The Government of Rwanda and TradeMark East Africa have undertaken a project to set up four cargo and passenger ports at Lake Kivu, a move intended to develop trade, maritime transport and tourism around the lake, government officials have said.


The Rwf22 billion project which will be built in the four districts of Rubavu (Nyamyumba), Rusizi ( Bugiki), Karongi (at the Karongi cross-border market); and Rutsiro (Nkora region).


Speaking to Sunday Times, the Planning Division Manager at Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), Fabrice Barisanga, said the construction will start towards the end of 2018 and will be completed by end of 2019, and be used in 2020.


There will be three major ports with capacity of about 1.5 million passengers per year in 2020, projected to reach 2.8 million by 2036, while a smaller one in Karongi will start with a capacity of about 300,000 passengers per year by 2020 and 400,000 passengers by 2036.


The port maximum cargo handling capacity is 580,000 tonnes, while the minimum is 270,000 tonnes.


He said that there will be more passengers using maritime transport because it will be more affordable than road transport.


The ports will boost cross-border trade as many people come from the DR Congo to buy products from major markets in Rubavu and Karongi.