CHOGM: Kigali motorists, businesses brace for traffic disruptions
The patience of Rwandans, and especially those living in the capital Kigali, will be tested again as the country hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) between June 20-26 with week-long heavy traffic and road closures expected.
Dozens of global heads of State are expected to attend the summit which had been postponed twice before due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will also attract thousands of delegates including VIPs and ordinary participants.
Government of Rwanda expects over 5,000 visitors for the summit in total.
City authorities have been expanding road infrastructure across all venues expected to be used by the summit delegates in addition to deviation routes, among others in preparation of anticipated increased traffic and to tame gridlock.
While the works were completed in most instances, works on others like the Nyabugogo bridge (video taken on June 13 below), are being expedited ahead of June 20.
A few days to the summit, authorities are yet to issue notification on roads closures planned for the summit.
However, businesses, individuals and institutions are already bracing for inconveniences, logistical issues as significant movement restrictions are anticipated across most routes in the capital.
Besides, security will be heightened at summit venues and other places to be frequented by the delegates, thereby interrupting normal visits and traffic by citizens.
"Movement patterns across the city will be unpredictable, and various roads may be closed unexpectedly," said the United States embassy in Rwanda.
As a result, the embassy announced it will suspend its routine services for a week.
“The U.S. Embassy will be closed to the public for all routine services during this period. U.S. citizens in Rwanda should be prepared for significant movement restrictions in the city of Kigali,” the embassy announced Monday.
Day schools' closure
Besides, the anticipated increased traffic will see all day schools in the city close for a week to keep learners and their teachers off the daily traffic to and from school.
According to a ministry of education announcement, learners should use the period to revise lessons from home.
CHOGM is expected to put Rwanda on the map with government planning to further market the country as destination for meetings, incentives, conferencing, and exhibitions (MICE).
Its side events include the Commonwealth Youth Forum, Women’s forum, ministerial meetings, high level meetings, and executive sessions, among others.
Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla confirmed their attendance in a first visit to the country by members of the British Royal family.
They are scheduled to visit different locations in Kigali and take part in a number of summit side events.