The inland Port of Rubavu which is expected to boost cross-border trade with Rwanda’s neighbour on the other side of Lake Kivu, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), will begin operations in December.
The acting mayor of Rubavu district, Déogratias Nzabonimpa, said a provisional handover is scheduled for November 30.
"The port is 96% complete with some ongoing finishing works.
“It will be handed over by the end of the month and the first ship, if available, will be allowed to access it by December 1," Nzabonimpa said.
The port spans an area of two hectares.
It will reduce the costs of trade flows along the lake, Africa’s eighth largest water body and biggest supplier of fish to Rwanda, as well as bolster the region as a tourism destination, he said.
"I transport cement from here to Goma [in the DRC], and the current port is too small to accommodate all the boats navigating Lake Kivu,” said Elisha Mporanyi, a Goma resident who toured the site of the new port.
“With this new and bigger port, business is going to become easier.”
According to Société Centrale Pour l'équipement du Territoire, the company overseeing the construction of the project, the facility has a cargo- and passenger terminal designated for both the business and tourism sectors.
Developed by the government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Transport Development Agency, with the support of TradeMark Africa and Invest International, the port cost $7.8 million.