Kigali Logistics Platform, Rwanda’s first dry port, has been officially launched, covering over 130,000 square meters, including a 12,000-square meter container yard and a 19,600 square-meter warehousing facility, with an annual capacity of 640,000 tons of warehousing space.
The platform, which is Rwanda’s largest inland cargo handling facility, seeks to drive Rwanda into becoming a regional hub, as well as connect Rwanda to neighbouring countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
The facility which cost $35 million will also ease access to the ports of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania while creating close to 667 direct and indirect jobs.
According to Xinhua, since the commencement of its operations in test mode in September 2018, the facility has been able to reduce truck turnaround time from an average of 10 to 14 days to three days.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, President Paul Kagame said the dry port is part of the efforts by Rwanda to ready herself ahead of the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is slated for July next year.
With a capacity of 198 trucks, 20,000 square metres of bonded warehouse storage and a container of 50,000 TEUs per year, the facility has a potential to save Rwandan businesses up to 50 million U.S. dollars a year in logistics costs.
Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board said; “Today marks a new milestone for our logistics and export sector. The Kigali Logistics Platform will improve access of Rwandan businesses to international markets and increase investments in Rwanda. In the long run, Rwanda hopes to become a logistics hub for the region and beyond and we invite everybody to come and trade with Rwanda.”