Zimbabwe, Rwanda to cooperate on road infrastructure development

By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe and Rwanda have commended the relations between the two countries which have created a foundation for further cooperation in infrastructure development particularly in the transport sector.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Felix Mhona remarked that the Second Republic has made infrastructure development a top priority in the National Development Strategy One.

“In our economic blueprint the National Development Strategy we are prioritising infrastructure development as key in achieving economic prosperity. Indeed, it is commonly noted that infrastructure development is a foundation on which to build an economy. Efficient infrastructure supports economic growth, improves the quality of life, and is necessary for national security.

“We are implementing Phase 2 of the Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP) in and it is in full gear. The government budgeted $33.6bn for the second phase and we are targeting both urban and rural roads. This is do because we would want to improve the quality of life of the people,” he said.

Minister Mhona added that the Second Republic is responding to the public outcry on the state of the roads which led to President Mnangagwa declaring a state of disaster.

“This is a special project being championed by Government following a public outcry on the state of roads that were heavily damaged by heavy rains received in most parts of the country during the last rainfall season. President Mnangagwa heeded the public outcry and declared all roads a state of national disaster paving way for the launch of the ERRP2.”

Minister Mhona also shared with his counterparts, who included Rwanda’s Infrastructure Minister, Honourable Claver Gatete, other programmes being implemented by the Second Republic which are key in attaining vision 2030.

Minister Gatete expressed willingness to cooperate and learn from Zimbabwe’s railway system in its own transport development programmes.

“The pursuit of sustainable economic growth and social development is underpinned by adequate infrastructure, macroeconomic stability and an achievable development strategy am happy that as the two sister republics we are collaborating on means and ways to enhance infrastructural development. In our case the Ministry of Infrastructure deals with all facets including road, air, and water and sanitation infrastructure.

“In Rwanda we do not have rail transport and we are planning on developing a railway network. We are aware that Zimbabwe has a developed rail network and that is why we would want to learn from our counterparts in this sector. We have realised the importance of rail as a key economic enabler particularly in the movement of bulk goods” said Minister Gatete.

The visit is aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two countries in infrastructure development.

During the course of the visit the two Ministers are expected to sign an agreement on Joint innovative technical cooperation and assistance in capacity building. Currently, Rwanda has no railway network.

However, the country is working in partnership with other countries of the region including Zimbabwe in its efforts to develop a railway network. The railway network will contribute in lightening the country’s landlocked status, thus leading to a significant reduction of transport costs.

 

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