After two years of closure, Rwandans have resumed entry into Uganda and reverse.
The land border with Uganda, closed in February 2019, reopened for trucks only following a visit to Kigali by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s son, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in January during which he and Rwandan President Paul Kagame pledged to restore ties – on March 7, 2022, human traffic has also resumed to much fanfare.
A video shared online from Kigali showed Rwandans excited at the opportunity to finally travel to Uganda by bus.
This is the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 that the government of Rwanda has allowed the 24-hour movement of people across the country.
Two-way trade collapsed after the frontier was closed in February 2019 as tensions between Kigali and Kampala spiralled over rival accusations of espionage and political meddling.
Kigali — which used to rely on the Uganda route for the bulk of its imports – in January announced it would reopen the border as a step towards repairing ties.
Before the closure, Ugandan exports to Rwanda — predominantly cement and food — totalled more than $211 million in 2018, according to World Bank figures.
Rwanda, which subsequently turned to Tanzania for trade, had exported goods worth $13 million to Uganda in 2018.
Trade plummeted in 2019, with the situation further exacerbated by the Covid crisis.