Uganda mulls Juba-Nimule Road facelift to boost trade

Uganda mulls Juba-Nimule Road facelift to boost trade
In April heavy trucks en route Juba via Nimule halt travel as drivers protested insecurity (photo credit: Africa Freedom Network)

The government of Uganda plans to rehabilitate the Juba-Nimule Road to boost its economy.

The decision came following a request from the Ugandan traders, who complained that they were making losses due to the bad nature of the road.

According to The Daily Monitor, the Uganda South Sudan Traders’ Association spokesperson, Twaha Othman, requested the Ugandan government’s intervention to ease the movement of goods along Nimule Road.

Also, he said they had been given 17 hectares of land that will be leased for 29 years.

“The lease will end in 2042, although it has some challenges where we need a government of Uganda to intervene and address issues of drainages when it rains,” Othman said, adding that the market contributes a lot to Uganda’s economy.

“Just mere government intervention will help.”

The Uganda Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Ramathan Ggobi, said the government is considering developing roads in South Sudan to facilitate trade between Uganda and South Sudan.

“When we build this regional infrastructure, like we are building roads in Congo, these are not roads for DRC, the roads are actually for Uganda because they are going to take Uganda goods,” Ggobi said.

He added that the traders had told him the road from Nimule to Juba requires construction because it is poor because the trucks ferrying goods are encountering challenges.

“This is something we are going to look into again with our government and the responsible entities ministries of work. And we shall have a conversation as a government and see whether we can replicate what we are doing in Congo, and we built that road,” he said.

Mr Ggobi said the government of Uganda faces a lot of criticism from the citizens who question why it is building roads in other countries while the local roads are in bad taste.

“Those roads are actually our roads because they are taking Ugandan goods, and they sometimes even make more economic sense than some of the roads that we are just building in areas where we are not getting a return on that investment,” he said.

Juba-Nimule Road is an essential trade route for the movement of goods, including agricultural products, consumable and non-consumable supplies. The road facilitates cross-border trade, which contributes to economic growth and development in South Sudan.