Today, travellers access services at one spot unlike the past when documents were processed at two locations - one in Rwanda and the other across the Tanzanian border.
Passengers attest that the development is coupled the upgrading of border infrastructures which contributed to improved services and reduced time it would take from four hours to 30 minutes.
Faustin Niyonzima, a truck driver has revealed that the one stop border post enhanced easy access to services and enabled uninterrupted travels.
“Immigration and emigration officers from Tanzania and Rwanda operate in the same building, hence easing service delivery unlike the past when a passenger had to get documents processed twice,” he said.
Niyonzima explained that set up infrastructures including a modern, ample Parking have played a big part to fast track service delivery at the border. The latter has the capacity to accommodate over 100 trucks.
The Assistant Commissioner in charge of Customs Operations at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Yvonne Gatera has said that the establishment of one stop border improved services and reduced time it would take to clear goods.
“The facility has been helpful in many ways, particularly enhancing trade. For instance, the time spent on procedures to verify goods at the border reduced from four hours to thirty minutes,” she said.
The time has also reduced for passengers.
Rusumo border plays a significant role to national economy where of imports are transited through. The border is crossed by cargo 300 trucks and up to 1000 passengers every day.
“Having an ample office building has been helpful. Employees and passengers sit comfortably because there is enough space. Apart from that, the integrated border management system has been upgraded. All these efforts have contributed to improved services,”
The Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Imai Masahiro has said that financing the harmonized border between Rwanda and Tanzania is part of initiatives to promote trade in the East African Community (EAC) and ease movements of people and goods between both countries.
“We have supported projects that enhanced free movement of goods and people. This also gave boost to inter-regional trade which will be a key driver for achieving Rwanda’s goal of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2035,” he said.
Amb. Masahiro explained that the development of Rwanda in the transport sector particular is the evidence of the cordial relations between Japan and Rwanda, and it includes facilitation of cross-border trade.
The construction of OSBP facilities, financed by Japan at a tune of approximately US$ 19 million, started in 2012 and the completion ceremony was held in January 2015.
Japan also funded other development projects in Eastern Province namely; the improvement of Kayonza-Rusumo along 92 kilometers, roads connecting towns in Kayonza, Ngoma and Kirehe districts, as well as the upgrade of Ngoma-Ramiro road along 64 kilometers to connect some parts of Eastern Province to Southern Province.
Rusumo Bridge renovated
Before the renovation, Rusumo Bridge was old and narrow that it could not allow vehicles to pass one another. The state of the bridge also sparked fears that it could collapse one day.
Today, the bridge has been renovated and expanded with two lanes through Japan’s grant aid program.
The mayor of Kirehe district, Bruno Rangira has said that the bridge has helped vehicles to cross directly instead of waiting for others to cross first which improved the quality of services.
“It was a small bridge that vehicles would not pass one another. The new bridge is large enough as vehicles can cross directly without waiting for others to pass. This translates into improved services and fast movement of cargo,” he said.
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