Rwanda-Uganda Border Crossing Sees Surge in Trade

Trade between Rwanda and Uganda, particularly in Burera District, has experienced a significant upswing since the reopening of the border between the two countries in January 2022.

One recent initiative implemented by the district involves an agreement reached two months ago with Jari Investment Ltd to rent the Cyanika Cross Border Market, aiming to make it fully operational. The market, completed in 2018, has been partially used with only a few doors occupied due to the COVID-19 pandemic and previous border closures.

The Vice Mayor of Burera District for Economic Development, Jean Baptiste Nshimyimana, expressed optimism about the gradual restoration of business with an increasing number of people crossing the Cyanika Border Post. As more people continue to utilize the border, the market is expected to become more active.

Another positive step taken is the removal of the Rwf5000 COVID-19 test per person, which was in line with business recovery efforts.

Despite these initiatives, Burera district is also conducting an assessment of the Cyanika Cross Border Market as part of its 2023-2024 performance contracts or Imihigo.

Fessa Mukamugema, head of the cooperative Ihuriro Cyanika, consisting of 27 former women smugglers who now retail foodstuffs in both Rwanda and Uganda, urged the district to help reactivate the market. She emphasized the importance of securing affordable places to sell their goods.

Innocent Munyentwari, a bakery owner, expressed satisfaction with the removal of the COVID-19 test requirement, as it had been a challenge for many traders.

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