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Uganda, DRC sign 223km roads deal

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Thursday signed two agreements aimed at enhancing bilateral trade and strengthening infrastructure development for the mutual benefit of both countries.

The signing of these Agreements follows the State visit to Uganda by Felix Antionè Tshisekedi from 9th – 10th November 2019 where both Presidents emphasized the importance of developing cross – border infrastructure which is essential to facilitate trade between the two countries.

The agreement comes from a background that despite the lucrative business opportunities between the two nations, trade has been hampered by the poor road network. This, both parties agreed,  partly increases insecurity and the cost of doing business.

The Agreements, the Inter–Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed by President Yoweri Museveni and Chrisrophe Lutundula Apala, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and witnessed by Jacob Oulanyah Speaker of the Republic of Uganda.

The Second Agreement, the Project Development Agreement was signed by Alexis Gisaro Muvunyi, the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works of the Democratic Republic of Congo and  Bageya Waiswa the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works & Transport of the Republic of Uganda and witnessed by Anita Among, the Deputy Speaker and Biselele Fortuna, Private Advisor to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The visit by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to Uganda, comes at a time when relations between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are growing from strength to strength. This trajectory would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication by both Heads of State.

The Inter–Governmental Agreement (IGA) which covers three roads stretching 223 Kilometers and the Project Development Agreement (PDA) is therefore an important milestone for the commencement of the bilateral efforts of both countries in realizing the construction and upgrading of the following roads;

• The Mpondwe/Kasindi- Beni road (80 Kilometers)
• The Bunagana- Rutshuru- Goma Road (89 kilometers
• The integration of the Beni-Butembo Axis (54 Kilometers)

President Museveni commended his colleague in DRC Tshisekedi for leadership and the importance attached on the development of cross-border infrastructure. This is a critical enabler in facilitating trade, investment, tourism, movement of people and but more so in deepening regional integration.

The President also underscored the need to maintain peace and security to achieve prosperity and development for the benefit of all people in the Region.

Lutundula Apala hailed President Museveni for accepting to sign this historical Agreement on the Joint Road Infrastructure Project which he said demonstrates the close fraternal relations between both countries.

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