Improving Core Trade Infrastructure and Facilities in the Border Areas

The project will finance improvements to core trade infrastructure and facilities at specific land border crossing points, and an airport in Rwanda that is of regional importanceIn addition, support will also be provided to ministries responsible for trade and commerce to finance the planning and construction of cross-border markets in the border areas. The infrastructure improvements will be supported under three main Subcomponents:

Sub-component 1.1: Border infrastructure and facilities (US$22.45 million):

The project will support improvements to infrastructure and facilities at priority border posts. The priority border posts have been identified and proposed by the authorities based on traffic volumes, importance to supply chains of goods traded most across the borders, relevance to conflict dynamics in the region and the poor state of infrastructure to support crossborder trade. Selected facilities will be improved based on integrated designs for efficient and secure traffic flows of pedestrian, passenger and commercial vehicle traffic. The designs will seek to improve security of small scale traders, particularly through separate or demarcated lanes for safe passage of pedestrian traffic, lighting and cameras, and providing warehousing so traders can safely store their goods and minimize losses in their supply chains. In addition, support will be provided to redesign access roads in the control zones and to provide parking facilities for vehicles as well as strengthening IT infrastructure and connectivity for customs and other agencies’ management and processing systems (including cross-border connectivity).

Design and feasibility studies have been prepared for some border posts. However, the designs need to be reviewed and where necessary, optimized to ensure they meet the needs of all users, but especially small scale traders. The project will therefore finance consultancy services, works contracts and goods at the following proposed border posts (total estimated costs in brackets):

  1. DRC: Petite Barrière (Goma) (US$5.8 million) and Ruzizi I (Bukavu) (US$6 million); and
  2. Uganda: Mpondwe (US$5 million).

Due to the better state of existing infrastructure, but also resource constraints, interventions at the other border posts will be limited to the following:

  1. DRC: Bunagana (US$1.75 million) and Kasindi (US$1.7 million). The project will finance measures to improve security, the flow of traffic and to install surveillance and other systems for the border agencies. At Kasindi interventions may include paving of parking areas for trucks, improvements to the bridge linking the two sides of the border to provide for pedestrian traffic and carts and surveillance systems such as cameras. The interventions will be determined once the new structures that are being financed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are completed – expected by end of August 2015. It is only then that the exact scope of the IDA-financed project can be determined;

  2. Rwanda: Rusizi I (US$0.8 million). Sub-component 1.4 below provides for the financing of a design and feasibility study for border facility improvements at Rusizi I in Rwanda.Subsequent to and based on guidance from the study, the project will finance under this Sub-component (1.1) at Rusizi I limited works to improve traffic flow and handling, to complement the proposed interventions on the DRC side of the Rusizi I border. The works will be limited to those consistent with the broader design of the border post financed under Sub-component 1.4; and(iii) Uganda: Bunagana (US$1.4 million). The project will finance measures to improve the flow of traffic and to install appropriate systems that will support improved border management by border agencies and better safety for those working at and crossing borders.

Sub-component 1.2: Development of border markets and logistics platforms (US$14 million):

The project will finance the construction of markets to facilitate market exchanges of agricultural products in the borderlands. Due to low security and poor infrastructure, cross-border traders are often forced to travel long distances to market. Border markets will facilitate the selling and buying of goods at locations close to the  border and serve also as logistics platforms to allow consolidation and transportation of products. They will enable the small scale producers to reduce post-harvest losses and to engage more in cross-border trade without having to travel over long distances into neighboring countries. The project will finance  consultancy services to provide technical assistance, works contracts and goods at high priority markets in the borderlands of the Great Lakes. However, the countries are at different levels of preparation for actual investments in markets as follows:

  1. (i) DRC (US$6 million) – the exact locations of the markets will be decided by the authorities following consultations among key agencies. The project will finance two markets in key centers such as Uvira, Bukavu and Goma. The precise locations will be determined to complement developments in neighboring countries (and especially alternating market days).
  2. (ii) Rwanda (US$5 million) – the Government of Rwanda has commissioned feasibility studies and designs for several markets. The exact sites of the markets in these locationsare to be determined in consultation with district authorities with a focus on two districts,Nyamasheke and Rusizi.
  3. (iii) Uganda (US$3 million) – the project will finance:
  • (a) feasibility studies;
  • (b) the development of architectural designs of border markets; and (c) capacity building for value chain players (US$1 million). Based on the findings of the studies and the designs the project will finance one priority market along the border with the DRC (US$2million).

Sub-component 1.3: Upgrading Infrastructure at Kamembe airport in Rwanda (US$14.2 million) Support will be provided to the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA) to develop navigation infrastructure and improve security at Kamembe Airport.

 Kamembe is the closest operational air gateway for Bukavu, a city of 1 million people in DRC, which is only 7km away. While Bukavu has Kavumu as a local airport, there are only limited domestic flights at that airport. Kamembe, in contrast, has a comparative advantage over other airports in the region: both Goma (DRC) and Bujumbura (Burundi) airports are more than 100km from Bukavu while Kamembe is 25 minutes flying time from Kigali, through which travelers can connect to the rest of the world. The majority of passengers passing through Kamembe are Congolese (about 90 percent), a significant proportion of whom source trade able goods from the Middle East and ship them through Rwanda.

The airport has great potential, with passenger traffic growing at an average of 15 percent per annum between 2006 and 2013, and at an average of 19 percent between 2010 and 2013. The RCAA will soon complete rehabilitation of the 60 year old runway which was in poor condition and posed a safety risk to passengers and increased costs for airlines. The project will complement the government investment in the runway and finance new navigational aids and weather equipment, aeronautical ground lighting, airport perimeter fencing and lighting and a transit cargo facility (US$14.2 million). The improvements to the airport are a priority of the government and are part of the country’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which was elaborated in September 2012.

Sub-component 1.4: Feasibility studies (US$3.7 million)Support will be provided to DRC and Uganda for feasibility studies and detailed designs of border posts in order to advance preparation of the second phase of the project (SOP2) or interventions by governments or other development partners. The studies and designs will be on the following:

  1. DRC (US$3 million): two border posts, namely Kavimvira and Mahagi, two ports, Kalemie and Uvira on Lake Tanganyika and Kavumu airport near Bukavu; the scope ofthe study on Kavumu airport will follow, as appropriate, the recommendations of the airport Strategic Plan that is under preparation, as described in paragraph 25 above;

  2. Rwanda (US$0.3 million): Rusizi I border post. The project will finance a feasibility study and detailed design of the Rusizi I border post. Following the completion of the study and based on the findings, some priority but limited works will be financed as described previously under Sub-component 1.1;

  3. Uganda (US$0.4 million): Goli border post (counterpart of Mahagi in DRC).