Rwanda’s transport system centers primarily on road network, with paved roads mostly in towns. The government continues to improve the transport sector and increase the road network in rural areas. The Ministry of Infrastructure, through the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), upgraded 7,192 km across the country in 2015 to promote commercial trade. The country is linked with other countries in East Africa by road, by which the majority of imports and exports are transported.
A key project involving Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania is the construction of a standard gauge railway linking Isaka in Tanzania to Kigali and to Gitega in Burundi.
Rwanda’s main air gateway is Kigali International Airport, located at Kanombe, a suburb approximately 10 km from the Kigali town centre. The airport has international flights to Lagos, Brazzaville, Dubai, Nairobi, Mombasa, Entebbe, Addis Ababa, Bujumbura, Johannesburg, Amsterdam, Brussels, Istanbul, Dar-Es-Salaam, Arusha, Accra, Douala, Juba, Kilimanjaro, Libreville, Mwanza, Lusaka and Doha and is the main airport for RwandAir, the national carrier. The plan for constructing a new airport at Nyamata in Bugesera district, approximately 28 km from Kigali is in advanced stage. Expropriation has already occurred for households within the boundaries of the proposed Bugesera International airport. This new airport will be constructed on an area of 25.6 km2 with the paved length of 4,206 m--enough to serve the entire region. The other airport with passenger service is Kamembe Airport, located in the Kamembe town in Rusizi.
There are plans to further extend Rwanda’s economic integration after being granted a 20 hectare plot at the port of Djibouti in 2013. The port, included in the free zones of Djibouti, will be operated as a strategic base for Rwanda’s exports and imports to the Middle East.
Water transport, especially on Kivu Lake, is another means of transport for passengers and goods particularly linking Rusizi, Kibuye and Rubavu with DRC. Other water transport in Rwanda is feasible in lakes Muhazi, Burera, and Ruhondo using motorboats. There are still limited capacities in air/water transport in terms of skilled manpower, lack of infrastructure, and modern equipment, which continues to be a hindrance to better quality service provision and regional market penetration.
Storage facilities are available in the country in various capacities. Facilities in Kigali are more expensive than in most provincial towns. Most storage facilities are privately owned with some few public ones, some of which have been constructed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). Access to storage facilities is limited to trucks. Handling of commodities for loose cargo is manual. The availability of reliable storage varies, depending on utilization by owners of facilities or other clients.
Finally, it is anticipated that completion of the new airport in Bugesera in 2016, an oil pipeline from Mombasa via Kampala, and a Railway line from Dar es Salaam to Kigali by 2018 will boost Rwanda’s economy. Further, the government is planning to construct modern storage facilities in at least every province to ensure adequate emergency food reserves. Currently, Rwanda has 19 big storage facilities estimated at 142,260 mt and 210 drying hangars of 20 mt capacity each.
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