Moving Fast to Improve Conditions for Walking and Cycling


Sound pedestrian infrastructure has been put in place on major roads.
Photo Credit: UNEP

Rwanda is Share the Road’s third pilot country.  The Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) was invited to the “Share the Road Report Launch and East Africa Workshop” at UNEP Headquarters in November 2010 (more on this meeting).  During the meeting, UNEP and RTDA discussed the possibility of launching a national Share the Road project in Rwanda.  RTDA informed UNEP that a recent pilot project on pedestrian facilities had at first been met with opposition but that once the project was complete and people could actually experience the benefits, more demand was generated for such infrastructure. 

Since then, UNEP and RTDA worked together on a concept paper for submission to the Minister of Infrastructure (see ‘Key Reference Documents’) on a Share the Road project.  The ideas include improvement of road design for both walking and cycling and a national policy on non-motorised transport (NMT), coherent with the government’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), 2008-2012.  The Minister approved the ideas and a national stakeholders workshop is organised.

Focus Areas

1. Awareness-Raising: First National Workshop on Share the Road

As a first step in launching a national Share the Road project in Rwanda, a workshop tookplace on 11 October 2011 in Kigali, hosted by the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) in cooperation with UNEP. More than 30 key stakeholders attended, including those from the Ministry of Infrastructure, City of Kigali, Environment Management Authority, Traffic Police, academia and civil society organisations. The Hon. Minister Nsengiyumva (Ministry of Infrastructure) opened the workshop and lively discussion occurred throughout the day. One of the key outcomes was a multi-sector steering committee to discuss details to a pilot project and manage the implementation, with support from UNEP (more on this meeting).

2. Pilot Project and Policy Development

A pilot project to showcase walking and cycling infrastructure has been identified by the steering committee. The site has been chosen in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, on a high-demand street in the central business district. Details to this pilot project are under development. At the same time, a national NMT policy will be drafted to provide the basis for further investments.

Already, two key positive impacts of Share the Road’s work in Rwanda can be identified. First, following the East Africa Launch in November 2010, where the current RTDA Director General attended, RTDA (in its first year of operation) has integrated NMT infrastructure into new road projects (see pictures). High-quality pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks (including traffic lights) exist, as well as signage and enforcement of the varying speed limits for motor vehicles. Second, following this Rwanda workshop, the European Union representative in Rwanda has agreed to supplement their existing support for a major road project in order to include NMT infrastructure in the 2km of the road located within the city of Kigali.

Partners in Rwanda

The speed limit of 40 km/h is enforced by the Traffic Police throughout the City of Kigali.
Photo Credit: UNEP
  • Ministry of Infrastructure: MININFRA’s mission is to ensure the sustainable development of infrastructure and contribute to economic growth with a view to enhancing the quality of life of the population.

  • Rwanda Transport Development Agency: RTDA was created in 2009 as a semi-autonomous body under MININFRA responsible for managing all day-to-day aspects of the transport sector.

Key Reference Documents