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Road construction in DRC to boost trade – Minister Wamala

Minister for Works General Katumba Wamala addresses the press.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda has plans to construct more roads in neighboring countries as a means to boost trade.

This was revealed by the Minister for Works General Katumba Wamala who was addressing journalists at the government media centre on Tuesday on the proposal that will see Uganda construct a road in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

MPs and a section of the public have objected to the proposal that will see 200bn in the supplementary budget earmarked for the construction of 223km of roads in the DRC. This follows a bilateral agreement between Uganda and the DRC to implement strategic infrastructure projects. This amount is Uganda’s contribution of 20% of the roads project.

The total project cost is USD 334.5 million, therefore, Uganda’s contribution amounts to USD 66.9 million (254 billion Shillings ). General Katumba Wamala who called the press conference to clarify on the project said that the road construction will boost trade between Uganda and the DRC but also enhance security.

Uganda’s exports to DRC as of 2018 totaled to USD 533 million and this is expected to more than double once the road has been constructed.

Asked by Uganda Radio Network(URN) if more of such projects will be done, Katumba said that “we would love to link with all the other countries who would love to link with us”. The Minister restated their intention to involve Uganda in more road projects outside of the country so as to ensure trade and development and bilateral cooperation among others.

He says that a project they are currently looking at which is yet to mature is the participation of Uganda in the road that will link Uganda through South Sudan to Ethiopia. Katumba however emphasized that the proposal was still at concept note level. He says the arrangement is being promoted at the regional effort for the states that link to each other.

Asked if the move to construct a road in DRC will foster relations especially in line with the controversial 10 billion dollars debt owed to DRC by Uganda for plunder, Katumba delinked the two, saying this is not the case, but it would be a good thing if the countries relations grow stronger due to the road construction.

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