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By Twine Victor

President Yoweri Museveni and his counterpart Félix Tshisekedi, President of Democratic Republic of Congo are set to open Mpondwe bridge in Kasese district at the border between the two countries tomorrow June 15.

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), on behalf of Uganda Government, constructed the trade-critical bridge.

Mpondwe Bridge is on Uganda/DRC border Road in Mpondwe Trading Centre. It runs over River Lhubiriha at the Uganda – DRC border.  The bridge is important for linking the two countries for trade.

The bridge project replaces the old Bailey Bridge with a new and permanent structure. Bailey Bridge was deemed unsafe for the heavy traffic that comprises heavy cargo trucks due to wear and tear.  

The launch of the bridge is part of a broader bilateral plan that includes the groundbreaking of roads that will be constructed in DR Congo by the Government of Uganda. 

DRC is Uganda’s second biggest regional trade partner after Kenya. It is envisioned that fixing DRC roads will improve mobility, security and boost Uganda’s trade and investment. In 2018, Uganda exported $221m worth of goods to DRC in formal trade, while informal trade accounted for $312m making the total exports worth $533m.

Therefore the availability of the new Mpondwe bridge will bolster the cross-border trade and grow it to a much bigger scale than before.

“UNRA is committed to supporting the bilateral economic interconnectivity between Uganda and DRC by constructing and maintaining a superior regional road and bridges network,” the roads agency said in a statement.

Picture of the newly constructed Mpondwe bridge as trucks drive over it.

Picture of Old Baily bridge after a heavy rain downpour. The New Mpondwe bridge has since replaced this old structure.

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