Cross-Border Trade in Rwanda Continues To Thrives Despite COVID19

  • Currently, Rwanda’s borders are closed because of the coronavirus lockdown, however, only freight transport trucks and returning citizens are allowed into the country. 
  • Rusumo border receives between 400 and 500 cross border trucks per day, Kagitumba border receives between 45 and 60 trucks per day, while at Cyanika border receives between 9 and 15 per day.
  • Rusumo border is Rwanda’s gateway to Tanzania on the Central Corridor while Kagitumba and Cyanika border links Rwanda to Uganda and serves as the gateway to the port of Mombasa in Kenya, through the Northern Corridor.

Cross border trade in Rwanda has continued to thrive in the face of lockdown measures established to contain the COVID19 pandemic, the Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete revealed this during a news conference held in Kigali on Friday.

According to him, trade is going well in the country as they receive between 400 and 500 cross border trucks at Rusumo border per day, sometimes even more. He added that Kagitumba border receives between 45 and 60 trucks per day, while at Cyanika border receives between 9 and 15 per day also.

Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete

Rusumo border is Rwanda’s gateway to Tanzania on the Central Corridor while Kagitumba and Cyanika border links Rwanda to Uganda and serves as the gateway to the port of Mombasa in Kenya, through the Northern Corridor.

READ ALSO: COVID19: South Africa Businesses To Reopen Under Strict Guidelines

Currently, Rwanda’s borders are closed because of the coronavirus lockdown, however, only freight transport trucks and returning citizens are allowed into the country.

In early May, it was reported that more than 1,000 trucks destined for Rwanda were stuck at the Tanzanian border town of Benako, after some Tanzanian truckers protested the requirements by Rwanda to adopt a relay system handing over their trucks to Rwandan drivers.

The problem was resolved after it was agreed that goods destined for Rwanda would be offloaded at border posts, except perishable goods and petroleum products, which are escorted, free of charge to their final destination, among others resolutions.

Commenting on the issue, Claver Gatete said that all this was put in place, with a primary objective of minimizing the spread of coronavirus.

The restoration of normalcy at the borders was also confirmed by the Chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Robert Bapfakurera that although not at full capacity, business generally has been going well.

Bapfakurera added that the government is doing what is possible to reopen borders, but with some guidelines.

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