Rwanda pursues road rehabilitation with US$6.5 million OPEC Fund loan



December 4, 2002
Vienna, Austria

The OPEC Fund for International Development today signed a US$6.5 million loan agreement with the Republic of Rwanda in support of a project to rehabilitate the 60-km long Kicukiro-Nyamata-Nemba Road, a strategic stretch that links important agricultural regions to the capital city Kigali and neighboring country Burundi, as well as providing access to other international corridors. 

Landlocked and possessing no railway system, Rwanda depends heavily on its road infrastructure, particularly for the transport of goods for import and export. Although the road network is fairly extensive, much of it has sustained considerable damage as a result of prolonged civil conflict. At present, only a small percentage of rural roads are considered to be in good condition, and many are rendered impassable during the rainy season, causing severe disruptions in income generation activities and leaving many communities isolated. These shortfalls are especially relevant in the area around the Kicukiro-Nyamata-Nemba road, where the majority of the population relies on agriculture for its livelihood. 

Under the project, the road will be re-aligned, shortening its overall length to 58 km. The surface will be re-worked and stabilized to serve as a sub-base, given a 15-cm crushed stone base and then paved with all-weather, bituminous concrete. Flood protection measures include the installation of culverts and drainage systems, and a 100 m bridge will be built over the Nyaborongo River. Road safety will be enhanced through the provision of traffic signs and signaling devices.

The newly-renovated road will afford the local population swifter, safer transport, thereby helping to integrate rural communities with the rest of the country, as well as providing access to vital social services such as schools and hospitals. 

This project represents the OPEC Fund's fourteenth loan to Rwanda. Of the earlier loans, three were extended as balance of payments support, and one financed a commodity imports program, while the other nine supported projects in the energy, transportation and agriculture sectors. The country has also been the recipient of a number of grants which went towards regional programs in the health and agricultural sectors, providing emergency relief to refugees and meeting Rwanda's subscription to the Common Fund for Commodities.

Today's agreement was signed in Vienna by H.E. Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Rwanda, and by H.E. Dr. Y. Seyyid Abdulai, Director-General of the OPEC Fund.


Project: Kicukiro-Nyamata-Nemba Road
Sector: Transportation
OPEC Fund loan: US$6.5 million
Lending terms: Interest rate of 1% per annum, with an annual service charge of 1% on amounts withdrawn and outstanding; maturity of 20 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
Borrower: Republic of Rwanda
Executing agency: Directorate of Roads under the aegis of the Ministry of Infrastructure 
Implementation period: 3½ years 
Appraising agency: Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)
Loan administrator: BADEA
Cofinanciers: BADEA, Government of Rwanda
Total cost: US$15 million

Project description: The project will comprise the following:

  • rehabilitation and re-shaping of 60 km road to all-weather asphalt including a 6 m carriageway with 1.5 meter shoulders on either side; 
  • construction of a 100-m bridge;
  • installation of drainage structures and culverts; 
  • provision of traffic signs and signaling devices; and 
  • consultancy services.