The ongoing project to construct the Rusumo international bridge and One Stop Border Post (OSBP) facilities on the Tanzania-Rwanda border is expected to reduce traffic volume increase and facilitate speedy border crossing.
According to the Ministry of infrastructure, it will as well enhance rapid multilateral trade between member states towards Regional Integration.
The Rusumo Border Post is located on the Central Corridor of the leading economic corridors on the African Continent.
The Central Corridor is an important economic corridor in the geographical zone of the East African Community (EAC) along with the Northern Corridor which links Kenya and Uganda.
The Central Corridor starts at Dar es Salam in Tanzania, providing a crucial physical distribution of goods to Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Burundi. It functions as an essential physical distribution pipeline for landlocked Countries.
The Rusumo OSBP will abolish intra-regional tariffs to vitalize intra-regional trade while seeking assistance for introduction of a one stop border system capable of simulteously handling departure and entry procedures at border points to eliminate the bottlenecks of economic corridors.
The project for construction of Rusumo International Bridge and the One Stop Border Post is between Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) of the Republic of Rwanda and the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) of the United Republic of Tanzania.
It was contracted by DAIHO Corporation from Japan and it is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It started March 2012 and it will be fully completed in November 2014.
The existing Rusumo bridge has the capacity of carrying 32 -40 tons has served for 40 years, it is now being replaced with a new one of 82 Meters with the capacity of carrying 180 tons to cope with the expected increase of the traffic volume in coming years hence eliminating the present restrictions on axle load and encourage the use of only a single lane.
The border checking of vehicles at Rusumo mainly relies on papers, while physical verification is mainly conducted at the dry port in Kigali.
The elimination of the present traffic congestion through the introduction of an OSBP system will greatly improve the efficiency of cargo transportation between Rwanda and Tanzania with the end result of an increase of the physical distribution volume and a reduction of the transportation cost.
MINFRA says that the OSBP will have facilities like Administration buildings, verification storage, control shed, guard house and car parking, this will bring direct impact of service delivery improvement by the staff from both countries and the clients will save time used at the border than before.
The current progress of the project is at 43.1 percent and the authorities involved are engaged through the bilateral corridors to jointly handle issues that might slow down the regional integration in a bid to facilitate free movement of people and goods.