Minister of Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala has justified the plan by Uganda government to construct 223kms of roads inside the DRC, saying this is in the interest of Uganda since it will spur trade with DRC.

Members of Parliament on the budget committee questioned Government’s decision to construct 223km of roads connecting to major towns in eastern DR Congo.

The project is estimated to cost Uganda about Shs 250bn out of the total USD 334m. The roads under the project are Kasindi – Butembo – Beni through Mpondwe (54kms), Kisoro – Bunagana – Rucchiro – Goma (89km) and Goli – Mahagi – Buni (80km).

DRC is the biggest regional trading partner after Kenya and South Sudan. In 2018, Uganda exported goods worth USD 532m to DRC and imported goods worth USD 30m.

“It can take you about 5 days to move from Kasindi to Beni which is about 54km. something which would take about 8 hours or less. But it’s a night mare. And most of the trade that goes on there is actually in support of our industries,” Gen Katumba said on Tuesday.

In November 2019, Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Felix Tshisekedi (DRC) met at State House Entebbe and discussed issues of mutual interest include trade cooperation.