The UK through its development agency, Department for International Development (DFID) is funding the Rusizi Cross Border market facilities with a $2.2 million grant through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
TMEA Rwanda Country Director Patience Mutesi noted, “This facility is critical to economic development of thousands of informal cross-border traders, their families and communities.”
The modern market facilities at the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will bring order to one of Rwanda’s largest cross border markets.
It will also reduce the time taken for informal cross border trade, more than one third of which goes through Rusizi, contributes an estimated $85 million to Rwanda’s economy. Between 2013 and 2014, trade through Rusizi rose by 48 per cent.
“Cross border trade plays an important role in poverty reduction as it provides trading opportunities for many of poorest people of our society,” said Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade, Industry and East African Affairs (MINEACOM), Rwanda.
The Rusizi modern market is one of the projects MINEACOM is implementing under the cross border programme aimed at strengthening cross-border trade between Rwanda and its neighbours.
The two-storey building will comprise of stalls and lock-ups divided according to the different merchandise; wash rooms; cold rooms; and a crèche.
Storage and warehousing facilities of the market will ensure that informal traders can purchase and store larger volumes of goods and reduce the number of trips traders make to the market lowering transportation costs.
To enhance access to the market, access roads, paved pedestrian areas, vehicle and bicycle parking yards and paving will also be constructed.
The DFID funding of the project is part of the UK’s wider support to trade facilitation and economic growth in Rwanda.
Sally Waples, Head of DFID said the UK is proud the transformation of Rwanda’s economy to attract investment, create jobs and improve the lives of ordinary Rwandans.
Within the first year of operations the new market is expected to generate an additional 25 per cent of informal exports equivalent to $4.62 milllion.
It will also be a platform for sharing between producers and buyers and a source of improved security for women traders who form between 75 and 80 per cent of the informal cross-border traders in Rusizi.
The Rusizi modern cross-border market facilities will be ready for use within 12 months.