August 21, 2013 (AMURU) – Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni announced on Wednesday he had commissioned the tarmacking of the 36km Atiak- Nimule road.
- President Museveni commissioning the Juba-Nimule road works last year (photo credit: new vision)
The road is crucial for trade between Uganda and South Sudan and its tarmacking is expected to significantly boost trade between the two countries once work is completed.
Traders have for years complained about the road being difficult to access on the Ugandan side, particularly during the rainy season, causing huge losses for those involved in the transportation and trading of perishable goods.
Speaking at the commissioning of works on the road in Atiak in Amuru district, Museveni said that his government is focusing on infrastructural development to boost the economy.
He cautioned communities living along the road against stealing materials meant for the road upgrade.
“What I don’t want to hear [about] is the theft of fuel, road signs and equipments”, Museveni said.
The road is plied by hundreds of trucks laden with goods destined for South Sudan. The commissioning of tarmacking is the second phase of work on the road, with the first from Gulu to Atiak already ongoing.
According to the World Bank, South Sudan has become a leading trade partner with Uganda since gaining independence more than two years ago.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics and the Bank of Uganda estimate that trade between Uganda and Sudan grew by 1000% in the period from 2005 to 2008.
During this time, trade revenue between the two countries rose from $60 to $635 million, the World Bank said.
The construction of the entire road from Gulu up to the border with South Sudan is expected to cost $100 million.
The construction is jointly funded by the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).