DRC – Uganda road network, connecting cross border livelihoods
Dott Services Ltd to build a trade boosting road network between DRC and Uganda.
DRC - Uganda Trade Relations
Trade relations between the DRC and Uganda have always been good. The official figure of Uganda's 2020 trade surplus from DRC stands at US$418 million. That comes from both formal and informal sources. Trade deals are now poised to improve with a new road project connecting the two countries.
This major project titled, The DRC Roads Project, is a series of three road projects. One road will be around 80 km and run from Mpondwe in Uganda to Beni in DRC. The second road of 89 km is based entirely in DRC and will connect Bunagana and the Goma port. The third, a 54 km road, will extend the current Beni road up to Butemboa which is also in DRC.
DRC Roads Project
This 223 km road project also aims to provide security to oil companies along the Lake Albert basin. This area has always been prone to insurgents. Ugandan President Museveni and his DR Congo counterpart Felix Antoine Tshiseked launched the project at the groundbreaking ceremonies were held at Mpondwe and Kasindi. in Uganda and DRC, respectively. The project cost estimate is around US$334.3 million, of which the respective governments will contribute at least 20% in revenue. The remaining revenue will be raised by Dott Services.
The dedication by both Governments to completing this project is unprecedented. The State visit by President Felix to Uganda on 9 and 10 November 2019, was the first step taken. This was followed by the signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement as well as the Project Development Agreement on 27th May 2021.
The groundbreaking event held on 16th June 2021 was the third step towards this commitment. And the handing over to Dott Services Ltd marked the final step in starting the construction of this project, taking place on 4 December 2021. The Ugandan government has also set up an army base near the construction site to keep insurgents at bay.
Excited Goma city residents welcome Ugandan & DRC officials to the site handover to Dott Services, the Ugandan construction company that will open up the vast country’s infrastructure potential for trade links with Uganda [Video: Arinaitwe Rugyendo]. #DRCRoads @MoWT_Uganda pic.twitter.com/KHzjV2Dez4— Arinaitwe Rugyendo🇺🇬 (@RugyendoQuotes) December 8, 2021
During the groundbreaking ceremony, General Katumba Wamal, Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport said, “It is my pleasure and honour to be here and witness the site handover for this regional roads project that marks the start of the construction of three roads that connect Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)". He warned Dott to be mindful of timelines and urged the local people to cooperate with the contractors and workers until the project is complete.
Currently, equipment is being put in place by Dott Services to begin construction. Jean Pierre Massala, the DRC Ambassador to Uganda and the Chairperson of the Steering Committee, is excited with the current step of procuring the equipment saying that once the project is complete it will continue strengthening the relationship of the two countries. It will also make up for the loss of revenue when Rwanda closed its Ugandan borders resulting in a US$200 million loss of revenue.
Photo: Puzzle with the national flags of DRC and Uganda on a world map background (Ruletkka | Dreamstime)