The governments of Rwanda and Zimbabwe have signed an agreement aimed at building capacity and expertise in the railway transport sector.
The deal was signed in Kigali on September 9 during a visit by a Zimbabwean delegation to discuss with their Rwandan counterparts how the two countries can cooperate in developing their transport infrastructure.
They discussed rail development, aviation and road network development among other matters of mutual interest.
The signed partnership is expected to help Rwanda smoothly execute the envisaged railway transport projects according to Director General of Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), Imena Munyampenda.
“Our target is to build an equipped and strong railway network in Rwanda and we hope that Zimbabwe has a well-equipped railway system with the experience of many years,” he said.
Two railways are set to be established in Rwanda along the two major trade routes that are used by the country.
One is already ongoing from Isaka in Tanzania to Kigali, according to Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete.
“The railway from Isaka coming through the Central Corridor to Rwanda and proceeding to DR Congo through Goma town has already started. We also envisage another one through the Northern Corridor which we are also planning to begin,” he said.
The Northern Corridor connects Rwanda to the port of Mombasa through Kenya and Uganda.
Gatete noted that Zimbabwe has enough experience in rail transport from which Rwanda could learn a lot as a beginner.
“Zimbabwe has had a long experience in this area to an extent that they have their own workshop where they manufacture some of the equipment used for railway maintenance. They have had a wide experience spanning many years,” he said.
The partnership also includes training on construction, maintenance as well as management of railway transport.
“We are going to work with people who are more experienced with 2000 km of railway and for Rwanda the plan is to have 400km of railway on both corridors,” Munyampenda said.
The Board Chairman of National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Martin T. Dinha, said that they are ready and prepared to assist RTDA through the entire process of establishing the railway network in Rwanda.-newtimes.co.rw