The European Union (EU) is injecting about two million euros (about 1.5 Billion Francs) in road maintenance as part of its technical assistance to Rwanda for 2008-2009, the European Commission head of infrastructure section, Joel Neubert said Monday, in Kigali.

Neubert, who was speaking in an interview with APA after a one-day training workshop on technical assistance on road maintenance and auditing, held at Kigali Serena hotel, noted that the EU had invested a lot of money in Rwanda’s infrastructure development and would wish to see more results for sustainable development. “We are partners in development and we are committed to making clear our contribution especially in infrastructure development like road maintenance and capacity building of local technicians,” Neubert said.

He added that the EU will fund phase one of the technical assistance that involves capacity building in road maintenance to contractors and the ministry of infrastructure staff while the second phase will be funded by GTZ a German development program.

According to the EU head of delegation to Rwanda, David McRae in his opening remarks during the workshop, the EU has in the last ten years invested over 100 million euros in Rwanda’s transport sector alone. He said about one third of the existing paved road network has been rehabilitated or upgraded by EU funds.

McRae noted that the road maintenance fund is to focus on sustainable financing of road maintenance ensuring value for money, auditing activities, reporting to the public and road users.

“The strategic position of road network in Rwanda’s economy is clear, it is an international trunk network designed to support access to international markets along the main corridors like the northern corridor and also a feeder roads network to develop access to and from rural areas,” McRae said.

Some of the roads under consideration by the EU are the Kigali-Gitarama, Kayonza-Rusumo and Kayonza-Kagitumba, he said.

The one day training workshop was attended by road constructors, the ministry of infrastructure staff and university students.