6 April 2016 – HE Paul Kagame, the President of the Rebublic of Rwanda and HE Dr John Pombe Magufuli , the President of the United Republic of Tanzania officially unveiled Rusumo One Stop Border Post (OSBP) and the Rusumo international bridge joining Rwanda and Tanzania.
Tanzanian President Magufuli and First Lady Janet Magufuli joined their host, President Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame to this ceremony at the inception of the two-day working visit in Rwanda.
The Heads of States urged Rwandans and Tanzanians to actively use the border for their business and visits to each other, encouraging them to build stronger relationships that are crucial for mutual interests.
In his welcoming speech, President Kagame lauded the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries. He assured his Tanzanian counterpart that the relations will even get stronger as years go by.
“We want the number of those who cross this border to increase. We want trade to increase for the benefits of our people. We want lasting peace because that is the foundation of kind of cooperation that comes with potential to transform our two nations. Together we are stronger,” President Kagame said.
Tanzanian President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli expressed his gratitude to the Rwandan Government for its involvement and commitment in moving the East African region forward.
“I am visiting Rwanda in recognition of our excellent relationship and brotherhood. Rwanda marks the first country I visit since I became President. For the two days I will be in Rwanda, I will learn a lot,” President Magufuli stated.
President Magufuli further reiterated that Africa has been blessed with resources. He added that Africans, especially those living within the East African Community, have all they need to develop and transform lives across the region.
Honourable James Musoni, the Minister of Infrastructure said that the One Stop Border Post has eliminated traffic congestion, improved efficiency in cargo transportation, cut costs and generally facilitated faster movement of goods.
Mike Julius a Tanzanian lorry driver who frequently crosses Rusumo Border affirms that the OSBP has eased clearing services and reduced time spent at the border. “Before the construction of the One Stop Border Post we used to spend two days at the border for clearance process but it takes between 2 and 4 hours and then we continue the journey.” He said
The new Rusumo International Bridge has 80 meter long and 13.5 meters wide with the capacity to support 180 Tons and has replaced the old one that was built in 1972 that had the capacity to handle 35 Tons.
The inaugurated infrastructure facilities were developed under the auspices of the East African Community. The facilities consist of verification storage, control shed, parking yard, office buildings, new International Bridge and a 2 kilometers road linking Rwanda side border offices to Tanzania side offices.