Kampala – Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has, on Thursday, hosted a high-powered delegation from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Led by Herman Mutima Sakrini, the CEO of their National Roads Agency, the DRC delegation is visiting Uganda on a benchmarking exercise with UNRA to familiarize themselves with the global road network management best practice that UNRA has deployed in Uganda over the years.
“Uganda National Roads Authority has been in existence for 12 years since 2008 and has achieved a number of key milestones in accelerating the Ugandan government’s overall program of establishing and maintaining road infrastructure to support social-economic transformation,” asserted Allen Kagina, UNRA Executive Director,
She added: “We are the lifeline of the Ugandan economy and we are proud of the significant growth across all the sectors that we have enabled through the superior road network across the nation. As Uganda’s economy has consistently grown, the demand for superior and industry-grade roads has equally grown. Our staff, the processes and systems we develop have had to keep up the pace with the needs, an achievement we are proud of. We are confident that no matter the growth aspirations of the sectors of the economy, we shall ensure their growth through great roads and great user experience.”
In September 2020, the Ugandan government, through its agency UNRA, initiated a project to build over 200 kilometres (124 miles) of the road inside the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo as part of plans to boost trade between the countries. Uganda will contribute about 20% of the project value while the rest will be met by Congo’s government in an envisaged public-private partnership.
DRC is Uganda’s second biggest regional trade partner after Kenya. It is envisioned that fixing DRC roads will improve mobility, security & boost Uganda’s trade and investment. In 2018, Uganda exported $221m worth of goods to DRC in formal trade, while informal trade stood at $312m making the total exports worth $533m. This therefore represents significant trade potential for Uganda.
Herman Mutima Sakrini, the big man for DRC’s National Roads Agency, thanked the Allen Kagina-led UNRA for the knowledge and experiences-sharing session. “We applaud this new relationship between Uganda and DRC and look forward to an accelerated realization of trade and investments between the 2 nations,” he asserted.
UNRA Management also revealed that the CEO National Roads Agency has accepted to join the regional forum of national road agencies enhance best practice.
The forum brings together top road infrastructural partners and executives of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Ethiopia.