Minister highlights ‘Isaka-Kigali’ railway project implementation plan

On 3 May 2019 at 10:00

‘Isaka-Kigali’ is a joint 532 km railway project between Rwanda and Tanzania expected to be completed at a cost of USD $ 3.6 billion.

The project is much anticipated between both countries especially for Rwanda as a landlocked nation.

The railway on Rwandan side will follow the lowland through Ngoma, Kirehe, Bugesera and Kicukuro districts.

On Tuesday this week, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye the Minister of State in charge of Transport in the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) requested parliamentarians to pass the draft law approving agreements between Rwanda and Tanzania concerning the implementation of the railway project ‘Isaka-Kigali’ signed in Kigali on 09 March 2018.

Uwihanganye explained that the project will greatly contribute to Rwanda’s development when completed.

He revealed that Rwanda has already designed the master plan waiting for approval.

“Rwanda has already made the master plan to be approved by the cabinet meeting in May this year. As you know, Rwanda promotes private investors. That is why we feel the Isaka-Kigali railway project should be executed under public –private partnerships. On the other hand, Tanzania seeks to get financing from the government only. This is how the situation is,” said Uwihanganye.

The 532 km railway will pass through Rusumo border to Kigali city. There will be an extra part of the railway leading to Bugesera International Airport.

The railway on the side of Rwanda will be 138 km with the rest of 394 being on Tanzania side.

It is estimated to cost USD $3.6 billion on completion. Tanzania shall meet USD $ 2.3 billion while USD $ 1.3 billion is required on Rwanda side.

Minister Uwihanganye said there should be no assumptions to have fixed everything by next year because Rwanda and Tanzania have not yet agreed on the source of funds.

“It was realized that it would be hard for the government to opt for loans. It is clear how difficult it is obtaining a loan of USD $ 3.6 billion or USD $ 1.3 billion on the side of Rwanda unless other activities are halted. What is possible is to bring in private investors to reduce the debt burden for the country. This is what we are still discussing to reach consensus,” he explained.

Uwihanganye explained that the implementation of the project will reduce transport costs by 40% hence positively impacting on Rwanda’s imports and exports.