Rwanda and Tanzania are moving to open a new border post, as the two countries deepen trade ties at a time trade and political forces pull regional partners in different directions. The new post will be opened at Tanzania’s Kyerwa district in Kagera Region to provide a second passage for people and goods and reduce pressure on the Rusumo border post.


Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba, said this in Kigali during his recent four-day visit to Rwanda.“We want to make it easy for people of the two countries to cross and visit each other,” he said. “We have talked about the possibility and readiness to open a new border front in Kyerwa, and we are ready to have it operational.”The minister, who led a delegation that included senior officials from the Tanzanian Ministries of Transport, Trade and Industry, ICT, Agriculture, Energy, and other key parastatals, said Tanzania is committed to expand business with Rwanda.

Read: Samia, Kagame discuss trade expansion deals“We are committed to being a reliable partner, and keen to expand business with Rwanda. Tanzania is Rwanda’s second largest trading partner, the potential to be first exists,” he said.

He highlighted existing business projects Rwanda and Tanzania are involved in such as the Rwandan dairy factory located in Mwanza, which opened up the Tanzanian market to Rwandan milk.“Rwanda uses Tanzania broadband infrastructure for a certain amount of capacity in its connectivity. We have committed to be a reliable partner in this area, and we are keen to expand this.”Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze, said a second border post would come with a lot of economic prospects and trade value for Rwanda.“We must work together to solve common challenges and prioritise things that will improve the lives of people from our two countries. The bilateral relations between our two countries have always been excellent and they keep improving to greater heights.”Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze, said a second border post would come with a lot of economic prospects and trade value for Rwanda.“A new border post is a good proposition, it will even be much closer to Rwanda. It will definitely ease the cargo pressure on Rusumo. From a trade perspective, this is a development that we welcome,” he said.

The new border post is part of a raft of measures to scale up trade ties between the two East African countries. Others include harmonisation of levies, a concern which was raised by Rwandan and Tanzanian truckers.

Read: High hopes border reopening will cut cost of goodsDodoma and Kigali have enjoyed good bilateral and trade relations over the years, with volumes of Rwanda bound cargo going through Tanzania growing exponentially in the past three decades.

The armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has recently put the two countries on a collision course, as Dodoma signed up to deploy its military in eastern DRC under the Southern African Development Community, alongside Malawian and South African armies to help the Congolese army defeat the M23 rebel group, who Kinshasa says are backed by Rwanda.

Western powers like the US and even UN experts have cemented these claims, which Kigali continues to reject.

Rwanda is the third largest user of Dar es Salaam port, with more than 80 percent of its cargo going through it.

As relations with DRC -- Rwanda’s leading trading partner for years -- collapse, Kigali will has seen the need but nurture ties with strategic regional neighbours like Tanzania.

Rwandans buy cereals, cement, garments, fuels, and many other goods from Tanzania. © Copyright 2022 Nation Media Group. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (