The Ugandan cabinet has approved a move that will see government build 223km of road network inside the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The development was announced on Tuesday by the government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo while addressing journalists about various cabinet decisions at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
“Cabinet approved the construction and upgrading of the national road from Kasindi section at the border to Beni(80km) and the integration of the Beni-Butembo axis(54km) to the national road and the Bunagana(border) to Ruchuru- Goma road (89km) on grounds that the project will benefit the government and people of Uganda through economic interconnectivity,” Opondo said.
According to the government spokesperson, the move to construct the 223 kilometre road network will help improve mobility and ease business between the two neighbouring countries as well as improved people to people interconnectivity of the two countries.
“The road network would provide improved security in the eastern DRC and increased trade and investment,” Opondo said.
DRC is one of Uganda’s biggest trading partner with a number of the country’s exports ending up to Kinshasa.
Last year, President Museveni held bilateral talks with newly elected DRC President, Felix Tshisekedi at State House in Entebbe and among key issues discussed included trade, security and bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.
During the meeting, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed agreements to work on key road networks connecting the two countries to ease business.
Museveni said the road network will ease movement of goods and other services between the two countries “so, when you produce, you supply goods, you supply services. But you also create jobs for the youth.”
The President added that the market factor is equally crucial noting that the Ugandan population of 42 million and that of the DRC of 80 million is not enough. He cited China as a country that has a guaranteed market of 1.3 billion people and yet Child is still struggling for markets in other countries.
“We need the market of all of Africa and there should be no taxes at the borders. What we need to concentrate on is the quality of production that can be done in the country where it is cheapest and there will be comparative advantages,” he said.
The latest development underscores the stable relations between Uganda and DR Congo which have been enjoyed over the last decades, albeit complicated by security tensions in the eastern Congo.