instead reduced to USD$ 9.3m in 2015.
The Trade Mark East African Director, Moses Sabiiti told reporters at Mirama border post that the road is economically viable than Katuna border and he expects it to attract 60 percent of the traffic flow to and from Rwanda.
“Mirama Hills Road is flat and easy to use for heavy tracks compared to the tough terrain of Katuna. 60 percent of the traffic from Katuna are coming to use Mirama,” he said.
Mr. Sabiiti added that Mirama One Stop Border Post is also easier for traders unlike the Katuna that has two border check and clearance from Uganda and Rwanda side.
“Mirama has a single custom check point for traders entering or exiting Uganda to Rwanda. At Katuna there are two custom systems and traders are stopped twice,” he added.
The construction of Mirama One Point Border Post cost USD$ 12m provided by TMEA with full support from DFID while land and taxes involved were footed by government.